5 July (LPAC) So paranoid and desperate to seize Edward Snowden is Barack Obama, that he took the insane action of ordering several European governments — the same ones who’ve spent the last week screaming about being spied on by the NSA — to illegally deny overflight rights to Bolivian President Evo Morales’s plane carrying him from Moscow back to Bolivia on July 2, because of suspicions that Morales had somehow spirited Snowden onto his plane and was transporting him back to La Paz.
After being denied the right to enter Italian, French, and Portuguese airspace, Morales’s plane, low on fuel, had to make an emergency landing in Vienna, Austria, where the Bolivian President was stranded for 14 hours before being able to continue his trip.
Snowden wasn’t on board; and while the European governments in question are now tripping over themselves to justify their actions, Bolivia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Sacha Llorenti, cut through their stupid ramblings about “technical” difficulties to state that “we have no doubt the order came from the White House,” to carry out an act that not only violated Bolivia’s sovereignty as well as international law, but placed President Morales’s life in danger. In effect, Llorenti said, this was a “diplomatic kidnapping,” and announced that his government will be filing an official complaint before the United Nations, among other planned legal actions.
At the State Department press briefing on Wednesday, reporters pummeled spokeswoman Jen Psaki with questions about whether the U.S. had pressured European governments to deny Morales’s plane overflight rights. After going through bizarre linguistic contortions, which made clear the U.S. had done exactly that, she finally told reporters, “I would point you to all of these individual countries to describe to you what happened and why various decisions were made.”
In a July 2 press conference in Vienna, President Morales slammed the U.S. and its European “allies” by pointing out that “the United States and almost all European countries have intelligence services, and this person [Snowden] is not a suitcase, or a bug or a fly that I can sneak onto the airplane and take with me to Bolivia. This is a pretext to threaten, to intimidate, to silence us in our fight against the economic policies of looting…of domination and intervention…I am not a criminal.”
The backlash in Ibero-America is huge. UNASUR (the Union of South American Nations) will hold an emergency session on July 4 in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to discuss its response to what Bolivian Vice President Garcia Linera called “an almost demented act by a [U.S.] power that suspects everyone, fears the world,” and is becoming “increasingly authoritarian.” Argentine President Cristina Fernandez commented insightfully, that “they are all definitely insane. A head of state and his airplane have total immunity. This level of impunity can’t be allowed to stand.”
UNASUR’s Secretary General, Ali Rodriguez, pointedly noted that the countries most affected by Snowden’s revelations are the European ones, like France, but, “instead of taking action against the United States, they took action against the sovereign nation of Bolivia.” He warned that as a result, Ibero-American nations’ relations with Europe, particularly implying economic relations and free-trade agreements, are now in jeopardy.