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Bolivian President’s private jet skyjacked by the U.S.
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Author:  wiz [ 04 Jul 2013 12:15 ]
Post subject:  Bolivian President’s private jet skyjacked by the U.S.

Bolivian President’s private jet skyjacked by the U.S.
Morales' plane forced to land in Austria


Wed, 03 Jul 2013 02:42:56 GMT

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The Bolivian presidential airplane is parked at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat 3 July 2013

Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane has been diverted to Austria due to false rumors that US surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board, Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca has announced.

France and Portugal refused to allow Morales' plane, which was flying from Moscow back to Bolivia, to cross their airspace on Tuesday, Choquehuanca said.

"The president was forced to land in Vienna," he stated, adding that Morales' life had been put in danger by the forced emergency landing. "We want to express our displeasure because this has put the president's life at risk."

Morales' plane had been scheduled to refuel in Portugal.

"We are told that there were some unfounded suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on the plane," Choquehuanca said. "We do not know who has invented this lie. Someone who wants to harm our country. This information that has been circulated is malicious information to harm this country."

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Bolivian President Evo Morales (L) and Austrian President Heinz Fischer address a news conference
at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat 3 July 2013

Early on Wednesday, the Austrian Foreign Ministry confirmed that Morales was at Vienna airport, but Snowden was not on the plane.

"President Morales will leave early Wednesday morning for La Paz," Bolivian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Schallenberg said.

The Bolivian president was in Moscow to attend a meeting of natural gas-producing nations.

Bolivia is one of the countries to which Snowden has applied for asylum.

Washington has asked Ecuador, Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia not to provide asylum to Snowden.

On June 6, The Guardian reported that a top secret US court order allows the US National Security Agency to collect data on the millions of US citizens who are customers of the phone company Verizon.

On the same day, the Washington Post reported that the NSA had direct access to internet servers, saying their source, a career intelligence officer, was horrified about the capabilities of the systems used by the US intelligence agency.

On June 9, Snowden admitted his role in the leaks in a 12-minute video posted by The Guardian.

The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities targeting friendly countries.

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Bolivian president Evo Morales

Kidnapped by imperialism

The grounding of Morales’ plane triggered a torrent of enraged rhetoric from Latin American leaders amid accusations the craft had been “kidnapped by imperialism.”

Morales told press at the airport that he was not a “criminal” and reminded EU countries that “we are no longer in the colonial period.” Moreover, he called on the countries that had closed their airspace to him to account for themselves.

“The governments of France, Spain and Portugal must explain to the world the reasons behind this delay,” said Morales, adding that these actions were indicative of the “repressive policies” of some EU countries. Morales mocked the fact some governments believed Snowden could be on board, saying “this young man isn’t a suitcase that I can take with me to Bolivia.”

Several Latin American leaders rallied behind Bolivia denouncing the detention of Morales’ plane. President of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, decried the situation as “madness” on her Twitter account “The head of state and his plane have total immunity. This level of impunity is unprecedented,” tweeted Kirchner.

Cuba also condemned Morales’ detention as an “unacceptable and unjustifiable act that offends Latin America and the Caribbean.”

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Bolivian President Evo Morales talks to the media as he waits for his flight at the Vienna International Airport in Schwechat 3 July 2013

Meanwhile, Rafael Correa, the Ecuadorian president, has called on other South American leaders to “take action.”

“Decisive hours for UNASUR (Union of South American Nations)! Either we graduated from the colonies, or we claim our independence, sovereignty and dignity. We are all Bolivia!” Correa proclaimed via Twitter.

Ecuador suggested an emergency meeting of the UNASUR after the incident Tuesday.

The rare instance of two countries denying airspace to the leader of a non-adversarial country is indicative of Snowden’s current situation. Morales previously told RT that Bolivia would consider granting Snowden asylum if he were to make such a request.

"It is possible that they want to intimidate us due to the statement made by President Morales that we would analyze an asylum request from Mr. Snowden," said Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra.

"We have the suspicion that [France and Portugal] were used by a foreign power, in this case the United States, as a way of intimidating the Bolivian state and President Evo Morales." Saavedra confirmed that Italy had also denied Bolivia’s aircraft entry into its airspace.

According to the Associated Press, Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca has rejected any claims that the plane carrying the Bolivian head of state was denied entry over France and Portugal for anything other than political reasons.

"They say it was due to technical issues, but after getting explanations from some authorities we found that there appeared to be some unfounded suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on the plane ... We don't know who invented this lie," said Choquehuanca.

Meanwhile, the number of countries that would agree to provide asylum to Snowden continues to decrease by the day.

Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro, speaking with RT, said he would leave the decision up to the Venezuelan people.

“If Snowden stays alone, he will be destroyed,” he said. “But what kind of crimes did he commit? What kind of bombs did he explode or what kind of missiles did he launch? He tries to fight against controlling weak countries. This is why we say that we share what this young man says and that protecting Snowden will protect peace."

Source: http://rt.com/news/bolivian-president-p ... owden-577/

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