Ortega offers Snowden asylum in Nicaragua, ‘if circumstances permit’

President Daniel Ortega tonight said his government, given the correct circumstances, would provide asylum to U.S. whistleblower and fugitive Edward Snowden, who is allegedly still holed up in the Moscow Airport.

Daniel Ortega

Speaking at a political rally in Managua in celebration of the 34th anniversary of the Repliegue Táctico, Ortega confirmed that Snowden has officially requested asylum in a letter sent to the Nicaraguan Ambassador in Moscow.

“You know our position: Nicaragua is an open country that respects the right to asylum,” Ortega said. “Certainly if circumstances permit, we would—with pleasure—receive Snowden and give him asylum in Nicaragua.”

Ortega did not elaborate on what the circumstances would have to be for that to happen.

Shortly after Ortega made his announcement, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced that his government would also grant asylum to Snowden.

  • Piuta

    Are these clowns for real? slow news day, No Canal rip off story
    lets offer Snowden asilum for humane reasons. Yes
    No humanity when it comes to sending in the turbas to beat up
    grampas, grandmas and anyone who brings them food, water
    or medicines.

  • Mark Druce

    If the offers were just stated for Latin American Political reasons, it might not have been the best move. If the offers were made because they were concerned about following decent Vatican II principles and the treating people with respect under the laws of God, it was a good move.

    Concerning the comments about grandma’s, etc—The United States is doing even worse things to its pensioners—they are cutting benefits—they are raising age requirements–some Republican States are even trying to make all disabled people, even those who can drive, give up their driving licenses to reduce the applicants for disability–Many states are taking away driving licenses of retired people over 65 years old—Most Republican controlled states are reducing benefits to the mentally ill—The federal government under pressure from the Republican and Tea Parties are reducing the benefits for medical treatments and limiting certain operations to people of certain ages.

    At least Nicaragua is trying to put into place a pension system—just look at the how the Nicaraguan Banana plantations treated their workers—I am sure that the owners of all the maquiladoras are not paying any retirement or other benefits they can avoid in order to buy more houses, cars, boats, etc.

    Give credit for trying to help the poor. Give credit for reducing the rate of poverty, hunger, and homelessness. Give credit for trying to improve the educational system. Just imagine how much better off the people of Nicaragua would be if not for having to dedicate up to 50% of its budget for 8 years towards fighting the Contra Mercenaries working for the U.S.

    I am worried if he does come to Nicaragua or Venezuela that the U.S. will use that as an excuse to shoot down the Nicaraguan or Venezuelan planes on which he is on. At the very least, invade on grounds that American lives are in danger if Eric is allowed to be free to reveal the sins of the American Government.

    • Brian

      “Many states are taking away driving licenses of retired people over 65 years old”

      Please explain and elucidate, oh supreme knower of truth.

      That is a ridiculous statement. (Unless, of course, you can back it up.)

  • Leona

    Nicaragua is back in the news for all of the wrong reasons. This will surely affect our tourism numbers (that Ortega makes up anyways).

  • Pedro Arauz

    When the supposed leader knows he will run out of bread he starts giving away Circus, this is Ortega’s stage in his free fall to where he belongs: nothingness….

  • http://no Damian

    For the Gringos, Snowden is a whistleblower that deserves respect for exposing information that goes against the 4th amendment!

    For the rest of the world: The USA is spying on us and our governments!!! It has some serious explaining to do (but only hear silence) and the people/nations who defend Snowden need our support.

    When some leaders of Latin America have the balls to say the truth against the prevailing powers that means independence. When some Latin American countries become safe havens for asylum seekers running from USA government prosecution for revealing the truth about a US global secret spying program called PRISM, that says a lot.

  • http://www.mickaragua.blogspot.com mick mordell

    Dear Mr Snowden,
    I learned via the internet and NPR from the States, that Nicaragua, the country where I’ve lived the past four years, is offering you asylum. As an expat resident of this country, I thought you might appreciate some advice about living here should you accept the invitation.
    A pertinent note to start on: Though the media report that the asylum offer is being made by the nation of Nicaragua, it seems clear upon digging a little deeper into the news, that the offer is actually being made unilaterally by President Ortega, or as La Prensa, the country’s most respected daily calls him: el presidente inconstitutonal, Daniel Ortega. Not to fear, the difference is of little consequence; the two are ipso facto, if not institutionally, one and the same. While your stay here may not incur direct involvement in Nicaragua politics, you will certainly feel surrounded by it. Mr Ortega is the long-time leader of the governing Sandinista party who not only run the country, but believe that they own the country. Thus, any deal being made by the president himself can be regarded as being in the national interest and a solid offer. Congratulations.
    About the country: Nicaragua is called the Land of Lakes, Volcanoes and Teen-Age Mamas; you’ll see a lot of all three during what I presume will be a lengthy stay, and they’re all beautiful. About half of Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, live in Managua, the capitol. Aside from arriving at its airport, clearing immigration and receiving a photo-op handshake from el presidente, I would split immediately from the city—there’s not much to recommend it on a strictly lifestyle basis. You’ll probably want to do as most tourists and would-be expats do, and head straight for Granada, less than an hour south by the express bus from Managua. In Granada, you’ll see a lot of folks who look a lot like you: tourists and backpackers under 30 who gather nightly at the many gringo watering holes along La Calzada, or la calle Gringo as it’s sometimes called. I would avoid the many sexual solicitations you’re bound to receive, at least until you’ve had a chance to acclimate yourself to your new surroundings. Instead, take a walk to the nearby Lake Nicaragua,the largest in Central America, and soon to become the site of the new great rival to that old elongated puddle, the Panama Canal–thanks to el presidente, further to the south. From the lake, you can look up and see the volcano Mombacho; in a single day you can say you’ve seen all three emblems of Nicaragua’s Motto.
    I think you want to avoid as well, some of the older expats you’ll find crowding the bars on Gringo Street; there’s no telling about their politics and how they might feel about having either: a) a Whistle-blower, or b) a Traitor, living among them. Many of them are either retired military or police who grunt a lot and speak strictly in monosyllables.
    You’re probably wondering how you’re going to make a living here. Fortunately, the cost of living is low here, very low. The average income is about three dollars a day—yes, that’s day, not hour. You’ll probably be able to find a job at a call center almost immediately, a job for which you seem to be superbly experienced, although you might have to re-locate to Managua in that case. Alternately, I’m sure you could teach English here, almost nobody speaks it even though they answer the phone with “helo!” instead of “hola!” In either case, call center or teaching, expect to earn about four hundred a month—dollars, not cordobas, the national currency. This will immediately shoot you into the middle class, and should allow you time to write that book about your recent adventures that I’m guessing is among your plans.
    It’s a pretty safe country with a very low reported crime rate—reported, being the operative word here. In fact, I would say the primary threat to physical safety are the sidewalks which contain (sometimes deliberately placed) hidden or semi-hidden obstacles such as random pipes and re-bar protruding at various heights from the concrete, holes many meters deep, and left-over land mines from the Contra wars. Don’t walk at night for the first week or so, and by the way, look out for dangling electrical wires overhead.
    The tap water is OK to drink.
    Well, that should get you started; if you have any question or just need someone to talk to —or listen to—I hear you’re a good listener—just get in touch, I’m sure you know how.

    Best of luck, Mick Mordell

    • Edward Snowden

      Thanks!

  • amordeliteraturadeNicaragua

    God Bless you for what you are doing. You will notice that most of the comments on articles in this online paper support the Righ-twinged Republican point of view. Many are ex-Somositos, who borrowed over $450 million dollars from Nicaraguan Banks on property seized by the Sandinistas.

    They then became American Citizens and Contra leaders who claimed they lost their land. In reality, they are not having to pay back the money they borrowed and getting free $450 million from Nicaragua for the land they used as collateral for loans they never paid back.

    If you do go to the great nation of Nicaragua, beware of hitmen from Miami trying to kill you (agents of Enrique Castillo), When I buy my house in Nica, you can live rent free.

    Long Live Freedom and Equality! Long Live Sandino y Che.

  • Valeria

    I honestly don’t believe Ortega (or la chamuca) is doing this out of the goodness of his(her) heart. It feels like a political move to get the US attention. And guess what, he/she got their attention. Bad political move is all I see.
    Snowden if you decide to seek refuge here, you will be just the new toy for Ortega’s political party and under his protection until it blows over. So think about hard and good before coming here.

    • tar

      Venezuela said jump and Nicaragua said , how high?

  • Ken

    I was actually wondering when Ortega would offer asylum as well as whether Snowden would end up in Nica. Seriously.

    Ortega’s reasoning is simple: The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The only thing that surprises me is how long it took Ortega to size up the political climate and make the offer. He’s usually quicker on his feet than this.

    But of course it is supreme irony. Sorry, as much as I appreciate Ortega’s beefs against the US (he is right about most of these) the offer of asylum to Snowden is to reside in a country that is far more of a police state (or shall we say thug state?) than the US. Of course, Snowden may be seduced, since Ortega’s thug state is low-tech. It operated the old-fashioned way, by personal connections, not computer programs. Snowden may not recognize old-fashioned authoritarianism . . .

    But what would Nicaragua be without irony, or old-fashioned values–like the enemy of my enemy is my friend?

  • josey

    What are the “circumstances”??

  • Carlos Briones

    Here we go again.

    It is perplexing what this pseudo-president neophyte does to extract attention.

    Didn’t he get the memo from the chinese and the russians? Each telling the traitor that his earlier departure would be in their mutual interests. That he should immediately cease disseminating his useless garbage?

    I guess not. Enter Bolivia, Nicaragua, both the poorest countries in the hemisphere followed by a dysfunctional and volatile Venezuela. It really is a sad tale to see two destitute countries do what the rest of the civilized world is avoiding as they would the Plague. Sadly, this disgruntled employee will soon be brought forth a proper forum, justice will be served, punishment dictated and the matter be disposed of, but these three stooges will be comically remembered as another twightlight zone episode.

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  • Edgar Cross

    Ortega has offered Snowden asylum in Nicaragua and, at the same time, he is hell bent on imposing a constitutional reform that would allow him to continue in power despite specific prohibition of re-election. Just like that! Such is Nicaragua’s so-called democracy.