Nicaragua offers asylum to Gaddafi

An adviser to Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega said that his government would consider giving asylum to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi if he asked for it, but acknowledged it would be difficult to arrange.

An adviser to Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega said that his government would consider giving asylum to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi if he asked for it, but acknowledged it would be difficult to arrange.

ic adviser Bayardo Arce said he did not know how Gaddafi could even get to this Central American nation, whose government has been a strong ally of the Libyan leader.

"I do not know how Gaddafi could get here from Libya, because we do not have an embassy in Libya," Mr Arce told Channel 63 television.

But Mr Arce said "if someone asks us for asylum, we would have to consider it positively, because our people got asylum when the Somoza dictatorship was killing us", Mr Arce said, referring to the 1979 uprising that overthrew dictator Anastasio Somoza.

Mr Ortega made a public speech but did not mention Gaddafi.

Rebels overran Gaddafi's command compound in Tripoli yesterday, but his whereabouts are unknown.

The leftist governments of Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia are staunch allies of Gaddafi and have criticised the military intervention by US and European air forces.

In late February, after Gaddafi's government began cracking down on the uprising, Mr Ortega said he had telephoned the Libyan leader to express his solidarity.

Mr Ortega said at the time that Gaddafi "is again waging a great battle" to defend the unity of his nation.

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