Presidents Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela said today (July 5, 2013) they are willing to grant asylum to NSA (National Security Agency) leaker Edward Snowden, according to the USA Today website.
Snowden -- who is believed to be in Russia -- 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 in Caracas marking the anniversary of Venezuela's independence.
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. "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.