morales fly1 by Utenriksdept
President Evo Morales of Bolivia at right on undisclosed airport tarmac
Ah, the intrigue surrounding the Edward Snowden saga continues unrelentingly.
President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, while in Moscow attending an energy conference said in an interview his country would consider asylum for Snowden (even though he hadn't applied for it) and in an offhand remark suggested he would be happy to host him.
Well you'd think Morales had let the cat out of the bag the way some countries in Europe reacted to the "possibility" Snowden might be in the company of Morales in his flight back to La Paz.
Only first consider this:
All foreign officials attending diplomatic meetings in Moscow arrive and depart from Vnukovo Airport, not Sheremetyevo where Snowden has been residing in the international transit area since arriving from Hong Kong eleven days ago.
Morales plane would have had to fly from Vnukovo to Sheremetyevo to pick up Snowden and somehow escort onto the plane, whisking him past Russian immigration with reporters stationed 24/7 outside the transit area without being noticed.
Well it never happened. Morales plane flew directly out of Vnukovo without making a stop at Sheremetyevo.
But no matter; It was still believed Snowden was on Morales plane even though it wasn't possible, yet that fact was lost in what continued to happen.
Portugal withdrew permission for Morales' plane to stop in Lisbon to refuel and French authorities informed the pilot he could not enter French airspace. Spain and Italy said the plane could not fly over their airspace, (though Spain said the plane could refuel in the Canary Islands).
With these restrictions, Morales plane was forced to land in Vienna, Austria under the stipulation it be searched after landing. Austrian authorities claimed Morales agreed to the "voluntary" inspection, but the Bolivian Ambassador to the U.N. traveling with Morales described Austria's decision to search the plane was "an act of aggression and a violation of international law".
Bolivian Defense Minister Ruben Saarvedra said, "This is a hostile act by the United States State Department which has used various European governments".
Officials at the White House wouldn't comment on whether they put pressure on European governments to refuse to allow the plane to enter their airspace.
But the U.S. is desperate to get Snowden within its grasp and would resort to any tactic to get Snowden in custody.
That the U.S. didn't exert any pressure or threaten European governments for possibly allowing Snowden to slip through their hands without inspecting Morales plane is unimaginable.
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