LA PAZ, Bolivia — President Evo Morales said Thursday that the rerouting of his plane over suspicions that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden was on board was a plot by the United States to intimidate him and other Latin American leaders.
Morales’s return late Wednesday night followed a dramatic, unplanned 14-hour layover in Vienna that ignited an international diplomatic row. Bolivia’s government said France, Spain, and Portugal refused to let the president’s plane through their airspace, forcing it to land in Austria. He was flying home from a summit in Russia.
Latin American leaders were outraged by the incident, calling it a violation of national sovereignty and a slap in the face for a region that has suffered through humiliations by Europe and several US-backed military coups.
Several South American presidents were headed to the Bolivian city of Cochabamba on Thursday to show their support for the leftist leader.