EXPLANATIONS, APOLOGIES AND A PROFOUND CHANGE OF POLICY ARE NEEDED
The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) strongly denounces the harassment of the aircraft carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales on July 1, 2 and 3, and demands explanations and apologies from all governments responsible, including that of the United States.
The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Affairs, signed and ratified by the United States, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Bolivia among others, treats aircraft carrying heads of state as having sovereign immunity. They cannot, therefore, be treated the way President Morales’ aircraft was treated: Portugal, France, Spain and Italy suddenly they could not allow the craft to make a refueling stop in their countries or even overfly them. Spain violated the Vienna Convention in another way by saying that the plane could land in the Spanish-owned Canary Islands, but its crew would have to agree that it be searched. Finally, in danger of running out of fuel, the aircraft was allowed to land in Vienna, Austria.
The countries who created this incident not only violated an international treaty to which they are signatory, but also put the lives of President Morales and others aboard the aircraft in danger.
Apparently someone had started a rumor that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “might” be aboard the Bolivian presidential aircraft. He was not, but the outrageous violation of international norms would have been just as bad if he had been.
The countries that tried to block Evo Morales’ flight plans have no reason to be angry with Morales or even with Snowden. Just last weekend, NSA materials released by Snowden showed a very high
level of U.S. surveillance of France, Germany and the European Union as a whole. Many European governments have denounced this activity and called for explanations from the United States. France has gone so far as to call for a delay of the opening of U.S.-European Union trade talks until those explanations are forthcoming.
Much of the world believes that France, Italy, Portugal and Spain acted as they did under pressure from the United States government. Ecuador’s withdrawal of a possible offer of asylum to Snowden is also seen as a response to U.S. threats or pressure. It is hard to see why else these countries would have acted as they did.
The Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) demands the following;
- That the Obama administration and Secretary of State John Kerry give a clear answer as to whether, in the course of their pursuit of Mr. Snowden, they pressured the European governments to interfere with the flight plan of President Evo Morales’ presidential airplane, and whether they also put pressure on President Rafael Correa by means of threats of economic retaliation not to give asylum to Snowden.
- That the governments of Portugal, France, Spain and Italy explain why, in violation of the Vienna Convention, they interfered with the flight plan of President Morales’ aircraft, putting Morales and others on board in danger of their lives, and what other country if any induced them to behave so irresponsibly.
- That all countries involved in this sorry incident, including the United States, apologize to the nation and people of Bolivia (note that French President Francois Hollande has already done so) and promise that it will not be repeated against Bolivia or any other sovereign independent nation.
- This being July 4, the day on which the people of the United States celebrate our national independence, we demand that the leaders of the United States government fully recognize the full sovereignty and independence of the other nations in our hemisphere. The Monroe Doctrine and gunboat diplomacy are things of the past, and the Latin American countries have the inherent, sovereign right to choose their own paths of economic development and political relationships without U.S. or European interference.