Venezuela offers asylum to Snowden

The New York Times reports: President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela said Friday that he would offer asylum to the fugitive intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden, who has been stranded in a Moscow airport searching for a safe haven.

“I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden,” Mr. Maduro said during a televised appearance at a military parade marking Venezuela’s independence day.

Mr. Maduro said he had decided to act “to protect this young man from the persecution unleashed by the world’s most powerful empire.”

It was not immediately clear, however, how Mr. Snowden could reach Venezuela or if Mr. Maduro was willing to help transport him.

Also on Friday, Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, said he was open to taking in Mr. Snowden. “It is clear that if the circumstances permit we will take in Mr. Snowden with pleasure and give him asylum in Nicaragua,” Mr. Ortega said in Managua.

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