Where should Edward Snowden go?

Assuming he can get there, of course.  Currently it’s down to Venezuela, Bolivia, or Nicaragua.  Dylan Matthews argues for Venezuela, on the grounds that the other two countries are much poorer and have lower life expectancies.  He says Snowden should put up with the much higher crime rate (by the way “0.2 percent of Caracas residents [are] killed each year.”)

But Snowden is not playing a Rawlsian game here, he is going to these countries as Edward Snowden.  I say seek out Santa Cruz, Bolivia, which is much richer than Bolivia as a whole and safer than Venezuela at least.  Sloths hang from the trees.  Also keep in mind that much of Snowden’s income may be coming from abroad, whether it be from Wikileaks or book royalties or civil libertarian well-wishers or sources unknown.  That militates in favor of the cheaper, lower wage country and Bolivia fits the bill.  Nicaragua is quite nice, and attracts some notable expats (pdf), but if you can’t travel abroad choose a larger country.

Finally, Venezuela has had some pro-American tendencies in its history and those could return.  Bolivia seems to have a more or less stable indigenous (semi) democratic majority, plus the hijacking of Morales’s plane may give the Snowden issue a resonance in Bolivia for some time to come.

If he loves the beach, however, Leon, Nicaragua is a charming town.


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