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Russia

Empty Seat 17A: A Russian Reporter Continues His Hunt For Edward Snowden

Duped like other international reporters, Kommersant's correspondent took the phantom flight to Havana. Now he's back in Moscow, as the search for Snowden continues.

Catch me if you can
Catch me if you can
Pavel Tarasenko

MOSCOW - The regular Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Havana that departed last Monday was overtaken by an unusual commotion: this was the flight that Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor accused of treason by the United States government, was supposed to be on -- traveling from the Russian to Cuban capital, and then onto Ecuador, where it was said he would be granted political refugee status.

Dozens of journalists from the Russian media and the foreign media snatched up tickets for the flight.

The flight is typically filled with tourists wearing shorts and colorful t-shirts, on their way to soak up Cuba's sun. Instead, the people clustering around Terminal D of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport were carrying video cameras, audio recorders and notebooks. Tourists in Hawaiian shirts where practically absent from the scene.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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