Venezuela’s asylum offer to Edward Snowden still stands, but it seems the NSA whistleblower has yet to respond. The nation apparently has not had any communication with Snowden, though it hopes he will accept its offer.
Foreign Affairs Minister Elias Jaua spoke on state television on Saturday, saying that the country is waiting to see if Snowden accepts its asylum offer. Jaua added:
“We would also secondly have to get in touch with the government from the Russian Federation where he is, since he is there — and obviously not in Venezuelan territory — to see their thoughts on it.”
Along with Venezuela, Snowden has also received an asylum offer from Bolivia. Nicaragua has said it would consider granting asylum to the former NSA contractor.
Snowden has essentially been without a country for two weeks after the United States revoked his passport. He has remained at the terminal of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, though inquisitive journalists have yet to see him there.
Snowden’s asylum requests were rejected by several countries before this weekend when the three Latin American countries became the first to offer a positive response. The response was likely in retaliation to the incident involving Bolivian President Evo Morales and his presidential plane being denied permission to fly over several European countries.
The countries reportedly believed Edward Snowden was on Morales’ plane. While Morales said his country is “willing to give asylum” to the whistleblower, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega stated he would grant asylum to Snowden “if the circumstances permit.”
While the asylum offers would allow Snowden to live in Venezuela or Bolivia away from US authorities, it is not clear how he would get there. The news of asylum offers also came as Alexei Pushkov, head of the lower Russian legislative body, encouraged Edward Snowden to leave the Moscow airport.
Pushkov tweeted on Saturday, “Sanctuary for Snowden in Venezuela would be the best solution. He cant live in at Sheremetyevo.” The politician added, “Venezuela is waiting for an answer from Snowden. This, perhaps, is his last chance to receive political asylum.”
The offer of asylum to Snowden from Venezuela and other South American countries isn’t surprising, as they don’t care for the United States and its policies.