Venezuela has agreed to give Edward Snowden asylum according to President Nicolas Maduro. During Venezuela’s Independence Day festivities, he stated, “In the name of America’s dignity … I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to Edward Snowden.”
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Snowden is currently holed up somewhere in the transit area of the Sheremetyevo international airport in Moscow. Wikileaks announced earlier today that the NSA leaker put out six more requests for asylum. Prior to that, he had sent applications some 20 countries in an attempt to avoid espionage charges from the U.S.
President Maduro stated that Venezuela was up for giving Snowden asylum because he exposed the U.S spy program and other “nefarious schemes” of the U.S “empire.” He went on to say, “He has told the truth, in the spirit of rebellion, about the U.S. spying on the whole world,” Maduro also asks the question “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?”
Russia informed Snowden that he would need to find somewhere to go after the former IT contractor arrived in their country from Hong Kong who also told him he should move on. President Vladimir Putin told Edward Snowden he could stay in the country if he didn’t leak anymore secrets about U.S surveillance plans. Snowden withdrew his Russian asylum request and went forth seeking safe harbor elsewhere.
Snowden’s main target was said to be Iceland or to remain in Hong Kong or Russia, however the latter two have ties with U.S. In the case of Iceland, there was a small group in Parliament that wanted to give the NSA leaker emergency citizenship to get him in Iceland or their Embassy in Russia, but only six of the 63 members of Parliament supported it before summer recess.
It might not be ideal for Snowden, but as the old saying goes, “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.” While the offer is standing and Snowden probably does have enough time to see if anyone else is up for taking him in, Venezuela for certain have said they wouldn’t hand him over and don’t care if U.S attempts to put pressure on them.