Bloomberg reports: Bolivia threatened to close the U.S. embassy as presidents from across the region met to show solidarity with President Evo Morales after the global manhunt for fugitive leaker Edward Snowden diverted his flight.
“We don’t need them, we’ve got other allies,” Morales, 53, said yesterday at an emergency summit of Latin American leaders in the highland Bolivian town of Cochabamba. “We don’t need the pretext of cooperation and diplomatic relations so that they can come and spy on us.”
Presidents from Argentina, Ecuador, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela met with Morales to demand Spain, France, Portugal and Italy apologize and explain why they denied the Bolivian leader’s presidential jet permission to fly through their airspace July 2. The incident led the plane to make an emergency landing in Vienna after a fuel gauge stopped working correctly, Morales said.
The group called for a new meeting of South American presidents on July 12 in Montevideo, Uruguay to discuss further retaliation against the European countries for the “flagrant violation” of international law, according to a statement read by Bolivia’s Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca at the end of the meeting yesterday. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Chile’s Sebastian Pinera, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Peru’s Ollanta Humala skipped the summit.