Venezuelan Govt offers Snowden `humanitarian´ asylum
Caracas, 5 July 2013. Tonight during the Independence Day celebrations at Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered ex-CIA whistle blower Edward Snowden humanitarian asylum. It is unclear whether Snowden had previously requested such protection or would accept it. President Maduro stated the asylum was meant to protect Snowden from Imperialistic persecution. Today, Nicaraguan Government has also offered asylum to Ed Snowden.
Venezuelan opposition has expressed that Maduro´s administration has attempted to use the Snowden case to divert local attention from economic and political difficulties: growing inflation, a looming devaluation, scarcity of basic goods and recession. Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski continues to challenge the electoral results of last December which gave Maduro a slim electoral victory.
Tit for tat: According to local news, last week the US Secretary of State had made several efforts to deter Venezuelan government form granting asylum to Snowden. While offering the asylum, Maduro made a critical remark on the American protection of former CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles at the US. Venezuela has unsuccessfully requested the extradition of Posada Carriles to face pending criminal procedures in Caracas on the Cuban Flight 455 case. Posada Carriles was arrested and charged with the terrorist attack of the Cuban Flight in 1976 and the death of its 78 passengers. He escaped a Venezuelan jail in 1985.
US Venezuelan political relations are at its lowest. Various attempts have been made by both governments to restore full diplomatic relations. Ambassadors to Washington and Caracas have not been appointed yet. Commercial relations continue to foster though. Venezuela continues to supply oil to US markets while American goods flow to the South American country. The White House declined to make any comment on the Venezuelan offer to Snowden.
Bolivia: Venezuelan President was yesterday at Cochabamba, Bolivia, at the summit to condemn the recent denial of the official plane overflight of Bolivian Head of State, Evo Morales, over the skies of France, Portugal and Spain. EU countries believed that Snowden was in the official Bolivian plane on his route to a political asylum in South America. Such move would have paved the way for the political asylum as Snowden confronted a major obstacle. He needed to be preset at the country that granted protection to apply for asylum.