Published on 2013-07-16 at 18:19:50 © DiploNews
Five Latin American nations – Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela – denounced what they described as “unwarranted action and violation of international law” that happened on July 2 to the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, when his official aircraft was rerouted to Austria on his way home from Russia after several countries – Spain, France, Italy and Portugal – refused to allow it to fly over their airspace because of intelligence – allegedly provided by the United States – affirming that former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, Edward Snowden, was on board.
Still believed to be in the Moscow airport, Mr. Snowden has reportedly requested asylum from a dozen countries, including Bolivia. Meeting with ambassadors from the five Latin American countries, United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban Ki-moon was “relieved it did not lead to consequences for the safety of Mr. Morales and his entourage,” and said “it was important to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future,” given that international law confers immunity and inviolability on a Head of state and his aircraft.
The Southern Common Market (Mercosur) expressed “total solidarity” and the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) adopted a resolution condemning the incident. “We are making sure we take strong and firm actions,” regarding the espionage activities by the United States, said Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino. Since then, France has talked about a “misunderstanding,” while Spain regretted a “procedure that was not appropriate.”