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‘New asylum way for Snowden’ after US blunders with Morales skyjacking

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia.

Published time: July 05, 2013 07:54

Bolivia's President Evo Morales (C), flanked by Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera (L) and Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca, opens a meeting with other leftist Latin American leaders (AFP Photo / Jorge Bernal)

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By grounding Bolivian President’s plane Europe has united South America against the US – and opened new prospects for asylum seeking Snowden, believes the international affairs analyst Pepe Escobar.

RT: Much of the blame over this diverted plane controversy now lies with the EU, so presumably Washington must be pretty happy about that?

Pepe Escobar: Exactly. Like the Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera remarkably put it, it was an “imperial kidnapping,” but the puppets were the most important part of the equation in that. Don’t forget that until 24 hours before what happened to Evo Morales, they were outraged and furious that they were being spied upon in a base in Frankfurt and out of a NATO headquarters in Mons outside of Belgium. Twenty fours later they did what they did against Evo Morales, leader of a small South American nation, a peach of a person with immense grace.

RT: Why that sudden change in sentiment?

PE: Look, we have to compare… Everybody knows now about the famous Joe Biden phone call probably impersonating Joe Pesci in “Goodfellas” to Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador. You saw how Rafael Correa changed his tune radically after that. Now it is different, because the whole thing backfired. What the America’s tried to do with Evo Morales’ plane, what the puppets did – France, Portugal, Spain and Italy especially – the Austrians are more or less in the middle, there’re conflicting version, the Austrians say that Evo Morales authorized the search of the plane in the Bolivians say this never happened.

Now, they have united South America against the US and this ridiculous, pathetic role of the European puppet. So this opens for Snowden a possible alternative asylum way in South America. It could be Venezuela, just like President Maduro told RT. It could be Bolivia, just like President Morales told RT as well, or it could be a consultation among the countries in UNASUR – let’s try to find a collective solution to solve the Snowden case.

Bolivia's President Evo Morales (C) and his counterparts Nicolas Maduro (C left) of Venezuela and Rafael Correa (C, right) of Ecuador, are pictured during a welcoming gathering in honour of Morales, in Cochabamba, on July 4, 2013 (AFP Photo / Jorge Bernal)

RT: Well if they were that angry, surely one of those countries would offer pretty swift and safe passage for Snowden, so in some ways isn’t it just an overreaction to these Latin American countries, just an excuse to have a go at the US?

PE: No. No. No. It is not an overreaction. Look, people in South America know one of two things about the former colonial power – Spain. They know how arrogant the French can be and I heard this from diplomats from all sides dealing with Europeans. It’s usually the mission civilisatrice, the civilizing mission of the French all the time, and they always know better. So people are extremely sensitive, and if you do this against Bolivia, come on, it is a small South American nation. It is a slight against the first indigenous president in history of South America. These things they take very, very seriously.

RT: And if it is that serious and they are talking about taking it to the UN, will that achieve anything? Will they get any result?

PE: They’ve already launched the complaint – but look at the UN Secretary General that we have at the moment. Ban Ki Moon in Iceland two days ago said that Edward Snowden was wrong at what he did! This guy, he does not even know the charter of the United Nations, so you cannot trust even the UN. So I would suggest UNASUR, union of South American countries, get to act together and solve the Snowden case for the benefit of the whole world.

Members of social organizations attend the welcoming gathering in honour of Bolivia's President Evo Morales (out of frame) following his arrival from Europe, in the Bolivian central city of Cochabamba, on July 4, 2013 (AFP Photo / Jorge Bernal)

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.