2013-07-06 Venezuela, Nicaragua offer asylum to Snowden

Both Nicaragua and Venezuela have now offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has already reject the US request for the rendition of Snowden.

Maduro spoke before a televised parade celebrating the country's independence day.

The government of the United States presented to our foreign ministry, as we were flying in, a scrap of paper requesting the extradition of the young Snowden. They do not have the moral right to request the extradition of a young man who is only warning of the illegalities committed by the Pentagon and the CIA and the United States. As head of state, I reject any request for extradition. They are simply disregarding bilateral agreements.

Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega has now stepped up as well. Ortega said Nicaragua had received an asylum request from Snowden and the president gave a guarded acceptance.

We are an open country, respectful of the right of asylum, and it's clear that if circumstances permit, we would gladly receive Snowden and give him asylum in Nicaragua.

South America is still seething after the airplane of Bolivian president Evo Morales was blocked from entering the airspace of several US allies in Europe. Uruguayan president José Mujica:

We are not colonies anymore. We deserve respect, and when one of our governments is insulted we feel the insult throughout Latin America.

South American leaders met on Friday to discuss the diplomatic scandal caused by the US brazenly violating the Vienna Convention. Present at this meeting were Bolivia's president Evo Morales and vice-president Linera, Ecuador's president Rafael Correa, Argentina's president Cristina Kirchner, and a senior representative of Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff.

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