Jun 15 2013





Ed Snowden's fleeing to Hong Kong has brought front and center where can an American citizen on the run from the government can safely hide. Business Insider complied ten nations that might be a great place to seek refuge. All of them either have no extradition treaties or one's with great loopholes.

Even those with treaties, like Canada and Sweden, refused to send those fleeing participating in the Vietnam War back to the United States.

Here are the top six countries to seek refuge from the United States Government.

1. Cuba:

Cuba is the clear number one choice. A tropical country with beautiful beaches and great food, it is already home to one of the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted: Assata Shakur, who is suspected of shooting a police officer and escaping prison in the 70s. Diplomatic relations between the Cubans and Americans have been ice cold for the past 50 years, and there’s little chance they would ever extradite someone to the U.S.

2. Iceland:

Iceland has a long history of embracing dissidents. They offered asylum to U.S. chess champion Bobby Fischer when he was wanted by U.S. authorities for violating sanctions against Yugoslavia. The country also offered to help Julian Assange, though for now he is with the Ecuadorians.

3. Ecuador:

Ecuador has offered safe haven to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for months, and he remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Given that the country offered Assange asylum when the United Kingdom sought to extradite him to Sweden in a case they had nothing to do with, it’s a safe bet they would consider doing it again.

4. Venezuela:

Though the political situation is subject to change with the death of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela remains a political foe of the United States. The socialist state has a largely cash based economy, so it’s harder to track people. And though the country has an extradition treaty dated back to 1922, it’s hardly actively in effect today, and the U.S. has refused to extradite criminals at the behest of the Venezuelan government in the past.

5. France:

With food, wine, art, France sounds more like a vacation than a hideout. And though it has an extradition treaty with the United States, there are a couple of cases that make France a compelling place to seek asylum. Filmmaker Roman Polanski fled to France rather than face charges of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old in 1977. A French citizen, he was never turned over to American authorities. It even took France years to extradite Ira Einhorn, an American accused murderer, because they feared his rights may have been violated.

6. Cape Verde Islands (see photograph above): 

The government of the Cape Verde Islands also has no extradition treaty with the United States.The popular European vacation destination off of the coast of West Africa could serve as a beautiful place to hide from the U.S. intelligence network