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Venezuela, Nicaragua willing to grant Snowden political asylum

By Associated Press & Star-Advertiser

LAST UPDATED: 02:51 p.m. HST, Jul 05, 2013

MANAGUA, Nicaragua >> Presidents Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela said today they were willing to grant asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Snowden has asked for asylum in several countries, including Nicaragua and Venezuela.

"As head of state, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden so that he can live (without) ... persecution from the empire," Maduro said, referring to the United States. He made the offer during a speech marking the anniversary of Venezuela's independence. It was not immediately clear if there were any conditions to Venezuela's offer.

In Nicaragua, Ortega said he was willing to make the same offer "if circumstances allow it." Ortega didn't say what the right circumstances would be when he spoke during a speech in Managua.

He said the Nicaraguan embassy in Moscow received Snowden's application for asylum and that it is studying the request.

"We have the sovereign right to help a person who felt remorse after finding out how the United States was using technology to spy on the whole world, and especially its European allies," Ortega said.

Snowden, 29, ignited a national firestorm of debate last month when he divulged the existence of NSA anti-terrorism programs, including that the federal agency gathers records of millions of U.S. phone calls and also has access to Internet usage data from the top U.S. Internet companies. Snowden gave the information to The Guardian newspaper of London and the Washington Post.

Snowden was a technical assistant for the Central Intelligence Agency but more recently worked for the NSA as a contractor with Booz Allen Hamilton on Oahu.  The Guardian reported that he copied some of documents he disclosed while working in Hawaii 

Snowden fled his home on Eleu Street in Wai­pahu in May and went into hiding in Hong Kong. After the Guardian and Post broke the story, he fled to Russia.


Booz Allen confirmed that Snowden worked for the firm for fewer than three months with a team in Hawaii. The offices are at 733 Bishop St. After the story broke, the company said he was no longer employed by the company.

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buttery wrote:
Snowden has put himself between a rock and a hard place, he is forced to take what he can get. There is no perfect place, USA has its problem, but compare the USA with any other country the USA is the perfect place to be!
on July 5,2013 | 02:47PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
on July 5,2013 | 05:50PM
HD36 wrote:
I doubt you'll be saying that in the next 3 years. The bond market is collapsing. Interest rates are spikeing. Just think when the Fed has to sell $3 trillion in bonds. Jim Rogers, billionaire investor, moved to Singapore. Marc Faber, billionaire, moved to Chian Mai Thailand.. He said you'll need a machine gun to live in the US after the bond market collapses.
on July 5,2013 | 10:25PM
jrboi96786 wrote:
It was all good when Clinton was the president. Economy was great and growing. Inflation was low and things was cheaper. Instead of deficit, we had tax revenue surplus of more than a $250 billion every year. Employment was low and hiring. Poverty was almost invisible. But then Bush came along and dug us deep.
on July 5,2013 | 11:38PM
tiki886 wrote:
It was the Republicans who controlled both Houses of Congress that forced Clinton to sign the "Balanced Budget Bill". Clinton refused to sign the Bill twice but he finally relented and sign the Bill on the 3rd try from the Republican Congress.
on July 6,2013 | 02:36AM
cojef wrote:
9-11 impacted the deficit spending spree of the Bush Administration. Gearing up to protect the Nation from the terrorist threat didn't come cheap. It's easy to blame any Administration for faults since someone in our population will be affected one way or another. Focus should be directed toward where the Country is headed for and it certainly looks dim as the disclosures of the recent Snowden incidents portrays where "Big Brother" will be controlling every aspect of your lives with information they have amassed. Enjoy the freedom you have now for soon within the next generation, it certainly will be different than from where my generation began, the "Greatest Generation".
on July 6,2013 | 08:28AM
tiki886 wrote:
Jim Rogers and Marc Faber moved to countries that actually practice "Capitalism". America is losing the edge because of Progressives, Liberals, Socialists, Commies, and . The anti Capitalists such as Obama and his ilk have no idea how to create wealth or maintain it. Wealth is created in the private sector. Government can only confiscate that wealth and redistribute it to their cronies.
on July 6,2013 | 02:43AM
false wrote:
Boy, what a load of treasonous BS. Governments create conditions in which the economy functions: builds roads, establishes courts to mediate disputes, cops to enforce the laws, schools to educate the workers, establishes public health standards, zoning laws to make a place worth living in. Government does a helluva lot more than "confiscate wealth." If you hate the United States government so much, why not move to a "failed state" that has minimal government and see how you like it?,/p>

It is shocking how acceptable treason and sedition have become among rightwingers, once we have elected a black president.

on July 6,2013 | 07:54AM
cojef wrote:
Wonder if he had to do it over, he would have a different strategy? Didn't figure that the US would lift his passport and thus hamper his travel plans. Short-sighted friends and advisers, WikiLeak. Auwe!
on July 5,2013 | 03:04PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Iran would love to have him for just 20 pieces of silver.
on July 5,2013 | 03:19PM
jussayin wrote:
Don't get me wrong; USA is the best place to live. But our government is expected to act in a fair, reasonable and responsible manner. Gathering data secretly from all of us is not reasonable. Hacking computers at China only to accuse them for years of hacking our computers is not responsible. Telling other countries what they should do is not respective. But again, don't misinterpret these comments. Still luv USA. It doesn't help that the NSA head lied to Congress when asked about collection of people data: "Clapper was asked during a hearing in March by Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, if the NSA gathered "any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans." At first, Clapper answered definitively: "No." Pressed by Wyden, Clapper changed his answer. "Not wittingly," he said. "There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly." "Life is like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters." Roman Philosopher
on July 5,2013 | 03:07PM
mitt_grund wrote:
Kind of agree. Thing is that the most obvious secret he divulged was that very fact that the US intelligence agencies were invading everyone's right to privacy - US citizens and our European allies, as well as the "usual suspects", and the massive degree that this was done. Don't know if giving definitive proof of Uncle Sam's across the board snooping is "espionage" or simply pointing out with facts that the Emperor (Obama) has no clothes. But then again what do you expect of a Kenyan (just joking - I am not a birther)? By being caught in this lie, the US shows it is no better than the countries it criticizes. Can't see that stripping away the lie is exactly spying or being a traitor. Hey, I love the US, too, but in the last decade we have been moving perilously close towards the world of Big Brother and Orwell's 1984, albeit some 30-plus years later..
on July 5,2013 | 03:27PM
Manoa2 wrote:
George Bush set up the NSA and he just defended their programs. Obama is continuing this just like he is Guantanamo making no attempt to stop it-- must be of some value. A super conservative appoints Republican appoints all the secret judges that approve any surveillance-- that would be John Roberts the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.
on July 5,2013 | 04:09PM
aomohoa wrote:
Not only are they invading our right to privacy they are doing such a incompetent job at it because they are collecting too much data on everyone. They are also triggered by key words. Heaven forbid you say something again the government or the president. You could be a target for more invasive prying. They want to find the bad guys they might want to do a better job and do a little more profiling. With all this evasion of privacy they sure didn't prevent the Boston Bombing. They have to much of the wrong info to keep track. It's almost like a comedy of incompetence.
on July 5,2013 | 09:57PM
hilocal wrote:
aomohoa, well said. The invasion of our privacy is also unconstitutional. The 4th Amendment states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated...."
on July 6,2013 | 06:26AM
false wrote:
Yeah, but who cares about the Bill of Rights? Outdated! We must increase the power of the government. You have no need to have "privacy" unless you have something to hide!
on July 6,2013 | 09:11AM
2disgusted2 wrote:
China will do us in. We protect too many Chinese and let them get away with murder.. here I mean post Mao PRC-ers.. not Chinese as a race.. but those coming from the after the cultural revolution generation
on July 5,2013 | 05:52PM
Anonymous wrote:
iAdios! Chau!
on July 5,2013 | 03:18PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
I hope he gets caught and jailed for the rest of his life, he's a traitor that's committed treason.
on July 5,2013 | 03:33PM
Holomua wrote:
Nicaragua? Good. Close enough for Black Ops to nab him.
on July 5,2013 | 03:52PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Dude if you want to go and live out your days in the armpist that are Nicaragua and Venezuela be my guest. When they greet you as a hero and their leaders use your sorry butt as a propaganda tool I hope you can live with it. I am sure your Daddy would be proud to see you standing arm and arm with the likes of Daniel Ortega. Yes you did this for your country, sure you did. But by accepting asylum from these guys who would use you as a propaganda tool against the interest of your own country, what does that say about you? Go for it man, head on over. Just remember after they had enough of you, and you are living out your sorry life in some ratty apartment in Managua, you never know when the winds of politics will change, and your saviors will turn and send you back to the good old USA. Do all of us a favor, go away or man up and come home.
on July 5,2013 | 04:19PM
Nonamesrs wrote:
No, the USA is no perfect place, but it has seen a more perfect past and is now rapidly going down a slippery slope. Part of the reason this is happening is that so many people fail to recognize what so much government secrecy means for democratic choice in a so-called democratic republic. Our founding fathers understood the importance of an educated public... and here is what H.L. Mencken had to say about people like Ed Snowden who has risked a great deal for all of us to try to keep the door to our democratic freedoms open: “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is more likely one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”
on July 5,2013 | 05:06PM
Roosevelt wrote:
A "prisoner" for life in a Central American country. Probably worse than serving time in the U.S.
on July 5,2013 | 05:38PM
Papakolea wrote:
There's a big difference between blowing the whistle on what he feels are unscrupulous actions by the United States, and selling classified secrets to other governments. Once he starts doing the latter, he is a traitor.
on July 5,2013 | 06:44PM
aomohoa wrote:
Good comment!
on July 5,2013 | 09:58PM
Smiling wrote:
What an idiot..look at the life he had...and now, Nicaragua....Venezuela ???? help..................
on July 5,2013 | 06:53PM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
The CIA should intercept Snowden when he travels to his asylum country and then detain him in Guantanamo bay to interview him and determine the exact damage he has caused.....
on July 5,2013 | 07:05PM
scooters wrote:
This sorry piece of s#@t needs to get justice which he'll get in those 3rd world countries that want he so badly. Now what OBMAN needs to do is show some balls and CUT OFF all monies going to any counrty that takes this P..O..S... in.
on July 5,2013 | 09:45PM
jrboi96786 wrote:
Sometimes we gotta do something wrong in order to survive. In order to keep terrorist from doing their thing, we gotta keep everyone in check. Just because you're white, black, asian, latino, jew, American, British, Canadian, etc. doesn't mean you're not capable of terrorism. People are worry that the government is listening to every word we type or say online. We have 300 million people in this country and I don't think the government has 300 million people to listen on every single Americans 24/7. Think about it! I understand why people are overreacting but y'all need to think about the big picture. It's like on the internet, bunch of words in front of you but when you need to find that specific word or sentence all you have to do is press control F to find it. People are stupid. For Snowden, I hope that he realized what he had done and putting us in grave danger. I hope that someone will either capture him and turn him in or kill him. I know it sounds bad but I prefer him dead than to cause war between countries and have thousands of innocent life killed.
on July 5,2013 | 11:51PM
false wrote:
I think you have just demonstrated you have no understanding of how the NSA programs work. Nor do you understand how private information can be used to make people squirm and to keep them intimidated from speaking out. We have a constitutional right to NOT have our private effects searched without a warrant issued by a judge for "probable cause." Just because the technology has advanced so far as to make it possible for all of our movements and digital communications to be collected into a searchable archive, does not abrogate our constitutional right to privacy.

Unless people push back when the government overreaches, personal freedom will wither away to nothing. Snowden has done us all a favor, including thsoe of us too uninformed to recognize what he has done. It is now up to us to choose. Do we push back against growing government surveillance? Or are we to be loyal supporters of Big Brother? Your choice.

on July 6,2013 | 08:07AM
hikine wrote:
The US has double standards. The EU are hesitant to grant Snowden asylum because they might loose billions of dollars from the US. It's ironic that when defectors from other countries wants asylum, the US would gladly grant it. The US is pulling the strings to catch Snowden. Snowden is no different from other defectors who wants asylum. Snowden in a way is a hero by exposing the US's massive data collecting globally. It's also sad that the Bolivian president was barred from landing his jet in Europe's airspace because they suspected Snowden was in his plane.
on July 6,2013 | 12:54AM
hilocal wrote:
hikine, you understand the issue in spite of the US government spin and the sorry state of journalism in our mainstream media.
on July 6,2013 | 06:38AM
false wrote:
Forcing the Bolivian President's plane to land was probably a violation of international law. But, hey, what's a small thing like the law for the criminals who control this country? Who is big enough to stop the USG from doing whatever it wants? We get caught spying on the political and business leaders of Europe and what can they do about it? They can go through the motions of sputtering an official protest, but then they have to swallow hard and once again, "know their place." They are subordinate powers, junior partners in a global order characterized by US political and military domination. They can get onboard or they can step aside. But they cannot oppose the USG, even when it does things offensive, unfair and, yes, illegal.
on July 6,2013 | 08:16AM
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