Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Bolivia's Evo Morales to CELAC: "Let's spy on the U.S."
Bolivian president Evo Morales has something of a fiery temper, and when it erupts he has a tendency to push the diplomatic envelope. He demonstrated the skill once more today in Havana, as the second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) came to a close in Cuba.
Morales hasn't forgotten his undignified trip home from Russia last summer, where he attended a gas and oil summit hosted by president Vladimir Putin. In route to La Paz French officials denied his aircraft overflight rights, and the Bolivian plane was forced to double back to Austria to refuel and chart a new course - the ultimate insult to a foreign head of state. All of this occurred while former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was holed up in a Moscow airport, desperately looking for a new home. Snowden had received several offers from Latin American leaders, and there was suspicion he was hitching a ride west with Morales. Ultimately the Bolivian president had to consent to a search of his aircraft during an overnight stay in Vienna. He blamed it all on Washington. U.S. likely to have more troubles with Bolivia after Morales' aircraft is forced down.
"If electronic espionage like that carried out by the Obama administration is a matter of guaranteeing the security of the international community, as the U.S. contends, then I would suggest to all of you that the member states of this body do just the same. Let's spy on Obama and his government, and by so doing, we'll guarantee world security," Morales argued from the podium today in Havana.
CELAC delegates, representing 33 American nations and 600 million people, declined to debate or vote on Morales' proposal. Neither the United States or Canada belong to the organization.
July 7 - Edward Snowden: Washington's massive miscalculation
July 6 - Bolivia joins the crowd: Morales offers Snowden asylum
July 5 - Evo Morales: "We will close the U.S. embassy in La Paz"
July 4 - Mexico solidly backs Bolivia on Evo Morales grounding
May 1 - Bolivian president Morales expels "subversive" USAID
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at 5:39 PM