Snowden saga continues: Bolivian president blames U.S. "imperialism" for his diverted flight from Russia

(CBS News) National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's saga continues to unfold on a global scale. He may be stuck in Moscow, but this chapter begins in South America, where one very annoyed president returned home. President Evo Morales arrived to a hero's welcome in Bolivia, after his flight from Moscow was diverted to Austria.

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Morales called the unscheduled stop an open provocation toward an entire continent, laying blame squarely on Washington and its European allies.

Suggesting the U.S. government intervened to get his plane halted before it crossed over France, Spain and Portugal, Morales called it "an open provocation to the continent, not only to the president; they use the agent of North American imperialism to scare us and intimidate us."

Speaking to dozens of supporters Wednesday at the airport in his home country, Morales suggested "some European countries should free themselves from North American imperialism.

Russia's foreign ministry issued a statement Thursday criticizing the three nations for delaying the Bolivian president's flight. France called it "an administrative error."

Other European allies are demanding answers over allegations the U.S. has been spying on them, based on leaks of classified documents by Snowden.

President Obama called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to try to smooth things over, pledging that security leaders from both nations would meet soon to discuss the issue in further detail.

As far as anyone's aware, Snowden is still holed up at a Russian airport, waiting for any country to grant him political asylum -- and a flight that might actually get him there.

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