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President Maduro on the Snowden Issue: Latin America is a Humanitarian Territory

“Latin America is a humanitarian territory … this would be perhaps the only humanitarian asylum, collective political asylum, in history … where various countries of our Latin America have told this young man he is welcome,” said Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro to members of the press after informing that the Bolivarian Government received a formal request for humanitarian asylum from Edward Snowden.

On the basis of international humanitarian law, President Nicolás Maduro announced that the country would offer asylum to Snowden with the aim of protecting him from U.S. government persecution.  President Maduro made this announcement on July 5th, the 202nd anniversary of Venezuelan Independence.

Foreign Minister Elías Jaua recently laid out the reasons for which Venezuela ought to protect Snowden: “This is about us.  We are one of the countries being watched, as this young American has documented.  One of Snowden’s reports showed that President Chávez was spied on in Rome during his visit in 2006.  Two spy planes flew over Rome and listened in on almost every telephone line, solely because of George Bush’s obsession with spying on President Hugo Chávez.  We have also been affected [by the spying program], and this is just one incident that has been revealed, but it is clear that Venezuela features largely in this history of espionage, surveillance and control.”

Edward Snowden revealed classified documents about CIA and NSA spying programs used by the United States government against several countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America.  The young American is currently in Moscow after the Obama administration revoked his passport.

MPPRE / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / July 9, 2013

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