Edward Snowden is still living out a Tom Hanks movie in a Russian airport, but before Friday evening his pursuit of a new home was starting to resemble a nerd's quest to find a prom date: all rejection. But two countries have stepped forward and offered Snowden shelter, even if they have no idea how to rescue him from Russia.
The U.S. has pre-emptively sent an extradition request to Venezuela should the hacker find his way to the country after their president offered him a safe haven in the South American country. Hopefully they spelled his middle name right this time.
Leaders in Venezuela and Nicaragua stepped forward to offer the leaker of confidential National Security Agency documents asylum Friday evening. "I announce to the friendly governments of the world that we have decided to use international humanitarian rights to protect Snowden from the persecution that the world’s most powerful empire has unleashed against a young person who has told the truth," Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said in a speech in Caracas. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega was a bit more reserved when he supported Snoden during a speech in Managua, saying only that they would house Snowden "if circumstances permit." Does this mean there won't be a whirlwind spy romance to keep Snowden in Russia? Hopefully not. He hasn't boarded a plane yet!
But, none the less, these statements came at a particularly nice time for Snowden considering he's spent weeks holed up in a Russian airport after fleeing Hong Kong and over 20 countries previously rejected his advances. It was about time someone said yes to the poor boy. Now they just have to take The Atlantic Wire's Phillip Bump's advice about how to navigate the tricky process of getting him out of the airport in Russia. Good luck!
Update, 11:34 a.m.: Bolivian President Evo Morales has also pledged to house Snowden should he need a place to stay. He just has to ask first.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.