Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Monday his government had received an asylum application from US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden and the fugitive must now decide if he wants to fly to Caracas.
"We have received the asylum request letter," Maduro said from the presidential palace. "He will have to decide when he flies, if he finally wants to fly here."
Over the weekend, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia all offered political asylum to Snowden, who has spent more than two weeks stranded at Moscow's international airport while waiting for a country to give him sanctuary.
"We told this young man, 'you are being persecuted by the empire, come here,'" Maduro said Monday, referring to the United States.