San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicaragua official offers asylum to Gadhafi

The government of Nicaragua would offer political asylum to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, though no asylum request has been made, said Bayardo Arce, President Daniel Ortega’s adviser for economic affairs on Tuesday.

“If someone were to request asylum we would have to give a positive answer because (Nicaraguan) people were granted asylum when people were being murdered by (Nicaragua’s Anasatasio) Somoza dictatorship,” Arce said.

Arce did not mention the Libyan leader by name, and said it was not clear how Gadhafi might be moved to Nicaragua in a theoretical asylum request because Managua does not have an embassy in Tripoli. Libya does have an Embassy in Managua.

Local media have speculated for months that Gadhafi might consider exile in Nicaragua because Ortega has been a vocal supporter of the Libyan leader, recently calling him a brother and friend.

The friendship between Gadhafi, Ortega and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has generated speculation that the Libyan ruler could seek refuge in Nicaragua or Venezuela.

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