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Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia offer asylum to Snowden

1:35 PM, Jul 6, 2013   |    comments
Edward Snowden speaks during an interview in Hong Kong. (The Guardian via Getty Images)
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) -- Edward Snowden has asked and the Presidents of Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia have answered.

Both President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela said Friday they were willing to grant asylum to the NSA leaker, who had asked for asylum in several countries.

On Saturday, Bolivian President Evo Morales said Snowden is welcome in his country. He is making the offer as a protest against the U.S. and European nations he accuses of temporarily blocking his flight home from a Moscow summit because they suspected his might have Snowden on board.

"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.

He said the Nicaraguan embassy in Moscow received Snowden's application for asylum and that it 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.

The offers came amid the ongoing flap about the rerouting of Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane in Europe earlier this week amid reports that Snowden might have been aboard.

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