NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was suspected to be on board, although Austrian foreign ministry officials later said he was not. 
Morales, along with the Bolivian defence minister, remain at Vienna international airport, reports The Guardian. 

The defence minister said that France, Portugal, Italy and Spain had prevented the jet from entering their airspace, blaming the decisions on pressure from the US government.

Morales said he refused a request by the Spanish authorities’ to inspect his plane in Vienna and has not been granted permission to use Spanish airspace, according to Reuters.

“If there were a request, of course we would be willing to debate and consider the idea,” Morales told TV station RT Actualidad before the incident yesterday, referring to the potential for an asylum request from Snowden.

“I know that the Empires have an espionage network and are against the so-called developing countries. And in particular, against those which are rich in natural resources. Bolivia, as well as Venezuela and Ecuador are exposed to constant surveillance from the US empire.”

Morales has also voiced his support for Snowden on a visit to Haiti ealier this week, saying: “We say and advocate that someone in the world should stand with this young man and protect him, the revelations he has made with courage serve to change the world.”  

Image via Getty / Videos via Al Jazeera & The Young Turks