Wednesday, July 3, 2013

‘Imperial Skyjacking’: Bolivian presidential plane grounded in Austria over Snowden stowaway suspicions

After departing from Russia the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to land in Austria Wednesday morning over suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board. South American leaders have expressed their outrage over the event.
“France Portugal and Italy have authorized the entry of the presidential plane into their airspace which would allow the President to continue with the initial flight route. However, the Spanish government has still not given its authorization to enter its airspace or land in a Spanish airport,” said Bolivian Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra to RT Actualidad. He added that the plane had been scheduled to land in the Canary Islands for refueling.
President Morales in currently in negotiations with the Austrian Prime Minister, Heinz Fischer, after spending over ten hours in Vienna's airport. 
Snowden had requested asylum from Bolivia, which has yet to answer his request.  The fugitive whistleblower has also petitioned Austria but was rejected. Reports indicated the plane was hindered in navigating Western Europe as France and Portugal would not allow the La Paz-bound plane to enter their airspace.  
David Choquehuanca, the Bolivian Foreign Minister, refuted the idea Snowden was on the plane, saying we don’t know who invented this lie, but we want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.” ...............................