QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa expressed bewilderment today about just how in the hell the small South American nation has gotten itself embroiled in the saga of Edward Snowden, the private contractor for the NSA who leaked information regarding the United States mining the data of its own citizens.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Correa claimed that this all started with a cabinet meeting in which he and other senior leaders decided it was high time the nation came out of its shell and step onto the global stage. ”We just wanted to be more social, so the other nations would see how cool we are.” Within hours of that meeting, however, an Ecuadorian official had granted Snowden a travel pass from Hong Kong to Moscow, “totally by accident” according to a desperate-to-backtrack Correa, and landed the nation in the midst of an international standoff reminiscent of the Cold War.
“Not the attention we were looking for” added Correa. “This is way above my pay grade.”
Before the interview, Snowden had released an open letter to Correa, thanking him for the opportunity to evade the authorities on his global trek. “I must express my deep respect for your principles and sincere thanks for your government’s action in considering my request for political asylum…There are few world leaders who would risk standing for the human rights of an individual against the most powerful government on earth, and the bravery of Ecuador and its people is an example to the world.”
“Oh you’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” replied Correa when read the content of the letter. “This guy is like the guest who’ll never leave. And he hasn’t even gotten here yet!”
Snowden may have chosen Ecuador because of its history of granting political asylum, most notably WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. “Assange is here?” asked a distraught Correa as he mopped sweat from his brow. “I gotta start reading the papers.”
As Ecuador attempts to distance itself from the ongoing Snowden controversy, Correa indicated that the US drone program was a major motivator. “They can wipe you out from 20,000 feet – and they do it to their own citizens. Can you imagine if – “ He was interrupted by a car backfiring outside of his window, sending him diving for cover.
Shortly after, US Vice President Joe Biden called, pointing out that Correa had “a nice country there” and “it would be a shame if something happened to it.”