Snowden a ‘brave youth’ - Maduro

Comment on this story
iol pic wld venezuela prez REUTERS File photo: Venezuela's president, Nicolas Madur.

Caracas - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reiterated late on Thursday his offer to grant asylum to fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, whom he praised as a “brave youth.”

“If that young man needs humanitarian protection and believes that he can come to Venezuela,” then Venezuela “is prepared to protect this brave youth in a humanitarian way and so that humanity can learn the truth,” and his ordeal can end, Maduro said.

US authorities want Snowden for leaking details of vast US surveillance programs.

The Kremlin says he has been in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport since he arrived on a flight from Hong Kong on Sunday, though he has not appeared in public and he failed to board a flight to Havana on Monday.

Ecuador appears to be Snowden's most likely destination, but President Rafael Correa said on Thursday that the government had not yet considered his case.

Maduro described Snowden's actions as “the rebellion of truth,” and representative of “something that is happening among US youth.”

Ecuador's leftist government defiantly pulled out of a trade pact with the United States on Thursday, claiming it had become an instrument of “blackmail” as Quito considers Snowden's asylum bid.

The Andean nation however denied reports that it authorized a “safepass” travel document for the former National Security Agency contractor, and said it would be unable to process his asylum bid until he enters Ecuadoran territory.

Maduro expressed support for his Ecuadoran counterpart.

“Comrade Rafael Correa, count on us ... for all of the needed support,” he said.

Venezuela at the same time is seeking to improve relations with the United States, and in early June announced there would be talks that could lead to the countries exchanging ambassadors for the first time since 2010. - AFP

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines