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Cuba’s Raul Castro backs asylum offers for Snowden

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06:59 AM July 8th, 2013

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July 8th, 2013 06:59 AM

Cuba’s President Raul Castro, left, and Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel talk during the second day of a twice-annual legislative sessions, at the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, July 7, 2013. Observers will be watching to see if the new vice president is taking on increasing responsibility since assuming the post in what was seen as the beginning of a generational leadership transition. AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate

HAVANA—President Raul Castro is expressing solidarity with the apparent willingness of Cuba’s Latin American allies to take in NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Castro says Cuba supports the “sovereign right” of Venezuela and other states in the region to grant asylum to “those persecuted for their ideals.”

But there’s no immediate word on whether he would be willing to offer safe haven to Snowden, or to play a role in his transit to a third country such as Nicaragua or Bolivia.

Castro spoke Sunday before parliament. The website of state-run newspaper Juventud Rebelde published partial comments from his speech, which has not yet been fully transmitted.

Snowden has been in the transit area of Moscow’s main airport for two weeks.

Russian carrier Aeroflot operates five direct flights to Havana a week.

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