[News] North American imperialism means Bolivian President Evo Morales could close US embassy
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 5 11:13:58 EDT 2013
Edward Snowden NSA revelations: 'North American imperialism' means
Bolivian President Evo Morales could close US embassy
Anger as four European countries allegedly refuse permission for
his jet to enter their airspace because of suspicions it was
harbouring the fugitive spy Edward Snowden
Friday 05 July 2013
Bolivian President Evo Morales has warned he could shut down the US
embassy in the capital La Paz in order "to defeat North American
imperialism", after his plane from Moscow was forced to land in Vienna
because of suspicions it was harbouring the American fugitive Edward
Mr Morales slammed Europe as an "agent" of the United States after four
countries allegedly refused permission for his jet to enter their
airspace, and five other South American leaders joined forces to
denounce his "virtual kidnapping".
At a summit in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
said: "Europe broke all the rules of the game. 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."
As a statement was released demanding answers from France, Portugal,
Italy and Spain, a furious Mr Morales said: "My hand would not shake if
it came to closing the embassy. Without the United States we are better
off politically and democratically."
The rerouting of Mr Morales's plane to Austria on Tuesday came just days
after fresh allegations emerged that the US National Security Agency
(NSA) had bugged European Union offices, threatening to overshadow the
start of trade talks between the two economic powers. President Barack
Obama agreed in a telephone conversation with the German Chancellor,
Angela Merkel, to high-level talks to try to allay concerns over the
claims, but indignation remains high.
The European Parliament passed a motion recommending the EU scrap two
transatlantic information-sharing agreements unless Washington comes
clean on its alleged spying operations. And a French minister publicly
berated the US at an embassy garden party in Paris.
While the US is fending off questions about its conduct after the leaks
by Mr Snowden, a former NSA contractor, Europe faced a backlash over Mr
Morales's unscheduled night in Vienna. He had been in Moscow, where Mr
Snowden is believed to be holed up at the main airport, which prompted
rumours that Bolivia may be considering spiriting the fugitive to South
After a search of his jet proved those rumours to be unfounded, Mr
Morales was allowed to leave on Wednesday. Arriving back home to La Paz
early this morning, the leftist President accused the US of using "the
agent of North American imperialism to scare us and intimidate us". He
said: "I regret this, but I want to say that some European countries
should free themselves from North American imperialism."
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the alleged
closure of French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese airspace "could
hardly be considered friendly" towards Bolivia and other Latin American
leaders have also issued strong statements condemning the incident.
While Spain and Portugal have denied the Bolivian claims that they
closed their airspace, the French government apologised to Mr Morales
and blamed "late confirmation of permission" for the plane to cross
French skies. France has so far been the most outspoken in its criticism
of the US and had advocated delaying the start to trade negotiations on
Monday. At a garden party hosted by the US ambassador to France to mark
4 July, the French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, told hundreds of
guests that "we must say things clearly, directly, frankly".
Mr Valls said demands for an explanation were justified because "such
practices, if proven, do not have their place between allies and partners".
France, however, is facing its own questions after claims were published
in Le Monde newspaper that it also had a covert spying operation, with
the external intelligence agency allegedly monitoring emails, social
media and phone calls. Le Monde, citing unnamed intelligence sources,
reported that "emails, text messages, telephone records, access to
Facebook and Twitter are then stored for years". The French spy agency,
DGSE, did not comment on the report.
French objections over the start of the trade talks were overruled by
the European Commission and Germany.
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