Cuban leader Raul Castro spoke on Sunday about the political asylum requests of Edward Snowden. In his speech, Castro said he stood firm with Latin American countries who are willing and who might be willing to grant Snowden’s asylum request.
Over the weekend, both Venezuela and Bolivia made political asylum offers to Edward Snowden. Nicaraguan officials are also said to be considering Snowden’s request. If Snowden chooses Venezuela, he will have to make up his mind by Monday.
In his speech, Raul Castro told Cuba’s national assembly:
“We support the sovereign right of …. Venezuela and all states in the region to grant asylum to those persecuted for their ideals or their struggles for democratic rights.”
Edward Snowden has been living in the foreign transit area of Moscow’s main airport where he has been stationed since arriving in the country from Hong Kong two weeks ago.
Some experts believed Edward Snowden would fly to Havana before heading off to his final destination; however, flights aboard Russian carrier Aeroflot often fly through US airspace, which could force a flight to be grounded. Cuba might also refuse Edward Snowden’s flight into the country now that relationships have slightly improved with the United States.
Raul Castro also took a moment to take a jab at US officials after several planes, including that of Bolivian President Evo Morales, were redirected under the belief that Edward Snowden was aboard. Speaking of the bullying tactics, Castro said those cases “show that we live in a world in which the powerful think they can violate international law, endanger the sovereignty of states and trample the rights of citizens.”
When asked last month about capturing Edward Snowden, President Obama said the US wouldn’t be “scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker.”
Secrets website WikiLeaks has revealed that Edward Snowden had applied for asylum in six new countries over the last week. At least one dozen countries outright denied the NSA whistleblowers asylum request. On its Twitter account, WikiLeaks said it wouldn’t identify asylum countries “due to attempted U.S. interference.”
Turning his attention towards the NSA spying program, Raul Castro claimed that his country has always been “one of the most harassed and spied-upon nations on the planet.”
Do you think Edward Snowden will accept one of the currently available asylum acceptances?