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Snowden’s future up in the air after retracted tweet

MOSCOW — U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is grounded in Moscow’s airport, but his future is up in the air.

A tweet by a Russian lawmaker Tuesday announced that Snowden had accepted Venezuela’s offer of asylum, giving the impression that the American had evaded U.S. authorities again. But the news remains unconfirmed.

The lawmaker who sent the tweet, Russian parliamentary spokesman Alexei Pushkov, deleted the message and followed up by saying he got the news from a media report.

snowden

NSA leaker Edward Snowden says, “I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua was slated to talk with reporters Tuesday afternoon and could shed some light on the reports.

If indeed Snowden has accepted the Venezuelan offer, it resolves one issue in the Snowden saga, but sets the stage for the next chapter: How will Snowden get from Moscow to Caracas?

Venezuela extended an offer of asylum to Snowden last week, and on Monday President Nicolas Maduro received a formal asylum request from Snowden. The Venezuelan government had been waiting to hear back from Snowden on the president’s offer to finalize the deal.

Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who faces espionage charges in the United States, is slammed as a traitor by critics and hailed as a hero by his supporters.

He remains in limbo more than two weeks after arriving at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport from Hong Kong.

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