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Venezuela gets Snowden’s formal request for political asylum, says President

July 09, 2013, 5:13 UTC+3

"We’ve received a letter where he is asking for a political asylum and now he is to decide on when he comes here"

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CARACAS, July 9 (Itar-Tass) - Venezuela has received a formal request for political asylum from the former technical analyst of the CIA, Edward Snowden, President Nicolas Maduro said Monday.

“We’ve received a letter where he is asking for a political asylum and now he is to decide on when he comes here, if he eventually decides to take a flight,” Maduro said. “We told that young man, you may come here is you’re being persecuted by the empire /the U.S./.”

Last week, a total of three Latin American nations offered political asylums to Snowden. Presidents Maduro of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua made public statements on it Friday night and Bolivian President Evo Morales joined then the next day.

Ortega made a certain reservation, though, saying Nicaragua will give shelter to Snowden if the circumstances permit it. In contrast, Maduro’s statement aired a very definitive note.

“As the head of state and government of Venezuela I’ve taken a decision to offer humanitarian refuge to the young American Edward Snowden so that he could arrive in the fatherland of Simon Bolivar and Hugo Chavez as he’s escaping from persecution on the part of the U.S.,” Maduro said.

He also indicated that Snowden has done nothing wrong - he just simply told the truth and was subjected to reprisals on the part of the world’s biggest empire.

Bolivia’s President Morales said as a country that does not feel scared by anyone, Bolivia will grant asylum to the young American man”.

He expressed the confidence that “Snowden has become a target of prosecution for speaking up about the espionage the U.S. is conducting. That is why Bolivia will act out of humanitarian considerations and will extend political asylum to Snowden.

Last week, the Union of South American nations /UNASUR/ held an emergency summit in Kochabamba, Bolivia, over the situation around Evo Morales’s jet, the crew of which had to make an emergency landing in Vienna last Tuesday in the wake of a refusal by several European countries to let the presidential jet cross their airspaces.

The Europeans motivated the refusal by the suspicions that Snowden, whom the Bolivians had allegedly smuggled from Moscow, was traveling aboard the same jet with President Morales.

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