Venezuela, Nicaragua offer Edward Snowden asylum. For real?
The leaders of Venezuela and Nicaragua have offered asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. But are the offers genuine, or just a way to tweak their powerful neighbor to the north?
In Pictures Edward Snowden on the run: villain or hero?
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The leaders of Venezuela and Nicaragua have offered asylum to the former NSA contractor who exposed top-secret US surveillance programs – first to The Washington Post and the British newspaper the Guardian, then via a 12-minute video in which he declared, “I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things.”
Still, a possible end to Mr. Snowden’s stateless situation – he remains without a visa or a valid passport in the transit section of the Moscow airport – is by no means settled.
Statements by President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua were vague – designed by those countries’ leftist leaders as much as anything to tweak their powerful neighbor to the north.
"As head of state, the government of the Bolívarian Republic of Venezuela decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden so that he can live in the homeland" of independence leader Simon Bolívar and the late President Hugo Chávez without "persecution from the empire," Mr. Maduro said, referring to the United States.
In Nicaragua, Mr. Ortega said asylum would be offered "if circumstances allow it."
"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.
Analysts were largely skeptical of Ortega’s offer, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.