HAVANA, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Cuba on Wednesday criticized the European governments that reportedly barred Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane from their airspace on suspicion he was trying to sneak U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden into Latin America.
"That decision offends all Latin America and the Caribbean," the Cuban Foreign Ministry said in a statement published by the official daily Granma.
It was "unacceptable, unfounded and arbitrary the prohibition on the Bolivian president to fly over France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, under the pretext of carrying the former agent Edward Snowden, pursued by Washington for leaking documents on a world cyber espionage network," the statement added.
France, Spain, Italy and Portugal canceled for several hours the flight permits for Morales' plane overnight Tuesday, forcing him to make an emergency landing in Austria, and to stay there for more than 13 hours.
The Bolivian plane, which was taking Morales home from a gas conference in Moscow, was reportedly searched in Vienna to determine that Snowden was not aboard before the aircraft was allowed to depart.
EU Transport spokeswoman Helen Kearns said it was for national governments to permit planes into their space.
Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, was charged by the U.S. government with espionage after he divulged massive U.S. surveillance programs that spied on telephone and Internet communications.
Snowden has requested political asylum to about 20 countries, including Cuba and Russia.
BRUSSELS, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Bolivia's ambassador to the United Nations denied Wednesday that the former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was on plane with Bolivian President Evo Morales, media reports said. Full story
LA PAZ, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca Tuesday denied U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden was on the plane flying Bolivia's president out of Europe, after the plane was diverted on suspicions it was carrying both men.
In a televised announcement, the minister said "we don't know who invented the lie, but we want to denounce the injustice of ( diverting) President Evo Morales' plane to the international community." Full story
MOSCOW, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Fugitive U.S. citizen Edward Snowden has asked for political asylum in Russia, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. The Kremlin made no comments over the latest developments.
"British citizen Sarah Harrison who acted on behalf of the U.S. citizen Edward Snowden arrived at the consular office of the Foreign Ministry in the Sheremetyevo airport. She has handed over to the Russian diplomats Snowden's request about granting him political asylum in Russia," the Interfax news agency quoted consular officer Kim Shevchenko as saying.Full story