Bolivian president announces legal action over Obama's 'crimes against humanity'

Correction — October 4, 2013
The last paragraph of this article should say "President Maduro" rather than "President Morales". We apologize for the error.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Bolivian President Evo Morales announced Thursday he will file legal charges against the United States President Barack Obama for crimes against humanity. President Morales announced he was preparing litigation after Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro's plane was allegedly denied entry into U.S. airspace over Puerto Rico.

File:Morales 20060113 02.jpg
File photo of Evo Morales.
Image: Agência Brasil.
Official portrait of Barack Obama.
Image: Pete Souza.

President Morales called Obama a "criminal" violating international law. Morales called an emergency meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), made up of 33 member states including Argentina, Mexico and Chile, and encouraged member states to remove their ambassadors from the U.S. to show their solidarity. He asked Bolivarian Alliance member states to boycott the next United Nations meeting, to be held in New York on September 24. He also said the U.S. had pursued a policy of "intimidation" and have a history of blockading presidential flights.

In July this year, the Bolivian presidential aircraft was prevented from landing in Portugal to refuel, allegedly at the request of the U.S. administration. After Italy, Spain and France each banned the aircraft from entering their airspace, it was ultimately forced to land in Austria. Here, the plane was boarded as part of the search for U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden. Several Latin American heads of state promptly condemned the actions.

President Evo Morales is in his second presidential term after first being elected in 2005. He campaigned on the promise of alleviating Bolivia's crippling poverty — Bolivia was Latin America's poorest nation at the time he was elected — and is Bolivia's first indigenous leader. He became internationally recognisable for the striped jumper he wore while meeting with high level dignitaries, including kings and presidents, around the world. His actions as President have included halving his own salary and those of his ministers, seizing Bolivia's gas and oil reserves, and redistributing the nation's unused countryside to the poor.

President Morales had been bound for bilateral talks in China. He maintains he will not be prevented from attending them.