Good news for democracy

Edward Snowden has been granted a three year residency permit by Russia. An article in The Guardian goes on to explain that this is not permanent asylum but is Russian temporary residency.

There have been some amazing changes in the last 15 months as a result of Snowden's disclosures, all good for democracy. Now that the US Congress appreciates the level of lies it has been told, even "NSA friends" seem to be moving in the direction of accountability. There is still a long way to go but it is progress.

On the international level, more and more governments are willing to come forward and do what needs to be done for their population rather than just follow US dictates. A lot of those countries are in Latin America. Actions vary from Brazil's condemnation of the NSA international spy gang and investing in fiber optic cables that will not be under US control to the many nations that have condemned Israel's actions against Gaza.

All in all, disclosure and paying for your actions seems to be a growing trend and not unique to the Americas. For example, rials of Khmer Rouge members in Cambodia and the disclosure of Australia's gag order on a head-of-state level corruption case have surfaced.

Possibly the most disappointing so far is how Central America (in particular, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras) are continuing to play the "if the US gives us money, there is no problem" game with regard to the influx of illegal immigrants to the US. We also have the same game related to the drug war where the US gives governments (including Nicaragua but more significantly Guatemala) money and equipment to fight a war that should really be just a US issue.

In any case, it's an interesting trend. If anything, it seems to be getting more people interested in fixing governments rather than just pretending they don't exist.