Presidents of Venezuela and Nicaragua have offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Both Nicolas Maduro, and Daniel Ortega have offered the exiled former NSA contractor freedom within their country’s borders.
“As head of state, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden so that he can live (without) … persecution from the empire,” Maduro said, referring to the United States. He made the offer during a speech marking the anniversary of Venezuela’s independence. It was not immediately clear if there were any conditions to Venezuela’s offer.
In Nicaragua, Ortega said he was willing to make the same offer “if circumstances allow it.” Ortega didn’t say what the right circumstances would be when he spoke during a speech in Managua.
Ortega said he received Snowden’s application from Moscow, and is studying the request.
“We have the sovereign right to help a person who felt remorse after finding out how the United States was using technology to spy on the whole world, and especially its European allies,” Ortega said.
Under pressure from the United States government, many of the 20 countries which have received applications from Snowden have declined. Both Venezuela and Nicaragua are considering acceptance of the refugee.
WikiLeaks, which continues to support Snowden, alluded to the extreme measures by the United States in forcing the grounding of the presidential aircraft of Bolivian President Evo Morales.
Venezuelan President Maduro said Venezuela was ready to offer him sanctuary, and that the details Snowden had revealed of a U.S. spy program had exposed the nefarious schemes of the U.S. “empire.”
“He has told the truth, in the spirit of rebellion, about the U.S. spying on the whole world,” Maduro said.
“Who is the guilty one? A young man … who denounces war plans, or the U.S. government which launches bombs and arms the terrorist Syrian opposition against the people and legitimate President Bashar al-Assad?”
“Who is the terrorist? Who is the global delinquent?”
Meanwhile, Russia appears to be showing signs of impatience. They appear to be anxious for Snowden to leave the airport, and the situation closed.
Where will Snowden find residence? He has been offered asylum n Venezuela, and possibly Nicaragua. This story may still be in its infancy, as the people of the world display dismay and anger, and decry the invasion of their privacy.