Thursday

29th Sep 2016

Latin American leaders slam US, EU on Morales flight

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales has threatened to shut down the US embassy in La Paz after his plane was forced to land in Austria amid suspicions NSA whistleblower was on board.

Morales says the CIA orchestrated a flight ban over four EU member states, diverting his return route to Bolivia from Moscow early Wednesday (3 July) morning.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Bolivia's President threatened to sever ties with the United States (Photo: Presidencia de la Republica del Ecuador)

“We met with the leaders of my party and they asked us for several measures and if necessary, we will close the embassy of the United States,” he told the leaders of Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay and Suriname on Thursday (4 July) at a summit at Cochabamba, known for its coco-leaf farming.

The leaders ended the summit with a joint-statement, condemning France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

All four-member states refused to allow Morales’ Falcon 900 to enter into their respective airspace.

Critics of the air ban say the president was "virtually kidnapped" and that the Europeans broke international laws at the request of the Americans.

Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations called it an act of aggression.

The South American leaders at the Cochabamba summit also weighed in.

“Europe broke all the rules of the game,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduros, reports Reuters.

“We're here to tell President Evo Morales that he can count on us. Whoever picks a fight with Bolivia, picks a fight with Venezuela,” he added.

Uruguayan President Jose Mujica said: “We deserve respect, and when one of our governments is insulted we feel the insult throughout Latin America.”

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez asked EU countries for an apology.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro slammed Spain’s requests to board and search Morales’ plane while stuck at the Vienna international airport.

But not all South American leaders expressed the same vitriol.

Chile, Peru and Colombia sent no delegates or leaders to Cochabamba.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos tweeted his solidarity with Morales.

The United States, for its part, declined to comment.

France sent an apology letter and Spain said it did not shut down its airspace.

Opinion

The EU’s new offer to Africa

The European Commission’s plan for a multi-billion African investment vehicle is mainly another incentive for African leaders to give higher priority to border management.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceWhy the Investment Plan for Europe Does not Drive the Sustainable Energy Transition
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region Seeks to Make Its Voice Heard in the World
  3. Taipei EU OfficeCountries Voice Support for Taiwan's Participation in ICAO
  4. World VisionNew Tool Measuring Government Efforts to Protect Children Released
  5. GoogleDid You Know Europe's Largest Dinosaur Gallery Is in Brussels? Check It Out Now
  6. IPHRHuman Rights in Uzbekistan After Karimov - Joint Statement
  7. CISPECloud Infrastructure Providers Unveil Data Protection Code of Conduct
  8. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  9. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  10. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List
  11. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  12. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?