Edward Snowden’s quest for a political asylum is still on. This time, his attempt with Dilma Rousseff’s country seems to be a failed one, already. The reason is simple: the Brazilian government doesn’t seem to be interested in investigating the NSA (National Security Agency) actions against its own nationals and, for that reason, the dream of a political asylum granted by Brazilian authorities will not come true for Edward Snowden, who came out against U.S. government mass spying six months ago.
That information was published today by Folha, a brazilian news paper that has already revealed Snowden’s intention to collaborate with brazilian authorities about the NSA actions and, in return, be granted a political asylum. The full text of the “Open Letter to the People of Brazil” written by the former U.S. spy was published yesterday and will later be sent to Brazilian authorities.
According to local news papers, the brasilian Foreign Ministry has highlighted as “positive” the part of the letter where Snowden calls for the mobilization of authorities to defend privacy and basic human rights, endangered by the NSA’s systemic intelligence gathering.
However, the Foreign Ministry also stressed the fact that Brazil respects the sovereignty of other countries and therefore, it does not intend to play the “payback” game with the United States. A presidential aide also added that, since the Brazilian government has not received a formal asylum application signed by Edward Snowden, therefore, granting him asylum, even in exchange of valuable information useful in the investigation of the actions perpetrated by the U.S. spy agency is not an option on the table.
For the government, not even the request made by the American, back in July, fit the requirement for asylum. Indeed, a request was sent by fax to several foreign embassies in Russia, when Snowden was temporarily at Sheremetyevo airport, in Moscow.
Furthermore, the aide said, the brazilian government “has no interest in doing this kind of interference in the sovereignty of other countries” and “it will not do to the U.S. what they did to us.” The Brazilian way, according to him, has always been publicly expressed.
Officially, President Dima Rousseff has not yet spoken and she might not even speak about it because there is no formal asylum request from Snowden. The brazilian President was surprised by news of Edward Snowden’s open letter. The country’s Foreign Minister has been asked to define what position should be taken.
Brazilian government’s initiative against the NSA systemic espionage case
Regarding the call for mobilization made by Snowden, Foreign Ministry aides said that the Brazilian government is already working on that case and his help will always be welcomed.
The Brazil Foreign Ministry also emphasized the fact that, from the beginning, NSA actions were condemned and considered “unacceptable.” And it’s on that ground that President Dilma even canceled a state visit to the U.S. a few months ago.
The Foreign Ministry also highlights President Dilma Rousseff’s initiative to negotiate a formal resolution with Germany at the United Nations against American intelligence. The resolution will be put to a vote this week during a General Assembly of United Nations.
Brasilan authorities are not willing to take the risk of upsetting the U.S.
Acoording 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 should rather worry about developing their own technology system. A system that will be able to stand against these espionage actions perpetrated not only by the United States,” added Caiado.
The Federal Police, which is investigating allegations that President Dilma and Petrobras had been spied, has already formally requested Snowden’s testimony. The request was made through the Foreign Ministry, responsible for contacting Russian authorities. But brazilian police never got a response.
Written by Valdo CRUZ, Flavia FOREQUE, Tai NALON, Marcio FALCÃO and Fernanda ODILLA
Translated from brasilian portuguese by Simone PALMA
Edited by Philemon OWONA