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Venezuela denies Snowden definite decision to go to that country

July 10, 2013, 7:34 UTC+3

President Nicolas Maduro earlier confirmed Venezuela’s decision to grant political asylum to the former CIA agent

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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS archive

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS archive

CARACAS, July 10 (Itar-Tass) - Venezuela did not receive any confirmation yet that Edward Snowden decided to go to that country, Foreign Minister of this South American republic Elias Jaua said on Tuesday. He told reporters that the former agent of the U.S. security services is not staying on the territory of Venezuela and is still staying in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow “that restricts an opportunity for asylum to him.”

“It is needed that Snowden should confirm his intention to receive asylum in Venezuela, after that it will be needed to establish contact with the Russian government to make this asylum possible,” the foreign minister recalled. “Still, we should wait and then consider the security measures, under which Snowden can be granted asylum,” he noted.

The minister noted that Venezuela received a U.S. extradition request for the former CIA agent. “However, we should not do it, moreover, he is not staying on our territory, we cannot extradite him,” Jaua said.

President Nicolas Maduro earlier confirmed Venezuela’s decision to grant political asylum to Snowden. “We decided to grant asylum to young American Snowden on behalf of independent Venezuela. We, children of Bolivar, are not afraid of the empire,” he said, calling the United States this way following the example of late President Hugo Chavez. In the view of Maduro, the decision was taken “despite the fact that Snowden was named the enemy number one of the U.S. society.”

Last Monday, the Venezuelan president noted that his country receive a written request from Snowden to grant political asylum to him. “We received a letter with a request for political asylum, now he should decide when he will arrive here, if he finally decides to fly here. We said to this young man, so if you are being chased down by the empire, let’s go here,” Maduro underlined.

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