Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bolivian Presidential Plane Rerouted to Austria After France, Italy, Spain and Portugal Denied Use of Airspace for Fear of Snowden on Board

A curious article from AP says Italy, France, Portugal and Spain denied the use of their respective airspace to the plane carrying the Bolivian president Evo Morales on his way back home from a summit meeting in Moscow, on suspicion or baseless rumor that Edward Snowden was on board.

So what if he was on board? What's that to these nations?

Action speaks louder than the vocal protests by these governments over the NSA spying.

Or does it?

From AP (7/3/2013; emphasis is mine):

Bolivian leader's plane rerouted on Snowden fear

VIENNA (AP) — The plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was rerouted to Austria after various European countries refused to let it cross their airspace because of suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board, Bolivian officials said Tuesday.

Officials in both Austria and Bolivia said that Snowden was not on the plane, which was taking Morales home from a summit in Russia, where he had suggested that his government would be willing to consider granting asylum to the American.

A furious Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said France and Portugal would have to explain why they canceled authorization for the plane, claiming that the decision had put the president's life at risk.

"We don't know who invented this lie" that Snowden was traveling with Morales, Choquehuanca said in La Paz. "We want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales."

In a midnight press conference, Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia said that not only France and Portugal, but also Italy and Spain were denying the plane permission to fly through their airspace.

He described Morales as being "kidnapped by imperialism" in Europe.

"The ambassador for Spain in Austria has just informed us that there is no authorization to fly over Spanish territory and that at 9 a.m. Wednesday they would be in contact with us again," said Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra, adding that the Spanish government had put as a condition for passage the "revision of the presidential plane."

Earlier, Choquehuanca said that Spain's government allowed Morales' plane to refuel in its territory before flying on to Vienna.

French government officials reached overnight said they could not confirm whether Morales' plane was denied permission to fly over France. Officials at Portugal's Foreign Ministry and National Civil Aviation Authority could not be reached to comment.

(Full article at the link)

The last paragraph has made me wonder if this action of denying the use of airspace was originated from the national governments at all.

But assuming the action was taken by these national governments for now, there is an expression in Japanese that describes a government, a nation, which tries its best to please a master (usually the United States of America) and wouldn't dare asserting its own opinion against the master. The expression is "ame-pochi" - "ame" for America, "pochi" is a name of a dog. If a Japanese hear the word "pochi", he/she invariably identifies it with a dog. Many Japanese sarcastically call their own government and country "ame-pochi".

Japan is not alone in being "ame-pochi" after all.


Anonymous said...

Yep, you are not alone. If the US says: "Jump!" most are asking: "How high?"

Anonymous said...

I am very surprised that decisions on airspace permission can be and are obviously being made based on rumors.

Maju said...

I went to bed thinking of this and woke up thinking of this. I feel extremely outraged, Evo is surely the most honest and charismatic political leader on Earth today, when I woke up a phrase was stuck in my head: "the burning heart of Pacha Mama". Just poetry if you wish but it seems to condensate the kind of charisma this man, with his commoner style and dialogging yet determined nature seems to exude.

But also chewing on why is The Empire persecuting whistleblowers in such an ugly manner? The only possible answer is that what Assange, Manning or Snowden have leaked is just the tip of the iceberg: that there is much much more (and much worse) to hide and that, therefore, terror must be imposed on the hearts of those who may consider betraying their Gestapo-like master and revealing the ugly truth. For example the truth behind 9-11 (self-attack, imperial self-coup), the truth behind Al Qaeda (sockpuppet), the truth about the shadowy Gladio network (a secret imperial state within the states) that impregnates the state apparatuses of NATO and other imperial vassals. And probably many others that I don't even imagine.

Sadly for them Chaos science does not allow for a persistent "1984" style totalitarian regime, as they would no doubt like, gaps will unavoidably open more and more often and the whole system will eventually become just tatters. But they try hard, no doubt.

If anyone thought that there was "democracy" and "freedom" in Europe... the mirage has been dispelled tonight. Keep slashing out countries for your list of possible asylum destinies for Snowden, only a handful of Latin American islands of freedom, notably Bolivia, will take him in for real.

Anonymous said...

Well, well.... after all it seems all this spying on your allies is not so much about military or industrial secrets.

It is always very convenient to know all the dirty little secrets of the politicians. Makes it so much easier to control these puppets.

Disgusting ....

Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand the whole thing. I can see denying someone entry into a country for political or security reasons. Such a person would be turned away when arriving at the airport. I get that. I cannot understand, however, the justification of not allowing someone, in this case Snowden, to enter your country's air space. That would happen with what official justification exactly?

I do understand travel bans, such as the one issued by the US and EU for Mugabe (although not consistently enforced). But that is for someone who has committed human rights violations, and I'm still not sure if he is prohibited from entering air space or solely from entering the country. And this ban is in effect after having been decided upon by respective governments and having been publicly declared.

In Snowden's case, however, there is no such declaration to my knowledge, nor has he committed anywhere near comparable crimes. So how can this happen?

And does it mean that any country can now at will say, "oops, there might be an inconvenient person on this or that plane, so let's be safe and don't let it enter our air space"?

Most importantly of all, what does that do to the right to seek asylum if one has to do it on the respective country's soil, but can arbitrarily be prevented from setting foot on it?

Maju said...

"Master wants" is the only "justification" in this case.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if it's possible to officially change Earth's name to Stupidworld.

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