Cuban leader Raul Castro endorsed fugitive Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor currently stranded inside a Russian airport, over the weekend without ever committing to an asylum promise, while also declaring his hatred for a different kind of leaking...peeing in public.
Castro didn't directly support Snowden and his leaking of classified American documents. "We support the sovereign rights of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and all the regional states to grant asylum to those who are being persecuted for their ideals or their fight for democratic rights, in accordance with our traditions," Castro told Cuba's national assembly in a Sunday speech. So he technically didn't support Snowden himself, just the small handful of countries that have offered the NSA leaker asylum so far. That list includes: Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua.
But WikiLeaks isn't buying this waffling noncommittal business, and are already calling on Castro to sack up and fully support Snowden. "If Raul Castro's solidarity on Snowden is serious Cuba will publicly offer Snowden asylum," the group said on Twitter.
Whether or not Snowden will be able to make it from the holding zone inside Sheremetyevo International Airport to one of those countries is the biggest question the fugitive faces. Bu on the other hand, this seeming endorsement spells good things for his chances. Cuba will likely play a big part in his travel plans if he's to ever make it from Russia to Venezuela. That was the originally reported itinerary when he left Hong Kong, after all.
But Castro also went off on a tangent during his speech yesterday against another form of public leaking. Except this time he was speaking out about Cubans' reprehensible public behavior and their penchant for peeing in public.
He was railing against "social indiscipline" and everything that comes with it, including but not limited to: public urination, showing up late for work; defacing public property; loud music; raising pigs in the city (sorry, Babe); not paying for public transportation; not helping pregnant women or the elderly; and kids throwing rocks at trains. "When I meditate on these regrettable displays, it makes me think that despite the undeniable educational achievements made by the Revolution ... we have taken a step back in citizens' culture and public spirit," Castro said. That's one heck of a tourism pitch, Raul. Have you ever seen Over the Edge? Sounds a lot like that.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.