As I noted last night, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro offered Edward Snowden asylum last night. (The Spanish was “hemos decidido” and “he decidido ofrecerle asilio” which included none of the sense of hypothetical that Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega used.)
The government has released the extradition request they’ve sent to the Venezuelan government.
Perhaps the most interesting detail is the date: July 3. Way back when Maduro was (unless I’ve lost track of his chronology), still in Russia or Belarus, and when Bolivian President Evo Morales was making a big stink about being “kidnapped” in Vienna.
Since that time, Maduro finished his visit in Belarus. Flew (presumably with a refueling stop somewhere and possibly a stop at home) to Cochabamba, Bolivia, where at least 6 South American leaders either were personally or had sent a representative (in addition to Morales and Maduro, the Presidents of Ecuador, Suriname, Argentina, and Uruguay were present, Brazils Dilma Rousseff had sent a representative, as had, according to some reports, Peru and Chile).
Then Maduro returned home in time for Venezuela’s Independence Day celebration, where he issued his statement offering asylum.
It appears that after the US issued the extradition request to Venezuela, they issued an arrest warrant to Ireland.
Now, perhaps the US has real intelligence saying that Snowden remains in Russia. But these are the people who were sure he was on Morales’ plane just a few days ago. And they don’t really seem all too sure about where Snowden is.
Update: This is one of the few stories I’ve seen that affirmatively said Snowden was still in Russia after Maduro’s departure, based on a single Russian security source.
Update: And this has more Russian sources stating he remains stuck in Russia.