Venezuela asylum offer 'ironical' for NSA whistleblower seeking secrecy

Washington, July 10 (ANI): Venezuela's enthusiastic offer to grant political asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden may be an irony in itself as the very rights that Snowden is fighting for are abused in Venezuela.

According to Politico, Venezuela is a country where the government routinely records the conversations of people it considers as critics of government.

Isabel Lara, a dual citizen of the US and Venezuela has experienced Venezuelan 'snooping' on its citizens when the phone conversation between herself and her mother was played and mocked on Venezuelan television in 2009, because the government considered her mother a political opponent.

Lara said that if Snowden accepts their asylum offer, it would be ironical as he would land himself in a country where they would be using him as an example of all that is wrong with America while Venezuela is itself engaged in something worse.

Expelled international observer Jose Miguel Vivanco, American director for Human Rights Watch said that the accumulation of power in the executive branch and the erosion of human rights guarantee have enabled the Venezuelan government to intimidate, censor, and prosecute Venezuelans who criticize the president or thwart its political agenda.

According to the report, political asylum offers by other countries namely Nicaragua and Bolivia are equally paradoxical as Nicaragua has harassed women rights group for protesting government's ban on abortion and in Bolivia long delays in the political violence trials is seen.

Lara said that the Venezuelan government has been snooping on politicians, activists and people inside the government who are not in alignment with their views adding that it is much more than just spying and is used for political gain.

Human rights attorney in New York, Scott Horton said that Snowden must ensure that his rights are guaranteed by Venezuela and mere verbal promises by the government shouldn't be considered a guarantee of protection, adding that he normal legal process should determine that Snowden meets the criteria for asylum, the report added. (ANI)


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