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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

July 3, 2013 - 6:46 am

Bolivia is complaining that President Evo Morales’ life was endangered when his plane was diverted to Austria for fears that he may have been smuggling NSA leaker Edward Snowden out of Moscow.

Morales was reportedly refused passage over France, Portugal, Spain and Italy airspace, but France and Spain dispute the assertion. After landing in Vienna, Austrian officials reportedly searched the plane for Snowden, something Bolivia also denies.

Chancellor of Bolivia David Choquehuanca claimed during a press conference at the Foreign Ministry that the leftist leader was the victim of “discrimination.”

Spain today allowed Morales to land and refuel in the Canary Islands. Choquehuanca said “someone wants to do harm to our country” and created the “lie” that Bolivia, one of the countries to which Snowden has applied for asylum, was helping the leaker.

Morales said at a press conference during his time in Moscow that he could consider granting asylum.

“It’s not an offense against the president, it is an offense against the country, against the whole of the Latin American region,” Morales said before taking off from Vienna this morning.

Perhaps the more hysterical reaction came from Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who detailed on Twitter the call she received from another leftist leader, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, about Morales being “detained.”

“Definitely they’re all crazy. A head of State and his plane have total immunity. There cannot be this degree of impunity,” Kirchner tweeted. “…I will warn that Ollanta is calling a meeting of UNASUR. It’s 00:25 AM. Tomorrow will be a long and difficult day. Be calm. They will not be able to.”

Bolivia has vowed to issue a complaint against Europe at the United Nations.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.