Nicaragua media unveil Snowden’s asylum bid
A copy of the letter was published on the webpage of
Venezuela said on Saturday it had not had any contact with former U.S. security contractor Edward Snowden, a day after President Nicolas Maduro offered him asylum in defiance of Washington.
"No, there has not been any type of communication," Foreign Minster Elias Jaua told state television when asked about the case. "We are waiting until Monday to know whether he ratifies his wish to take asylum in Venezuela."
Washington is demanding the arrest of Snowden, who is believed to be holed up in the transit area of a Moscow airport, for leaking details of secret U.S. surveillance programs.
Bolivia's President Evo Morales on Saturday said he would grant asylum Edward Snowden, if the fugitive US leaker, who is holed up in an airport in Moscow, requests it.
Declaring that Bolivia has "no fear" of the United States and its European allies, Morales said that he would be willing "to give asylum to the American, if he asks."
Snowden remains stranded in a Moscow airport, where he has now been holed up for 14 days.
The offers, including on Friday from Venezuela and Nicaragua, raised hope he may finally be able to leave Russia, though it remains unclear how exactly Snowden could reach another nation from the transit zone of Russia's sprawling Sheremetyevo international airport.
Snowden had already been denied asylum by many of the 21 countries to which he had applied last week.
The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website that has been supporting Snowden's cause said he had recently applied to six additional countries that it refused to name.
President Nicolas Maduro - whose Venezuelan government had long relished its role as an irritant to Washington under previous president Hugo Chavez - offered "humanitarian asylum to the young Snowden ... to protect this young man from the persecution launched by the most powerful empire in the world."
Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega also declared that Managua "would receive Snowden with pleasure and give him asylum here in Nicaragua."
This latest asylum offer for Snowden followed a major diplomatic kerfuffle this weekend when several European nations denied landing rights to Morales' presidential airplane, amid fears that he was sheltering Snowden onboard.
In what was seen as a further afront, the plane was forced to land in Vienna and searched, but no trace of Snowden was found on the aircraft.
Morales, who has accused Washington of pressuring European nations to deny him their airspace, warned he would "study, if necessary, closing the US embassy in Bolivia."
Voice of Russia, Reuters, AFP, RIA