This report originally came from Univision and it was shared with the Journal.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has declared Edward Snowden's special travel document to be invalid because he doesn't want WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to look like he's "running the show." Correa declared Snowden's travel pass, issued after the U.S. revoked his passport, was unauthorized, The Wall Street Journal's José de Córdoba and Jeanne Whalen report.
The United States, which has been widely-reported as having absolutely no leverage with Ecuador in shaping whether or not Snowden will be extradited to Ecuador, actually had a hand in the sudden invalidation of Snowden's travel document.
The ambassador to the U.S., Nathalie Cely, wrote to Correa's spokesman, "I suggest talking to Assange to better control the communications. From outside, [Assange] appears to be running the show."http://news.yahoo.com/...
Shortly after this exchange, Assange issued an apology to the Ecuadoran goverment.
According to the Journal, Assange wrote Ecuador's government on Monday to say he hoped he hadn't embarrassed them, apologizing "if we have unwittingly causing Ecuador discomfort in the Snowden matter." (He also held a conference call with reporters that day.) It seems it didn't work.[...]http://news.yahoo.com/...
By Thursday, Correa said in a press conference, "What is the validity of a safe conduct pass issued by a consul in London for someone to leave from Hong Kong to Moscow? None."
UPDATE: Univision is now reporting that President Correa has been caught in a lie regarding granting Edward Snowden a travel pass.
A "safe pass" allowing NSA leaker Edward Snowden's travel to Ecuador to seek political asylum was reportedly reviewed and approved by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, according to Univision news. This is after Correa's government distanced itself from the Snowden affair today and declared the pass invalid.http://abcnews.go.com/...
The pass, a copy of which was obtained Wednesday by Univision, is dated June 22 and asks authorities in other nations to allow Snowden safe passage to Ecuador as a political refugee. That's also the date that U.S. officials revoked Snowden's American passport, effectively halting his international travel.[...]
In an ironic twist, Univision used metadata attached to an electronic copy of the safe pass to verify that it was composed at the work computer of Javier Mendoza, the Ecuadorian deputy consul in London (see photo above). Mendoza has acted as an intermediary for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is wanted in Sweden in connection with sexual assault allegations, but maintains that U.S. authorities are hunting him for Wikileaks' political activities.
Metadata also showed that the Snowden pass was last edited, for 48 minutes, by the consul in London, Fidel Narvaez.
Ecuadorian Press Secretary Betty Tola did not directly address the pass' authenticity but told Univision today that "any document in this regard is not valid and is the sole responsibility of the person who has issued [it]," suggesting that the London consulate might have acted alone in issuing it.[...]
After the pass was revealed publicly, sources tell Univision, Correa instructed his staff to deny any role in its creation. "The official position is that the Ecuadorian government has NOT authorized any pass for anybody," those instructions read. "Any document that exists about has no validity."
Ecuador is not alone in being upset about Assange's management of the Edward Snowden affair. Lonnie Snowden, Edward Snowden's father, told "Today," he's not too happy about it either.
Lonnie Snowden has not spoken to his son since April, but he fears that Edward may be manipulated by WikiLeaks handlers and would like to get in touch with him.http://www.today.com/...
“I don't want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him,” Lonnie Snowden said. “I think WikiLeaks, if you've looked at past history, you know, their focus isn't necessarily the Constitution of the United States. It's simply to release as much information as possible.”
Nobody knows how the Snowden affair will ultimately play out, but so far his itenerary has not gone smoothly as planned.
Snowden thought he could stay in Hong Kong indefinitely but one phone call from Beijing meant he had to go, even though he had been convinced it was a autonomous beacon of democracy.
Apparently no one advised him that his passport might be revoked and that would certainly impair his travel plans.
Currently Snowden is reportedly living in a Russian airport with a revoked U.S. passport while Cuba and Venezuela appear to be his best travel options--if he can get out of the airport and into another country without a U.S. passport.
While Snowden is there maybe he can accept the Russian Parliament's invitation to share what he knows about U.S. intelligence-gathering.
"We invite Edward Snowden to work with us and hope that as soon as he settles his legal status, he will collaborate with our working group and provide us with proof of U.S. intelligence agencies' access to the servers of Internet firms," Russian Sen. Ruslan Gattarov said Thursday.http://www.upi.com/...
Russia's upper house of parliament decided Wednesday to establish a working group to investigate Snowden's claims, RIA Novosti reported.[...]
Gattarov, appointed to lead the group, told RIA Novosti it would draw legislators, diplomats, prosecutors and communications officials as members. He said preliminary results should be available in October.