Bolivian President Evo Morales has told RT his country would consider granting asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden if a request was made. He decried the US as an “empire” with an espionage network stressing Bolivia would “shield the denounced.”
Speaking to Spanish language RT Actualidad, Evo Morales said that
Snowden had not filed an asylum application to Bolivia.
“If there were a request, of course we would be willing to
debate and consider the idea,” said Morales. He said that
Bolivia was aware of the US spy network which repeatedly targets
countries in Latin America and stressed “Bolivia was there to
shield the denounced.”
“I know that the Empires have an espionage network and are against the so-called developing countries. And in particular, against those which are rich in natural resources. Bolivia, as well as Venezuela and Ecuador are exposed to constant surveillance from the U.S. Empire,” Morales told RT Actualidad.
He described the current situation concerning whistleblowers
Julian Assange and Edward Snowden as “concerning.”
The Bolivian president is currently in Moscow to attend an energy and gas summit along with the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. The head of the Venezuelan government said Caracas was ready to consider Snowden’s asylum should he ask for it.
Maduro praised the former CIA employee and said he should be
given a “humanitarian medal” for the data he leaked on the
NSA’s sweeping Prism spy program.
"We say and advocate that someone in the world should stand
with this young man and protect him, the revelations he has made
with courage serve to change the world," he said earlier in
the week on a visit to Haiti.
The Obama Administration has filed an extradition order against
Snowden under the espionage act and appealed to all countries in
the northern hemisphere to do their utmost to return him to US
Snowden, for his part, has requested asylum in 21 countries, but
is currently unable to leave the transit zone of Moscow’s
Sheremetyevo airport because his American passport has been
cancelled. The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Snowden did make an
application for asylum to the Russian government, but later
withdrew the offer.
The whistleblower reportedly took issue with the condition that
he should refrain from activities that might damage the US.
“There is one condition if he wants to remain here: he must
stop his work aimed at damaging our American partners.” Putin
told a media conference in Moscow on Monday.
The Kremlin has stressed that Snowden is not a Russian agent and the authorities have at no point collaborated with him.