Snowden Rumors Reroute Plane of Bolivia Leader

France, Portugal won't let it enter airspace on fears NSA leaker is aboard

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 2, 2013 7:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Where-is-Snowden chronicles reached a weird new level today when France and Portugal refused to let a plane carrying Bolivia's president cross their airspace, reports AP. Why? Rumors were buzzing that Edward Snowden was stashed aboard the aircraft trying to ferry President Evo Morales home from Russia. Morales himself provided the kindling for the rumors earlier in Moscow by announcing that Bolivia would consider granting asylum to the NSA leaker. So maybe he and Vladimir Putin would try to pull a fast one and sneak Snowden on his return flight?

No way, insist angry Bolivian officials after the plane had to change course and touch down in Vienna. "We don't know who invented this lie," says the foreign minister, who claimed the move by France and Portugal "put at risk the life of the president." (The defense minister blames the US for the rumor, reports CNN.) Wherever Snowden is—and the best bet seems to be still stuck in airport limbo in Moscow—his two best chances for asylum now appear to be Bolivia or Venezuela, reports the New York Times. In fact, they may be his only options left.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, greets Bolivia's President Evo Morales during their meeting in the Kremlin Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, greets Bolivia's President Evo Morales during their meeting in the Kremlin Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Maxim Shemetov, Pool)
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