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?
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras/Courtesy of The Guardian/REUTERS
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.