BOLIVIA – The Embassy of France attacked

f_2012-02-16_18Bolivian President Evo Morales was forced to stop over for about 13 hours while four European countries including France, refused to open their airspace. The Head of State, who was returning from a summit in Vienna, could approve the request for political asylum from Mr. Snowden to Bolivia and Paris, Lisbon, Madrid and Rome feared that the American computer scientist sought by the United States for espionnage, was present in the presidential plane. If granting access to the national territory is part of sovereign rights of States, a ban after takeoff  with a president on board seems unprecedented.
“There was conflicting information about the passengers who were on board,” said President François Hollande. He added: “Once I knew it was the plane of the Bolivian President, I immediately gave the permission to overflight “ French territory. French diplomacy has also presented its “regrets” about the “inconvenience”.

But damages were already done. A hundred demonstrators went protesting yesterday in front of the Embassy of France in La Paz and have hurled stones and burned French flags. Banners and other signs were not tender with France. “France, fascist, out of Bolivia”, “France, the Indian [Morales] is the savior of the world”, or “hypocrite France, France colonialist,” it read. Bolivian Parliament would also request the deportation of ambassadors of France, Portugal and Italy. A meeting of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) will also take place today in Lima at the ministerial level to discuss the Viennese incident.

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