The USA is very dangerous, lawless and aggressive state. The death toll in Latin America since 1980 from US backed coups and state terrorsim is in the hundreds of thousands.
Edward Snowden's actions pressure the US government to obey its own consititution as well as international law. The more US elites are compelled to obey the law, the less they can threaten people around the world. Dissidents within the USA offer some protection against US lawlessness and Edward Snowden is one hell of a dissident. Daniel Ellsberg
has argued that Snowden's whistleblowing has an unprecedented potential to change minds and effect change:
In my estimation, there has not been in American history a more important leak than Edward Snowden's release of NSA material – and that definitely includes the Pentagon Papers 40 years ago. Snowden's whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an "executive coup" against the US constitution.
It would have been quite foolhardly for goverments like Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Nicaragua not to offer a major dissident like Edward Snowden asylum. Edward Snowden has said that Obama fears nothing more than an informed and angry public at home. Progressive Latin American leaders, on the other hand, have ample reason to welcome an informed and angry US public exerting a civilizing influence on Obama's government.
I believe that polititians like Correa, Maduro and Morales, because their key contituents are the poor, and because they cannot aspire to become imperial powers, also have much better values than Obama and many EU leaders. Obama came to power through a vetting process run by the world's major financial speculators and its most lavishly subsidized militarists. The values one must have to pass through that process must, almost inevitably, be quite rotten, so I don't discount that better values partly explain why Snowden has been supported by numerous Latin American leaders. I'm just stating the major rational and selfish reason they have to support Snowden.
The corporate media's analysis of the motivations of Latin Amercan governments has been precidtably inept as Dan Beeton
and Ryan Mallette
have pointed out. Absolutely pititful attempts to do hard headed anaylsis have been made by CNN and the Wall Street Journal. Very revealingly, the typical corporate media analysis ignores US public opinion and focuses exclusively on Latin American governmnets angering the Obama administration. However, large segments of the US population are inclined to applaud rather than denounce the asylum offers. A recent poll
reported in the New York Times found that by a margin of 55% to 34 percent US voters regard Snowden as a whistleblower rather than a traitor.
By offering Snowden asylum, Latin Americans are helping US voters who want their government subjected to much more public scrutiny, Protecting Snowden is the right thing to do, but it is also the smart thing for democratic governments who are in the USA's crosshairs.