Officials in both Austria and Bolivia said that Snowden was not on the plane, which had to land in Vienna after Bolivian officials said France and Portugal refused to let it cross their airspace.
“We don’t know who invented this lie,” a furious Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said. “We want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.”
He said the decision by France and Portugal “put at risk the life of the president.”
Morales had said in an interview with Russia Today television that Bolivia would be willing to consider granting asylum to Snowden. He was reported meeting there Tuesday night with the plane’s crew to reprogram his return to Bolivia. Read more from this story HERE.
Snowden Affair Diverts Bolivian President’s Plane in Europe
By Thomson/Reuters. The diversion of Morale’s plane on Tuesday was another strange turn in the 30-year-old American’s cat-and-mouse game with the United States. Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca blamed it on “unfounded suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on the plane.”
“We don’t know who invented this lie,” Choquehuanca said. “We want to express our displeasure because this has put the president’s life at risk.”
Bolivia is among more than a dozen countries where Snowden has sought asylum and Morales, who was attending an energy conference in Russia this week, has said he would consider granting the American refuge if requested.
Bolivian Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra said the State Department may have been behind the decisions to not allow Morales’ plane to land in Portugal or fly over French air space…
Snowden’s options seem only to have narrowed since he arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23 with no valid travel documents, after the United States revoked his passport. Read more from this story HERE.
Venezuela’s President Maduro defends Edward Snowden: ‘He did not kill anyone’
By Valerie Richardson. Mr. Snowden’s increasingly desperate bids for asylum to escape prosecution on espionage charges could lead him back to America — specifically, South America.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro defended the accused leaker to Russian reporters Tuesday during a visit to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He did not kill anyone and did not plant a bomb,” said Mr. Maduro, according to the Interfax news agency. “What he did was tell a great truth in an effort to prevent wars. He deserves protection under international and humanitarian law.”
Mr. Maduro avoided saying whether he would admit the accused leaker, but Bolivian President Evo Morales said in an interview with Russian Today television that his country would be willing to consider granting asylum to Mr. Snowden.
“If there were a request, of course we would be willing to debate and consider the idea,” Mr. Morales said on RT Actualidad, a Spanish-language broadcast, adding that in the past, “Bolivia was there to shield the denounced.”
Read more from this story HERE.