Morales Back in Bolivia after Plane Drama over Snowden

Created: 2013-07-04 16:43 EST

Category: World > South America

Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived home to a warm welcome late on Wednesday (July 3).

He says some European countries' refusal to let his plane enter their airspace on suspicion it carried fugitive Edward Snowden was a provocation aimed at all of South America.

Morales was greeted by his Cabinet and cheering crowds with some in traditional Andean garb scattering flowers at La Paz's airport after a dramatic journey from Moscow.

Other Latin American leaders were also angry over the plane incident, with heads of state in the 12-nation South American bloc Unasur denouncing the "unfriendly and unjustifiable acts."

On Wednesday, Bolivia accused the United States of trying to "kidnap" Morales, after his plane was denied permission to fly over France and Portugal; landing unscheduled in Vienna.

The Bolivian government says it has filed a formal complaint with the United Nations and is studying other legal avenues to prove its rights had been violated under international law.

The White House declines to comment.

Snowden was not on the plane when it landed in Vienna and is believed to be stranded in the transit lounge of a Moscow airport.

The United States has been trying to get its hands on him since he revealed details of its secret surveillance programs last month.