Latin America is split in the Morales stopped for Snowden’s case
And now for something completely different from the Brazilian protests.
The Edward Snowden affair had nothing to do with Latin America. The perspective for a refuge in Ecuador, Venezuela or Bolivia, which wasn’t regional consensus at all, made it ours as well, though. That doesn’t mean there is an united voice of leaders there about European countries stopping Bolivia’s Evo Morales from flying over their territories. Although the leftists go to the microphones more often, silence should also be heard — it is a big part of Latin American politics. In this case silence is eloquent.
My interview for Russia Today on the Morales-Snowden case
Leaders that are opposite to the leftist group — Chile’s Sebastian Pinera and Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos — would bring natural criticism in case the American was brought to one of their neighbors. And now that Morales went through hardship on his way back from Moscow, where he attended a gas summit, they didn’t care at all. Snowden is somewhere in the Russian airport waiting for clearance to go somewhere else after he revealed the US government spies not only enemies, but also allies in Europe.
Latin American powerhouse Brazil has its own issues to deal with and doesn’t seem to want trouble with the EU or the US. President Dilma Rousseff has had closer contacts with her American colleague Barack Obama, and that includes a State visit to the Washington. As a leader of Mercosur, the region’s main trade bloc, Brazil eyes an agreement with the EU. Argentina and Uruguay, also members, are pushing even harder against it and anything Brazil does now might be the end of the negotiations.
Perhaps that is why the Brazilian Foreign Minister said very little about the Morales situation. He accused the Europeans that stopped Morales of being “arrogant.” No mention of violations of international agreements. Morales says he was refused landing in those countries because they suspected he was carrying Snowden. France has already denied it, but there is little doubt that the Bolivian wouldn’t take the risk of running out of gas in the air just to make a point.
Unasul, the South American summit, will discuss other measures this week, but Brazil won’t send the head of their diplomacy. Or the number two. Or the number three. The same goes for other countries which don’t take it as personally, although the measure taken by Portugal, France, Spain and Italy is surely an aggression to international law.
It takes more than an aggression to international law to unite Latin America. It also takes a more comprehensive perception of the region to see the differences that are there.