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Continued: Brazil report: US spy program targets Latin America energy information in Venezuela, Mexico

  • Article by: MARCO SIBAJA , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 9, 2013 - 8:35 PM

Sandra Borda, a professor of international relations at the University of the Andes in Bogota, said the Colombian government "isn't going to say anything" about the allegations, leading her to think that Latin American governments with strong U.S. ties, such as Colombia and Mexico were aware of the program on some level.

"It's very likely that the type of information that was being obtained through (the NSA program) is something that was being done with ... the authorization, or done with the knowledge, of the government," she said.

Also Tuesday, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said that his country received an asylum request from Snowden. Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have said they would grant asylum to Snowden.

"We have decided to give political asylum to young Edward Snowden in the name of Venezuela for dignity, of an independent Venezuela," Maduro said hours after the announcement was made, and ratifying his earlier offer for safe haven. He said that Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, the countries that have offered Snowden asylum "are not afraid" of the United States.

"The United States has entered into a crazy phase," the president said at an event with the military. He also said that the "hysterical insanity of the elite who govern the United States, against all the other countries of the world, practically provoked the assassination of (Bolivian) President Evo Morales."

Maduro was referring to the uproar last week over the rerouting of Morales' presidential plane over Europe amid suspicions by some countries that Snowden was aboard the craft.

Later Tuesday, Venezuela Foreign Minister Elias Jaua told reporters that Snowden "still hasn't ratified his intention to seek asylum in Venezuela."

An official with the Foreign Ministry, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press, said Venezuela has received a letter containing a request for asylum from Snowden similar to what he has sent to other countries. But the ex-CIA agent hasn't ratified the offer of asylum Maduro made earlier.

Jaua said that if Snowden confirms to them his intention to seek asylum in the South American country, Venezuelan authorities will contact the Russian government to come up with a "viable" process.

The foreign minister said the fact that the NSA leaker is in the transit area of Moscow's airport "is a reality that limits the possibility of immediate asylum."

Snowden arrived at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on June 23 and at the time was believed to be headed for Cuba. But he did not board a flight he was booked on that day and hasn't been publicly seen since. He is widely believed to still be in the airport's transit zone.

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