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Snowden: South America Must Take Stand Against Old Europe (El Nacional, Bolivia)


"This was not a snub of Evo Morales, but of Bolivia, and by extension, South America. This was Old Europe, which despite decolonization, continues to feel like it owns the planet. Even if it were true that Edward Snowden traveled in the president's plane, the principle of sovereignty prevails. ... Closing their airspace to Evo Morales' aircraft chalks up yet another shameful insult by Italy, France and Portugal."


By Pedro Godoy Perrín*



Translated By Miguel Gutierrez


July 6, 2013


El Nacional - Bolivia - Original Article (Spanish)

Bolivia President Evo Morales after his plane, outbound from Russia, was forced to land in Vienna. Spain, Italy and France refused to allow it to fly through their air space when suspicions arouse that Edward Snowden might be on board.

RUSSIA TODAY VIDEO: 'Imperial hijacking' reopens asylum bid for Snowden in Latin America, July 4, 00:04:08RealVideo

This was not a snub of Evo Morales, but of Bolivia, and by extension, South America. This was Old Europe, which despite decolonization, continues to feel like it owns the planet. Even if it were true that Edward Snowden traveled in the president's plane, the principle of sovereignty prevails. I recall in l973, the ambassador to Sweden defending the prerogative of the extraterritoriality of his car at a time when Pinochet's agents wanted to search it. It is impossible not to refer to the ability to provide political asylum, which is enshrined in Ibero-American public law.


Closing their airspace to Evo Morales' aircraft chalks up yet another shameful insult by Italy, France and Portugal. Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca was right to convene a meeting of the Union of South American Nations [UNASUR]. It will be interesting to see whether the silence of [Chile President] Michelle Bachelet and other like-minded leaders is broken in this regard. Silence would be a nod to the Pentagon and White House, or failing that, a reiteration of the disunity of our policies. Our foreign ministries must make clear to Rome, Paris and Lisbon the significance of this outrageous action.


*Pedro Godoy Perrín is director of the Center for Chilean Studies (CEDECH)


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