Ecuador Cancels Trade Deal with United States

Because it had become "instrument of blackmail" in connection with Snowden


Ecuador said Thursday it is renouncing a trade pact up for renewal by the U.S. Congress because it had become a "new instrument of blackmail" involving the fate of an NSA leaker who has asked for political asylum from the South American country.

Edward Snowden, who was employed by Booz Allen Hamilton as a National Security Agency systems analyst in Hawaii, requested political asylum from Ecuador after fleeing to Hong Kong last month with top-secret documents and court orders on U.S. government surveillance operations.

In requesting asylum, Snowden said in a letter to Ecuador that it was "unlikely" that he would get a fair trial in U.S. courts.