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Brazilian Government Denies Asylum to Snowden in Exchange for Information

12/17/2013 - 16h42

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VALDO CRUZ
FLÁVIA FOREQUE
TAI NALON
MÁRCIO FALCÃO
FERNANDA ODILLA
FROM BRASILIA

The Brazilian government is not interested in investigating the NSA (National Security Agency) and, for this reason, it will not grant asylum to Edward Snowden, who denounced U.S. government spying, in an information exchange that would meet this goal.

Espionage Whistleblower Edward Snowden to Seek Asylum in Brazil

Folha revealed today Snowden intention to collaborate with investigations about the NSA and, in return, be granted asylum in Brazil. The newspaper published the full text of the "Open Letter to the People of Brazil" that the former U.S. spy wrote and will send to Brazilian authorities.

According to Folha's investigation, the Foreign Ministry highlights as "positive" part of the letter in which Snowden calls for a mobilization in defense of privacy and basic human rights, which might be at risk because of actions such as the ones made by the NSA .

On the other hand, the Foreign Ministry stressed that Brazil respects the sovereignty of other countries and it does not intend to "payback" the United States. A presidential aide stressed that the Brazilian government could not enter this type of exchanging game, to grant asylum in order to receive information to investigate the actions of the U.S. spy agency.

Besides, the aide said, Brazil "has no interest in doing this kind of interference in the sovereignty of other countries" and "it will not do to them what they did to us." The Brazilian way, according to him, has always been publicly expressed.

Officially, the Presidential Palace has not yet spoken and it might not even speak about it because there is no formal asylum request from Snowden. President Dilma Rousseff was surprised with the information and mobilized the Foreign Ministry to define what position should be taken.

MOBILIZATION

Regarding the mobilization defended by Snowden, Foreign Ministry aides have reinforced that the Brazilian government is already working in this direction and it can count with his help, which will always be welcomed.

The Foreign Ministry emphasized that Brazil, from the beginning, made ​​a point of condemning NSA actions considering them "unacceptable." President Dilma even canceled a state visit to the U.S. in reaction to the episode.

The Foreign Ministry also noted the president's initiative of negotiating with Germany a formalized resolution at the United Nations against American intelligence. The resolution will be voted on this week by the General Assembly of the organization.

The Brazilian government announced that Snowden's open letter requesting shelter in Brazil it does not formally fit the request for political asylum.

For the government, not even the request made by the American in July fit the requirement for asylum. On occasion, a request was sent by fax to several foreign embassies in Russia, when Snowden was temporarily at Sheremetyevo airport, in Moscow.

OPPOSITION

To the leader of the DEM Party in the House of Representatives, Ronaldo Caiado (GO), it does not make sense to grant political asylum to Snowden.

"I think there is nothing that dignifies this man so that Brazil gets involved with this issue at this time. This will bring more issues to Brazil in the international view than any benefit to put a stop to these espionage actions," he said.

"Brazil has to worry about developing their own technology system that is able to stand against these espionage actions that occur not only by the United States," added Caiado.

The Federal Police, which is investigating allegations that President Dilma and Petrobras had been investigated, has already formally requested Snowden's testimony. The request was made through the Foreign Ministry, responsible for contacting Russian authorities. But the police never got a response.

Translated by SIMONE PALMA

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