Tag Archive: Evo Morales

Bolivian president to sue US govt for crimes against humanity

Published time: September 20, 2013 04:50
Edited time: September 20, 2013 06:27

Bolivia's President Evo Morales.(AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales.(AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

He has decried the US for its intimidation tactics and fear-mongering after the Venezuelan presidential jet was blocked from entering US airspace.

“I would like to announce that we are preparing a lawsuit against Barack Obama to condemn him for crimes against humanity,” said President Morales at a press conference in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. He branded the US president as a “criminal” who violates international law.

In solidarity with Venezuela, Bolivia will begin preparing a lawsuit against the US head of state to be taken to the international court. Furthermore, Morales has called an emergency meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to discuss what has been condemned by Venezuela as “an act of intimidation by North American imperialism.”

The Bolivian president has suggested that the members of CELAC withdraw their ambassadors from the US to send a message to the Obama Administration. As an additional measure he will call on the member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas to boycott the next meeting of the UN. Members of the Alliance include Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Saint Lucia.

“The US cannot be allowed to continue with its policy of intimidation and blockading presidential flights,”
stressed Morales.

The Venezuelan government announced on Thursday that President Nicolas Maduro’s plane had been denied entry into Puerto Rican (US) airspace.

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Bolivian president offers asylum to NSA leaker Snowden

Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, Bolivian President Evo Morales

The president of Bolivia joined a group of South American countries that have indicated they would offer asylum to fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who is believed to be hiding inside the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport as the United States continues efforts to have him extradited.

Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua said Friday they would grant safe haven to the former National Security Agency contractor.

Evo Morales of Bolivia made his offer Saturday, three days after a plane carrying the leftist leader over Europe was rerouted amid reports that Snowden was aboard, setting off a diplomatic storm that heightened tensions between the U.S. and the South American nation.


Venezuela “decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American Edward Snowden” so he can live without “persecution from the empire,” Maduro said, referring to the United States. He extended the invitation to Snowden during a speech Friday commemorating the anniversary of Venezuela’s independence, according to the Associated Press.


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York Dispatch

Iceland lawmakers discuss citizenship for Snowden

By JENNA GOTTLIEB Associated Press



REYKJAVIK, Iceland—Icelandic lawmakers introduced a proposal in Parliament on Thursday to grant immediate citizenship to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who admits to revealing key details of U.S. surveillance activities.

Ogmundur Jonasson, whose liberal Left-Green Party is backing the proposal along with the Pirate Party and Brighter Future Party, put the issue before the Judicial Affairs Committee, but the idea received minimal support.

Snowden is believed to be stuck in a Moscow airport transit area, seeking asylum from more than a dozen countries. At one point, he told the Guardian newspaper that he was inclined to seek asylum in a country that shared his values—and that “the nation that most encompasses this is Iceland.”

But to apply for asylum in Iceland, Snowden would have to reach the island nation’s soil.

Granting Snowden immediate citizenship would circumvent that issue. The same tactic helped get eccentric chess master Bobby Fischer to Iceland from Japan in 2005 to escape U.S. prosecution for breaking sanctions imposed on the former Yugoslavia.


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Iceland businessman says plane ready for Snowden

Posted: Jun 21, 2013 8:43 AM CST Updated: Jun 21, 2013 10:43 AM CST


(AP Photo/Kin Cheung). A banner supporting Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, is displayed at Central, Hong Kong's business district, Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung). A banner supporting Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, is displayed at Central, Hong Kong’s business district, Friday, June 21, 2013.


(AP Photo/Kin Cheung). A TV screen shows the news of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at a shopping mall in Hong Kong Friday, June 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung). A TV screen shows the news of Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about sweeping U.S. surveillance programs, at a shopping mall in Hong Kong Friday, June 21, 2013.

Associated Press

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) – An Icelandic business executive said Friday that a private plane is on standby to transport National Security Agency secrets leaker Edward Snowden from Hong Kong to Iceland.

Olafur Vignir Sigurvinsson said he has not spoken directly with Snowden but has been in touch with a third party representing him.

The businessman, who has connections to the WikiLeaks secret-spilling organization, said he has access to planes in Hong Kong and mainland China that Snowden could use.

But Iceland’s government says it has not received an asylum request from Snowden, who has revealed his role in providing secret NSA documents about widespread surveillance programs.

Iceland Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Tomasson said Snowden hasn’t approached the ministry and could initiate an asylum request if he was already in Iceland.

When asked about the reports of Sigurvinsson chartering a private plane to fly Snowden to Iceland, Tomasson said: “We don’t object to that. But we don’t have any knowledge other than what has been in the news. We can’t comment any further on that.”

U.S. officials have expressed an interest in prosecuting Snowden for his admitted role in the publication of the documents. Snowden fled to Hong Kong and is hiding.

Sigurvinsson said that Snowden’s potential private flight is being funded by private donations.


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Russia chides France, Spain and Portugal over Morales aircraft incident

Published time: July 04, 2013 10:19
Edited time: July 04, 2013 16:13

The plane of Bolivia's President Evo Morales lands at Las Palmas airport, on the Spanish Canary Island of Gran Canaria on July 3, 2013. (AFP Photo)

The plane of Bolivia’s President Evo Morales lands at Las Palmas airport, on the Spanish Canary Island of Gran Canaria on July 3, 2013. (AFP Photo)

Russia has blasted the European countries which barred the Bolivian presidential aircraft from entering their airspace as unfriendly action, adding that such moves could compromise passengers’ safety.

The actions of the French, Spanish and Portuguese authorities could hardly be seen as friendly towards Bolivia and towards Russia, from which the Bolivian President Evo Morales was leaving upon completion of his Moscow visit. The refusal to grant the aircraft the right to overfly could create a threat to the security of its passengers, including the head of a sovereign state,” reads the statement released by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

Russian diplomats added that they will continue to press for unconditional observation of international rules that guarantee the personal immunity of heads of state that prevent any attempts on their life, freedom and dignity.

On Wednesday, the Bolivian presidential aircraft had to land in Vienna, Austria, and remain grounded for 12 hours as France, Spain and Portugal closed their airspace for transit over a suspicion it could have been carrying NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Bolivia immediately called the grounding an act of aggression, accused the US authorities of backing the unfriendly move and promised to file a complaint with the UN.

We’re talking about the president on an official trip after an official summit being kidnapped,” Bolivia’s Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, Sacha Llorenti Soliz, told reporters in Geneva on Wednesday.

We have no doubt that it was an order from the White House,” Ambassador Llorenti said. “By no means should a diplomatic plane with the president be diverted from its route and forced to land in another country.”

President Morales demanded an explanation from the governments of the countries that refused him entry into their airspace, saying he was not a criminal and the world was no longer in the colonial period. He also denied the possibility that Snowden could be on board of his plane, noting that “this young man isn’t a suitcase that I can take with me to Bolivia.”



Craig Murray

Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist

by Craig Murray

July 3, 2013 8:39 am in Uncategorized

The forcing down of the Bolivian President’s jet was a clear breach of the Vienna Convention by Spain and Portugal, which closed their airspace to this Head of State while on a diplomatic mission.  It has never been thought necessary to write down in a Treaty that Heads of State enjoy diplomatic immunity while engaged in diplomacy, as their representatives only enjoy diplomatic immunity as cyphers for their Head of State.  But it is a hitherto unchallenged precept of customary international law, indeed arguably the oldest provision of international law.

To the US and its allies, international law is no longer of any consequence.  I can see no evidence that anyone in an official position has even noted the illegality of repeated Israeli air and missile strikes against Syria.  Snowden, Manning and Assange all exposed illegality on a massive scale, and no action whatsoever has been taken against any of the criminals they exposed.  Instead they are being hounded out of all meaningful life and ability to function in society.



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US refuses to comment on Morales plane but admits contact with other nations over potential Snowden flights

Evo Morales at Schwechat airport

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales at Schwechat airport, near Vienna, where his plane was diverted. Photograph: Helmut Fohringer /AFP

Bolivia filed a complaint at the United Nations on Wednesday over what it called the kidnapping of its president, Evo Morales, whose plane was diverted to Vienna amid suspicions that it was carrying the surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The country’s ambassador to the UN, Sacha Llorenti, said the enforced rerouting to Austria was an act of aggression and a violation of international law. The US admitted that it had been in contact with other nations over potential flights by Snowden.

“We will demand appropriate explanations from those countries that submitted to North American imperialism and briefly put President Morales in such a helpless situation,” Llorenti told the state radio Patria Nueva. Bolivia’s vice-president, Alvaro García Linera, said Morales was “kidnapped by imperialism”.

South American nations accused the United States of being behind the extraordinary manoeuvring, furious at what they regarded as the humiliation of Morales. In Washington, the state department would not comment on the Morales flight but conceded that it discussed the issue of flights by Snowden with other nations.

“We have been in contact with a range of countries that had a chance of having Snowden land or travel through their country but I am not going to outline what those countries were or when this [contact] happened,” said spokeswoman Jan Psaki.

The diplomatic crisis may have been set off by a remark by Morales during a television interview in Russia, where he had been attending an energy conference. Morales said that he sympathised with Snowden, who is believed to be holed up in the transit area of Sheremetyevo airport, and hinted that Bolivia might accept an asylum petition. “If there were a request, of course we would be willing to debate and consider the idea,” Morales told RT Actualidad, the Spanish-language service of the Russian broadcaster RT.

Later that day, soon after Morales was bound for La Paz, Spain, Italy, France and Portugal refused to allow the presidential jet to fly through their airspace over suspicions that Snowden was on board, according to the Bolivian government’s account.



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Snowden case: France apologises in Bolivia plane row

Bolivian protester burning French flag in La Paz Bolivian protesters threw stones at the French embassy in La Paz and burned the French and European flags

France has apologised to Bolivia for refusing to allow President Evo Morales’ jet into its airspace, blaming “conflicting information”.

Bolivia accused France, Italy, Spain and Portugal of blocking the plane.

It said some wrongly believed US fugitive Edward Snowden was on board.

Speaking in Berlin, French President Francois Hollande said he granted permission as soon as he knew it was Mr Morales’ plane.

President Morales was flying back to Bolivia from Moscow when the plane was forced to stop in Vienna.

Angry reactions

The French foreign ministry issued a statement on the incident.

Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said: “The foreign minister called his Bolivian counterpart to tell him about France’s regrets after the incident caused by the late confirmation of permission for President Morales’ plane to fly over [French] territory.”

Footage shows Bolivian President Evo Morales waiting inside Vienna airport, as Steve Rosenberg reports

The episode sparked angry reactions from heads of state across Latin America.

  • Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner referred to “not only the humiliation of a sister country, but of the South American continent”.
  • Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said on Twitter: “I reaffirm all our solidarity with Evo [Morales] and from Venezuela, with dignity, we will respond to this dangerous, disproportionate, and unacceptable aggression”


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Edward Snowden given possible lifeline as Bolivia hints it would grant asylum

Evo Morales says his country is keen to ‘shield the denounced’ as Snowden’s father Lon compares son to Paul Revere

Putin and Morales met on Tuesday.

Vladimir Putin and Evo Morales met on Tuesday. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Bolivia threw a possible lifeline to the surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden on Tuesday, telling Russian television it would consider granting him political asylum to escape from what it called the espionage network of the US “empire”.

As other options began to fade for Snowden, trapped in the transit zone of a Moscow airport, Bolivian president Evo Morales said his country was keen to “shield the denounced”.

Snowden’s father, meanwhile, stepped up the rhetoric in favour of his son’s actions on Tuesday, publishing an open letter that compared him to colonial independence fighter Paul Revere.

The letter was signed by Lon Snowden and his lawyer, Bruce Fein, who also reported receiving a phone call from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Fein told the Associated Press that Assange, in the phone call on Saturday, delivered what he said was a message from Snowden to his father, asking him to keep quiet.

Speaking in Moscow, Morales said Bolivia had not received a formal application for asylum from Snowden yet, but hinted it would consider any request favourably.

“If there were a request, of course we would be willing to debate and consider the idea,” Morales told RT Actualidad, the Spanish-language service of Russian broadcaster RT.

“I know that the empires have an espionage network and are against the so-called developing countries. And in particular, against those which are rich in natural resources,” he added.

His comments were echoed by favourable noises from the Venezuelan government, another possible exit route for the former NSA contractor. President Nicolas Maduro said Caracas was also ready to consider Snowden’s asylum should he ask for it.

Maduro said Snowden should be given a “humanitarian medal” for revealing details of NSA surveillance programmes on US and foreign citizens. “He did not kill anyone and did not plant a bomb,” Maduro told Russia‘s Interfax news agency. “What he did was tell a great truth in an effort to prevent wars. He deserves protection under international and humanitarian law.”

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Edward Snowden asylum: Bolivian president’s plane diverted – live

France and Portugal refused to let Evo Morales’s plane cross their airspace because of suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board, Bolivia’s foreign minister says

Bolivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Choquehuanca, speaks during a press conference in La Paz, Bolivia,
The Bolivian minister of foreign affairs, David Choquehuanca, speaks during a press conference in La Paz, Bolivia, Photograph: MARTIN ALIPAZ/EPA

1.39am BST

My colleague Helen Davidson has just been on the phone with general aviation staff at Vienna international airport.

Staff confirmed that the plane carrying Morales has landed there, and has not left. They said they were unable to say how many passengers were on board as they were not given a passenger list.

1.27am BST

My colleague in Washington Dan Roberts has just filed this report, which summarises the events so far.

He has also just spoken to White House officials, asking for their response to claims made by the Bolivian defence minister that Portugal’s decision to refuse Morales’ plane access to their airspace was influenced by the US.

White House officials say that these are questions for the Austrian and Portugese authorities to answer.

Updated at 1.30am BST

1.17am BST

Putin and Morales met on Tuesday.
The Bolivian president, Evo Morales, right, met the Russian president Vladimir Putin earlier on Tuesday. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

1.15am BST


President Morales was returning to Bolivia from Russia where he had met with president Vladimir Putin at a summit of major gas exporters in the Kremlin.

Speaking to RT Actualidad, the Spanish-language service of the Russian broadcaster Russia Today, Morales said Bolivia had not received an asylum request from Edward Snowden, but hinted any request would be looked at favourably.

He said:

If there were a request, of course we would be willing to debate and consider the idea.

I know that the empires have an espionage network and are against the so-called developing countries. And in particular, against those which are rich in natural resources.

Updated at 1.15am BST

1.05am BST

Associated Press has published extracts from a statement issued by the Bolivian defence minister, Ruben Saavedra, who was also on the redirected plane.

It says the plane was allowed to land in Spain for refueling before flying on to Austria.

It describes the rerouting as a “hostile act” by the US goverment:

This is a hostile act by the United States State Department which has used various European governments

Updated at 1.08am BST

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Bolivian presidential plane forced to land in Austria over suspicions Snowden on board

Published time: July 02, 2013 22:39
Edited time: July 03, 2013 00:31

AFP Photo / Kirill Kudryavtsev

AFP Photo / Kirill Kudryavtsev

After departing from Russia the plane of Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to landing in Austria Wednesday morning over suspicions that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board, a claim Bolivian authorities denied.

Snowden had requested asylum from Bolivia, which has yet to answer; he 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 Foregin Minister, refuted the idea Snowden was on the plane, saying “we don’t know who invited this lie, but we want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.”

Bolivian president Evo Morales (RT photo / Semyon Khorunzhy)

Bolivian president Evo Morales (RT photo / Semyon Khorunzhy)

This is a lie, a falsehood. It was generated by the US government,” Bolivian Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra told CNN. “It t is an outrage. It is an abuse. It is a violation of the conventions and agreements of international air transportation.”

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Edward Snowden asylum: countries approached and their responses

The NSA whistleblower has made 21 applications for asylum worldwide as he flees the US – with little success

File photo of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden during interview with The Guardian in Hong Kong

Edward Snowden has made 21 applications for asylum. Photograph: The Guardian/Reuters

According to a statement from WikiLeaks, the US whistleblower Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in a total of 21 countries. Snowden, who has been charged under espionage laws in the US after leaking top-secret documents on US surveillance programmes, has been trapped in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport since 23 June after flying in from Hong Kong. He has yet to receive a positive response to his applications for asylum. Some countries have yet to respond but a number have already rejected his request.


No. The interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, said Snowden would have to submit his request for asylum while on Austrian soil. But she added that he would not be deported if he arrived in Austria because “there is no international arrest warrant”.


Possible. President Evo Morales said no application has been received, but if it were it would be considered. “If there were a request, of course we would be willing to debate and consider the idea,” Morales told Spanish language RT Actualidad.


No. A foreign ministry spokesman said Brazil would not grant asylum, adding that it would leave the request unanswered.


No response.


No response.


No. The president, Rafael Correa, said he was not considering Snowden’s asylum request. In an interview with the Guardian, Correa said Snowden would have to reach Ecuadorean territory before the country would consider any asylum request. The US has cancelled Snowden’s passport, and Correa said his government would not give Snowden an authorised travel document to extract himself from Moscow airport. “The right of asylum request is one thing, but helping someone travel from one country to another – Ecuador has never done this.”


No. The Finnish foreign ministry spokeswoman Tytti Pylkkö said Finnish law required Snowden to be in the country for him to apply.


No response. The president, François Hollande, has called for a common EU stance on the NSA snooping.

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Published on Mar 31, 2013

Legislation seeks to combat high levels of violence against women



Power minnow Rurelec takes on Bolivia over compensation for forced nationalization

Aim-listed energy minnow Rurelec is preparing to take on the Bolivian Government in a court battle over the forced nationalization of its assets.

Bolivian President Evo Morales speaks at opening session of European Parliament in Strasbourg

Evo Morales’s move could further spook European investors already wary of resource nationalism in left-wing regimes in South America Photo: Reuters


The Telegraph

9:00PM BST 31 Mar 2013

The South American nation seized Rurelec’s controlling stake in power company Guaracachi on May Day 2010 and has not paid any compensation.

Rurelec claims independent valuations show it is owed $142.3m (£94m) and on Tuesday the case will be heard at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Evo Morales, the Bolivian President, has made a habit of carrying out nationalisations of assets in politically-sensitive sectors such as telecoms and energy on May Day each year.

Peter Earl, Rurelec chief executive, said: “Bolivia has never gone to arbitration before — they have always settled beforehand. I think they thought we were a small company and they could bully us and we would cave.

“They never realised we had strong shareholders, or that we would get the support of the British Government.”

Rurelec raised money from shareholders to pay the legal costs of the arbitration process and said William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, had personally backed its case.

The company had said it would be willing for settle for a minimum of the book value of the assets, which it puts at $75m, plus interest. But Mr Earl said Bolivia had never even suggested a figure.

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New Law in Bolivia to Protect Women from Violence (including “Femicide”)

The United Nations human rights office has welcomed a new law in Bolivia which broadens the protection of women against various forms of violence.  “We welcome the promulgation, on 9 March 2013, of the Comprehensive Law to guarantee women a life free from violence in Bolivia (Law 348), which broadens protection of women against various forms of violence and establishes the eradication of violence against women as a priority of the State,” the spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, told journalists in Geneva.

The law also includes the crime of ‘femicide’ – in which a woman is murdered due to the fact that she is female – in the penal code, with a prison term of 30 years without pardon.


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Bolivia's President Evo Morales (AFP Photo / Lluis Gene)

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales (AFP Photo / Lluis Gene)

Bolivia has “concrete evidence” that the US is plotting to destabilize the Latin American nation, Minister Juan Ramon Quintana said. Proof of US “harassment” of the Bolivian government will be handed over to President Obama, he added.

The Bolivian government is “scrupulously following” US activity in Bolivia, Minister for the Bolivian Presidency Quintana said in a press conference

“There is so much evidence to hand over to the President of the USA to say to him: Stop harassing the Bolivian government, stop politically cornering and ambushing us! Quintana stressed. He added that investigations into drug-trafficking and human rights abuses would reveal a “permanent battle” waged by the US to impede progress in Bolivia.

“In the offensive against the government there are no visible subjects… What we’re seeing are the political machinations of the US Embassy,” which seeks to damage the image of the Bolivian government, Quintana said.

The country’s US ambassador was ejected in 2008 after being accused of plotting against the Bolivian government by President Evo Morales. The US quickly followed suit, removing its Bolivian ambassador.

A charge d’affaires now heads the American Embassy in La Paz; both nations signed a deal in 2011 that would pave the way for the reinstatement of the ambassadors. However, diplomatic relations between the two countries have yet to be normalized.

Larry Mermmot, the US diplomatic representative in La Paz, said that he was confident that 2013 would see the ambassadors restored in both countries.


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