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article image'Lo siento': Spain apologizes to Bolivia over Evo Morales debacle

By Anne Sewell     Jul 16, 2013 in World
La Paz - In the wake of the problems caused by various European countries believing NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, was on board the Bolivian president's plane recently, Spain has now officially apologized for its part in the whole mess.
Digital Journal reported on the fact that Spain was trying to defuse the recent huge row over the Bolivian President Evo Morales' private jet being prevented from entering Spanish airspace, when leaving a gas supplier's conference held in Moscow.
Spain, among other European countries had been told that Snowden was stowed away on board, and had requested authorities at Vienna airport to search the plane to ensure that the whistleblower wasn't hiding away somewhere.
On Monday, Spain officially voiced its regret at the diplomatic row with Bolivia.
Spain's Ambassador to La Paz, Miguel Angel Vasquez, in a written note delivered to the Bolivian Foreign Ministry said:
"I have to acknowledge that perhaps the procedures used at the Vienna airport on the part of our representative were not the most efficacious.
"We regret this fact ... the procedure was not appropriate and bothered the president (Morales), putting him in a difficult situation.
"Spain and Bolivia have relations that go far beyond any incident, any circumstance like the one we've now experienced and I hope and I'm sure that the Bolivian authorities understand them in the same way.
"Spain deeply regrets this and is sorry that it happened. We offer our apology and consider the matter closed," he added.
EFE reported that he also said that Spanish airspace "was always open to the (Bolivian) presidential aircraft."
Both Venezuela and Brazil have echoed Bolivia's indignation over the incident, with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua calling it "an attack against President Morales's life." Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff expressed "indignation" over the treatment of Morales, calling it a "provocation" that concerned "all of Latin America."
Possibly due to the recent harassment, Bolivia has now joined Venezuela and Nicaragua in offering asylum to Snowden. The former IT contractor turned NSA whistleblower remains holed up in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, currently awaiting temporary asylum in Russia.
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