Bolivia accused the United States of ordering European countries to block President Evo Morales’ flight from their airspace, and accused European governments of “aggression” by thwarting the flight. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/07/03/world/europe/ap-eu-nsa-surveillance.html?ref=world Morales sparked speculation during a visit to Russia after he said that his country would be willing to consider granting asylum to Snowden. Snowden is believed to be stuck in a Moscow airport transit area, seeking asylum from one of more than a dozen countries.
The plane carrying Morales home from a Moscow summit was rerouted to Vienna on Tuesday night, adding a new twist to the international uproar over Snowden’s revelations of widespread U.S. surveillance. The plane took off again shortly before noon Wednesday after sitting overnight at the airport. Austrian officials said Morales’ plane was searched early Wednesday by Austrian border police.
Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations, speaking in Geneva on Wednesday, continued to insist that several European countries had refused permission for the plane to fly in their airspace.
Bolivian officials had said that France, Portugal and Italy blocked the plane from flying over their territories based on unfounded rumors that Snowden was on board. Bolivia said Spain agreed to allow the plane to refuel in the Canary Islands — but only if Bolivian authorities agreed to allow it to be inspected. Bolivia’s U.N. ambassador Sacha Llorenti said it was an “act of aggression” and that the four countries violated international law.
“the orders came from the United States” but other nations violated the immunity of the president and his plane, putting his life at risk.
“We want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.”
In a midnight press conference in La Paz, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia described Morales as being “kidnapped by imperialism” in Europe.