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Venezuela’s Maduro Offers Asylum to Snowden, Cites Syria

Venezuela offers NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum.

Venezuela’s Maduro offers NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum.

THIS IS the most unenviable position to inhabit. President Maduro of Venezuela announced on Friday that his country would offer NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden asylum, while simultaneously citing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad as a “legitimate president.” The human rights violations of Assad, with torture and mass killings already proven even before the chemical weapons allegations, is ignored by many Latin American leaders, but not by Mr. Snowden’s American critics.

It’s the perfect political development for the Obama administration, which puts Edward Snowden in a box easily characterized negatively.

All of this comes as France is forced to admit, after President Hollande lectured the U.S., that they’ve got their own spying dragnet going. Le Monde broke the story, with the New York Times picking it up.

Days after President François Hollande sternly told the United States to stop spying on its allies, the newspaper Le Monde disclosed on Thursday that France has its own large program of data collection, which sweeps up nearly all the data transmissions, including telephone calls, e-mails and social media activity, that come in and out of France.

[...] The system is run with “complete discretion, at the margins of legality and outside all serious control,” the newspaper said, describing it as “a-legal.”

In the terrorism era, this is standard national practice, which is likely one reason Mr. Snowden blew the whistle.

Reuters reporting:

Maduro said Venezuela was ready to offer him sanctuary, and that the details Snowden had revealed of a US spy program had exposed the nefarious schemes of the US “empire”.

“He has told the truth, in the spirit of rebellion, about the US spying on the whole world,” Maduro said.

“Who is the guilty one? A young man … who denounces war plans, or the US government which launches bombs and arms the terrorist Syrian opposition against the people and legitimate president Bashar al-Assad?”

“Who is the terrorist? Who is the global delinquent?”

Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega followed President Maduro, which is what brother countries do when their patron makes a move.

“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,” Ortega said during a speech in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

Both offers from the Latin American leaders come with an “if circumstances permit” caveats.

Meanwhile, Russia’s annoyance with their guest is wearing out his ability to wait out a better option.

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2 Responses to Venezuela’s Maduro Offers Asylum to Snowden, Cites Syria

  1. mjsmith July 6, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    There is plenty of conservative criticism of “The Maverick” U.S. Senator John McCain and his photo-op with al-quaeda in Syria during his self congradulatory visit to Syria this Memorial Day weekend.

    One minute into the video is when Chris Hayes brings up this point. Are these people fighting for the “legitamte” President of Syria? Since when did al quaeda replace Assad as the legitamate President?

    I hear this talk that Assad used chemical weapons. Fine lets see the proof. There is clear proof that the al nusra al quaeda terrorists are definetly using chemical/biological weapons such as chlorine and sarin.

    “Earlier, several Turkish newspapers had reported that 12 people from Syria’s al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front who allegedly had been planning an attack inside Turkey and were in possession of 2 kg (4.5 pounds) of sarin, had been detained in Adana.”

    Bashar Assad is the leader of Syria. The foriegn intervention failed. The only thing that is stopping al quaeda and the very worst from taking over Syria is Bashar Assad and his government. The people of Syria support Assad.

    I do not see how anyone can claim they are going after people who are violating human rights and at the time openly support al nusra, islamic brotherhood, and wahabi extremists.

    Finally, some elements in the Republican Party are asking what is going on in Syria and questioning our involvement.

    I remember when there was huge opposition to the FBI and DHS keepng track of what people check out from the Public Libraries. Now it seems to be ok to monitor every single thing every single person does. If our governemt was really serious about National Security, they would watch our borders, not our own law abiding citizens.

    What Snowden did was wrong. What the NSA did with the approval of our elected representatives and authority of our courts is also wrong. I would like to see a strong demand for a public investigation about domestic spying. If we can have a Congressional Inquiry on the subject of steroid use in Major League Baseball, we should most certainly have a public inquiry on domestic surveilance. Too bad such an investigation would make our Congressman and Senators look so awful, they would never ever agree to such a thing.

  2. Ramsgate July 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    I wish Snowden would take the damn offer, move to Caracas and get this thing over and done with. Enough already!!

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