Venezuela renews asylum offer to Snowden

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has renewed his offer to grant asylum to American whistleblower Edward Snowden, who he hails as a Å“brave youth.”

Maduro also described Snowden’s actions as “the rebellion of truth,” and representative of “something that is happening among US youth.”

“If that young man needs humanitarian protection and believes that he can come to Venezuela,” then Venezuela “is prepared to protect this brave youth in a humanitarian way and so that humanity can learn the truth,” and his ordeal can end, Maduro said on Thursday.

In addition, Maduro threw his weight behind Ecuadorâ„¢s President Rafael Correa for his pullout of a trade pact with the United States on Thursday.

According to Correa, the decision was made after Ecuador became an instrument of Å“blackmail” by the United States.

Ecuadorâ„¢s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino reported on June 26 that Snowdenâ„¢s asylum request could take months before his government could make a decision.

Snowden is currently in a transit zone at Moscowâ„¢s Sheremetyevo Airport where he arrived after leaving Hong Kong on June 23.

In the beginning of June, Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

Several US government officials including President Obama and FBI director Robert Mueller have defended the secret spying programs claiming that they are essential to the fight against terrorism.

CAH/KA

Republished with permission from:: Press TV