HAVANA TIMES — The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, said today that US Vice President, Joseph Biden had called him on the phone, asking him to reject the asylum application made by the former secret service employee Edward Snowden, reported DPA news.
Correa said that Biden spoke in an extremely warm and friendly tone about Snowden “and he conveyed very politely the United States request that he reject the application.”
The Ecuadorian president said he responded that the process to grant asylum has not begun “because Mr. Snowden is not in Ecuador and that when and if he arrives, and makes such a request, the first country to be consulted on their opinion will of course be the United States.”
Correa told Biden that the Snowden case has created a situation which was not sought by Ecuador and asked him “not to take it as we are anti-United States, which is what some press are stressing in bad faith.”
The president said he appreciates the American people and told Biden that he spent four years in the United States, which were “the happiest years” of his life.
He said the decision on the asylum request will be taken “sovereignly” but with respect to the US. “We will take into account what you have to say,” he said, and explained that “the doors of dialogue are always open.”
After their discussion Correa contrasted the friendly attitude and courtesy of the US Vice President, who showed “knowledge” about Ecuador, with “disoriented” US lawmakers which made him [unilaterally] decline a package of tariff preferences.
Correa’s revelation came in his weekly report broadcast on radio and television throughout the country.
Edward Snowden requested asylum from Ecuador after being charged in his country of espionage and theft of federal documents.
Snowden is in transit in Moscow and called for the protection of Ecuador saying he feels persecuted and arguing that he would not get a fair trial in the United States.