Posts Tagged ‘Prism’

Latin America slams US, EU over Morales incident (Snowden)

Friday, July 5th, 2013

By Deutsche Welle

Bolivias President Evo Morales (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

Bolivias President Evo Morales (Photo © Rebecca Sommer)

After Evo Morales’ forced stopover in Vienna, Latin America’s long-held resentment against the US is resurfacing. But there’s also growing consternation about the EU, with Colombia warning of a diplomatic scandal.
The US embassy in Bolivia was sealed off and the Independence Day celebrations on July 4 had been called off at the last minute. Police were out in force to keep unwanted visitors away. It’s eerily quiet behind the walls.
After Bolivia’s Evo Morales was forced to stop over in Vienna on Tuesday night (02./03.07.2013) relations between La Paz and Washington hit a low point. As millions of Americans were celebrating Independence Day, Morales hosted a crisis summit with the leaders of Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and Uruguay in Cochabamba.
South America upset
The fact that the Obama administration is violating what is seen as a fundamental American right to freedom, as stipulated by the founding fathers of the United States, is a particular thorn in the sides of many in Latin America.
Morales had to stop over in Vienna against his will
“The illegal detention of Bolivian President Morales is not just humiliating for one of our neighbors, it’s humiliating for an entire continent,” Argentine President Cristina Kirchner told daily “Clarin”.
“Evo si, Yanquis no” (“Evo yes, Yankees no”) – that was the battle cry of Morales’ supporters. The Bolivian president returned to La Paz just before midnight local time on Wednesday.
The outrage over what they see as the condescending treatment of Bolivia#s head of state, has spread across the continent. It has revived the traditional view of the US as an imperial power. Colombia is the only country urging caution so as not to escalate the situation.
“The US is putting their own objective of national secrecy above international law,” says Günther Maihold, deputy director at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, who teaches at the Colegio de Mexico at the moment. He believes Obama is “losing credibility fast” in Latin America, which he says “could cause lasting damage.”
Dismay and bafflement
And it’s not just the US that’s under the spotlight, Europe is under fire too. “European governments have treated the president of a sovereign country with condescension,” the Peruvian writer and Nobel Prize laureate Vargas Llosa said at an event on freedom of the press in Madrid’s America House. He said the incident was simply unacceptable.
In South America, the conflicting responses to the incident in Europe caused dismay and bafflement. Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff demanded an apology.
Vargas Llosa is disappointed with Europe
“The stance of some European governments is frightening,” she said, especially given the recent row between the Washington and Brussels over US spying and surveillance programs in Europe.
Bolivia’s Vice President Garcia Linera expressed his frustration in Spanish daily “El Pais”. “Some European countries have damaged their own dignity with this incident,” he told the paper. “The colonies are not in Africa or Asia, but unfortunately, in Europe.”
The sound of silence
“The worst thing about this incident is the silence in Europe,” says Marianne Braig, a Latin America expert who teaches at the FU University in Berlin.
“Why are we not having a debate here about granting asylum to Snowden?” she asks, pointing out that Europe could cite international law in this case.
But the Morales incident shows that some countries can afford to ignore international law, according to Günther Maihold. “It’s not just European countries that cooperate with US intelligence agencies. Latin American nations do it too,” he adds. That’s why their criticism is little more than posturing he says.
Maihold believes that only countries who do not rely on the US politically, those that are “on the fringes of global politics…like Ecuador, Belarus or Venezuela” would be in a position to grant asylum to someone like Snowden.

The Cochabamba Declaration by UNASUR (on the assault on President Morales)

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Watch Video in Spanish

Cochabamba Declaration
Read Censored News and firedoglake

Cochabamba, Plurinational State of Bolivia

On this Thursday night Presidents of South American Nations, gathered in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and issued a joint statement in which they affirmed their rejection of recent actions against President Evo Morales and required the governments of Portugal, France, Italy and Spain to explain the situation and asked for public apologies.

The Presidents of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro; Argentina, Cristina Fernandez; Uruguay, José Pepe Mujica; Ecuador, Rafael Correa; Suriname, Desi Boutersi; as well as delegations from other South American nations, held an extraordinary meeting to support the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, in the recent situation that took place in Europe at the time he was returning to his country.

Following the intervention of presidents and delegations, and ratification of the rejection of the violation of multiple rights of the Bolivian president, the presidents issued a document securing its position concerning the attack. Several of the leaders questioned the effectiveness of the work of counterintelligence and investigations of the nations involved that led them to commit an error of this magnitude.

At the same time (the Presidents) seek rectification, a presentation of explanations of the case and ask for apologies for the assault on the indigenous South American Indian leader, which in turn is considered an attack against all the peoples of the region.

Below is the full text of the document signed by all the presidents:

Cochabamba Declaration

Given the situation that the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales, was subjected to by the governments of France, Portugal, Italy and Spain, we denounce before the international community and various international organizations:

— The flagrant violation of international treaties governing peaceful coexistence, solidarity and cooperation between our states, that took place is an unusual act, unfriendly and hostile, configuring an unlawful act that affects freedom of movement and displacement of a head of state and his delegation.

— The abuse and neocolonial practices that still exist on our planet in the XXI century.

— The lack of transparency about the motivations of policy decisions that prevented air traffic for the Bolivian presidential vessel and its president.

— The injury suffered by President Evo Morales, which offends not only the Bolivian people but all our nations.

— The illegal spying practices that threaten the rights of citizens and friendly coexistence among nations.

In view of these denunciations, we are convinced that the process of building the Patria Grande (Integrated Latin America) to which we are committed must be consolidated with full respect for the sovereignty and independence of our peoples, without interference from global hegemonic powers, conquering the old practices of imposing first and second class.(status on) countries.

The male and female heads of state and governments of countries of the Union of South American Nations, gathered in Cochabamba on July 4, 2013:

1- We declare that the unacceptable restriction on the freedom of President Evo Morales, making virtually him a hostage, is a rights violation of not only the Bolivian people but of all countries and peoples of Latin America and sets a dangerous precedent for existing international law.

2- We reject the actions that clearly violate norms and principles of international law, the inviolability of the heads of state.

3- We call on the governments of France, Portugal, Italy and Spain to explain the reasons for the decision to prevent the presidential plane from the Plurinational State of Bolivia from overflying through its airspace.

4- Similarly, we urge the governments of France, Portugal, Italy and Spain present the corresponding public apologies for the serious incidents that occurred.

5- We support the complaint filed by the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the serious violation of human rights and specific endangerment of the life of President Evo Morales; we also support the right of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to take all actions it deems necessary to the courts and relevant agencies.

6- We agreed to form a monitoring committee, entrusting the task to our foreign ministries to perform the actions necessary to shed light on the facts.

Finally, in the spirit of the principles set forth in the treaty establishing UNASUR, we urge all the heads of state of the union to stand by (accompany) this declaration.

Similarly, we call on the United Nations and regional organizations that have not done so yet, to make a pronouncement on this unjustifiable and arbitrary event.

Cochabamba, July 4, 2013

Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013


Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

By Rebecca Sommer

In an impressively bold action, the source of the NSA leaks identified himself and his reasons.

I do not want to live in such a world”

Me neither.

Our hero’s name is Edward Snowden, 29 years young. He worked for several years as an IT analyst for the CIA, and later at NSA surveillance subcontractor Booz Allen Hamilton. He was among “thousands upon thousands” of such analysts hired to manage and sift through “huge amounts of data.” Yours and mine.

Edward fled to Hong Kong in the hope that the U.S. would have difficulties to get access to him, but ultimately he wants to seek asylum in Iceland. Sadly, Iceland announced that its asylum procedure demands the person to apply within the country, and not from the outside. Ridiculous, if there is political will – there is a way. Come on Iceland, let this brave man have his deserved freedom in your hauntingly beautiful country!

I hope that the Icelandic people will stand up for him, and pressure their government to make an exception to the asylum rules.

In the meantime, leftist German party “Linke” requested that Germany must grant him asylum – which is the exact right move any government should do, and I am sure that ~7 billion people from around the world agree.

So let’s start to demand this from our governments!

When Edward Snowden explained his motivation to leak the information despite the fact that he knew that he would be targeted by the US, he said that he does not want to live in a world in which you have no privacy. In addition:

“You can not wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I did realized leadership is about being the first to act…. I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things”

One could now summarize a lot of what Glenn Greenwald writes in the Guardian about it, or what Snowden says in the video interview with Greenwald. But you can also just watch yourself there. Again: Impressive.

Edward Snowden, THANK YOU.

WATCH VIDEO at the original source ! The Guardian

Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers, and thus uncovered massive wrongdoing by the U.S. government during the Vietnam War, was quoted as saying that he has been waiting for such a moment for 40 years.

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist,  who should really get the Pulitzer Prize for the entire NSA stories this week, points out that Snowden is not on Facebook or Twitter, so all subsequent sounding accounts are fake.

For the matter of fact, I also refused to open a Facebook or Twitter account, suspicious that it was/is a spy machine. Little did I knew that any information that I was sending and receiving through my personal e-mail account, my skype conversations, my pdf or word files, my pictures . . are surveilled and stored by Prism for years anyhow, and my human right to privacy severely violated.