“President Evo Morales’ plane was forced to land in Austria after France and Portugal refused air permits, apparently because they suspected it was carrying Edward Snowden, the former U.S. spy agency contractor wanted by Washington on espionage charges.” – Al Jazeera
Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera says the plane was “kidnapped by imperialism.”
“Bolivia’s presidential jet was forced into landing in Vienna on Wednesday after several EU countries barred the plane from entering their airspace over suspicions that whistleblower Edward Snowden was potentially aboard.
“Austrian authorities searched Morales’ plane for Snowden, but found no stowaways on board, Austria’s deputy chancellor has said. ‘An act of aggression and violation of international law’ is how Bolivia’s U.N. envoy described Austria’s decision to search the Bolivian presidential jet for NSA leaker.
“Morales finally flew out of Vienna after being detained for over 12 hours in the airport.” – RT
“This is a provocation to Bolivia and to all Latin Americans,” Morales told reporters in Vienna before departing. “I have the duty to protect the rights of my position. I am the president of a people.”
Morales’ trip was disrupted due to increasing U.S. pressure for Snowden’s extradition.
“The former National Security Agency contractor remained in limbo at an airport in Moscow after withdrawing a request for asylum in Russia. He has sought asylum instead in 20 other countries, including Bolivia and Austria, according to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.
Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Norway and Ireland all said yesterday that any asylum requests by Snowden can only be considered when made inside their territory or at the border.
Poland turned down his asylum bid, saying it didn’t meet the requirements for political refuge, and India said it saw “no reason” to shelter him. Italy is “evaluating the situation” and will make a decision “very soon,” Ansa reported. Germany rejected an asylum bid yesterday saying Snowden doesn’t fulfill the conditions.” – bloomberg.com