Bolivia, the country currently holding Yanky Ostreicher unlawfully, offered asylum today to former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, joining Venezuela and Nicaragua in defiance of Washington, which is demanding his arrest for divulging details of secret U.S. surveillance programs.
Reuters reports that Bolivian President Evo Morales had said earlier this week that he would consider granting asylum to Snowden, but he took a harder line today, angered that some European countries banned his plane from their airspace this week on suspicion it carried Snowden.
“I want to tell … the Europeans and Americans that last night I was thinking that as a fair protest, I want to say that now in fact we are going to give asylum to that American who is being persecuted by his fellow Americans,” Morales said during a visit to the town of Chipaya. “If we receive a legal request, we will grant asylum,” he said, according to Reuters.
Snowden, 30, is thought to be holed up in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport and has been trying to find a country that would take him since he landed from Hong Kong on June 23.