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Senator Bob Menendez, Chair of the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, spent his Sunday morning on the political TV shows, and called for sanctions against countries that aid or offer Edward Snowden asylum against prosecution in the US for leaking secret files about the NSA’s secret spying on Americans.
Meet The Press host David Gregory asked Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) what the repercussions should be for those countries if they grant him asylum. “It’s very clear that any country that accepts Snowden, offers him political asylum, is taking a step against the United States,” Menendez replied. “I think you have to look whether it’s at trade preferences that may exist with these countries, other elements of our policy our aid, our trade.”
“Any acceptance of Snowden to any country – to these three countries or any other – puts them against the United States and they need to know that,” Menendez continued. Snowden is currently stuck in the “transit zone” of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. From there, he has applied for asylum in more than a dozen countries around the world, many of whom have already elected to turn him down.
The three countries currently offering asylum to Snowden are Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia. Snowden’s currently stuck in the international zone of a Russian airport where the Russians won’t let him out and the US froze his passport.