Bolivia's president says he is willing to grant Snowden asylum
Venezuelan state media reports Venezuela has already offered asylum
The U.S. intelligence leaker has been holed up at the Moscow airport
Venezuela says it has extended an offer of asylum to Edward Snowden, but it has not heard back from him.
A trio of left-leaning Latin American nations to varying degrees say they would welcome the U.S. intelligence leaker in their country. Venezuela and Bolivia have offered asylum to Snowden and Nicaragua is willing to consider it.
Bolivian President Evo Morales, who became part of the saga when his presidential plane was denied permission to enter the airspace of several European countries amid a rumor about Snowden, said his country is “willing to give asylum.” A day earlier, Venezuelan state media reported that President Nicolas Maduro had offered Snowden asylum.
The reports came shortly after Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said he would grant Snowden asylum in his country “if the circumstances permit.” Ortega didn’t elaborate on his announcement, made during a speech in Managua, except to say his country is “open and respectful to the right of asylum.”
“It’s clear that that if the circumstances permit it we will gladly receive Snowden and will grant him asylum here in Nicaragua,” Ortega said.
The asylum offers could provide Snowden a chance to evade U.S. authorities, though it is unclear how he would get to Venezuela or the other countries.
Snowden’s exit from Russia would provide relief to authorities there, who appeared weary of the American’s presence at the airport.
Alexei Pushkov, head of the lower Russian legislative body DUMA, recommended Snowden leave Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, where he has been holed up since June 23, when he arrived from Hong Kong.
“Sanctuary for Snowden in Venezuela would be the best solution,” Pushkov tweeted Saturday. “He can’t live in at Sheremetyevo.”
Venezuela’s foreign minister said Saturday that it has had no contact with Snowden since its asylum offer Friday, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, an Icelandic lawmaker said Snowden would not get citizenship there, as he had requested, because Iceland’s parliament refused to vote on an asylum proposal before ending its current session.