Cuba’s Raul Castro backs asylum offers to Edward Snowden
Castro said on Sunday in front of Cuba’s National Assembly that Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have the right to grant asylum to “those persecuted for their ideals or struggles for democracy, according to our tradition.”
The Cuban president also condemned US threats of economic sanctions against any country that shelters the American whistleblower and criticized the incident on July 3, in which some European countries banned the plane transporting Bolivian President Evo Morales from their airspace on rumors that Snowden was on board.
“These actions demonstrate we live in a world in which the powerful feel they can violate international law, violate the national sovereignty of other states and trample on the rights of citizens,” said Castro.
The Cuban president added that his country was aware of the kind of secretive NSA programs Snowden revealed and said as a longtime enemy of Washington, Cuba has been “one of the most harassed and spied-upon nations on the planet.”
Snowden has been holed up at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport since June 23, when he traveled from Hong Kong to avoid extradition to the United States.
After arriving in Russia, US authorities revoked his passport to stop him from traveling further.
Snowden admitted on June 9 his role in leaking two top-secret US government spying programs, under which the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data.
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