“Sanctuary for Snowden in Venezuela would be the best solution,” Mr. Pushkov posted on Twitter. “The country has a sharp conflict with the United States. It will not be worse. And he can’t live in Sheremetyevo.”

In fact, the United States and Venezuela recently began talks toward reconciliation, progress that a senior Obama administration official said Saturday would end if Venezuela sheltered Mr. Snowden, as President Nicolás Maduro said he would, or aided his journey. The official cautioned other nations in Latin America, hinting that relations would worsen if they assisted Mr. Snowden…

The easiest route to Latin America from Moscow would take Mr. Snowden first to Havana, where he could then connect to direct flights either to Caracas, Venezuela, or Managua, Nicaragua. But if he purchases a ticket for a regularly scheduled flight on Aeroflot, the Russian carrier, which Mr. Putin has said Mr. Snowden is free to do at any time, would the United States go so far as to force down a commercial jetliner once it crosses into American airspace, which is part of its normal flight path? And even if the Americans are loath to force down a passenger jet, would Cuba, given a mild thaw in relations with the United States, allow Mr. Snowden to pass through Havana?

If Mr. Snowden and his supporters try to arrange for a private jet, could his benefactors afford one big enough to make the nearly 16-hour flight without refueling, to avoid stopping in a country that would be likely to seize him at the request of the United States?