Jul 8 2013, 1:50am CDT | by Luigi Lugmayr
La Paz, July 8 (IANS/EFE) President Evo Morales on the weekend offered political asylum to former CIA analyst Edward Snowden in response to a situation he experienced last week when several European countries denied his aircraft overflight and landing privileges out of fear that Snowden was on board.
"(I want to) say to the Europeans and the Americans (that) yesterday I was thinking, as a fair protest I want to tell them ... we're going to give asylum if that American persecuted by his countrymen asks for it. We're not afraid," Morales said during an appearance Saturday.
The president made his announcement at an event with indigenous residents of the Andean Oruro region, at which he was accompanied by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American, who is on his first official visit to Bolivia.
The decision by France, Italy and Portugal last Tuesday to deny passage to Morales' plane, on which he was returning from a summit in Moscow, sparked a serious crisis between Europe and Latin America, with governments in the latter region immediately closing ranks behind the Bolivian leader and harshly condemning the Europeans' move.
Bolivia is including Spain among the offending countries because the Spanish Ambassador in Vienna, Alberto Carnero, said he would like to board the aircraft to personally verify that Snowden was not on board.
Bolivian Government Minister Carlos Romero Saturday criticized the "arrogant" and "immoral" attitude of Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, who said that his country "does not need to apologize to Bolivia" after the incident.
Snowden has been in the transit zone of the Moscow airport for two weeks while he awaits political asylum in one of the countries where he has requested it, among which is Bolivia, WikiLeaks said on its web site this past week.
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
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