The Argentine President's Riveting Account of Tuesday's Snowden Crisis

When Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane was rerouted last night on the suspicion that it was carrying NSA leaker Edward Snowden out of Russia, outraged, frantic South American leaders spent the evening on the phone in an attempt to seek justice.

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner recounted her experience of the crisis in a series of Tweets—demonstrating that not just Bolivia but much of South America was infuriated at the European breach of diplomatic immunity. Here's her Twitter story, with accompanying translations and annotations by Kragen Javier Sitaker:

Volví de la Rosada. Olivos, 21:46 hs. Me avisan, Presidente Correa al teléfono. "Rafael?. Pasámelo".

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

I got back from the Casa Rosada [the seat of the executive branch]. Olivos [where the presidential residence is located], 9:46 PM. "President Correa [of Ecuador] on the line." "Rafael? I'll take the call."

"Hola Rafa, cómo estás?". Me contesta entre enojado y angustiado. "No sabés que está pasando?"

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

"Hi Rafa, what's up?" He answers me with a mix of anger and anguish. "Don't you know what's going on?"

"No, que pasa?". Yo en babia. Raro, porque siempre estoy atenta… y vigilante. Pero recién había finalizado una reunión.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

"No, what's going on?" I'm struck speechless. Strange, since I'm always alert... and careful. But I'd just gotten out of a meeting.

"Cristina. Lo han detenido a Evo con su avión, y no lo dejan salir de Europa".

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

"Cristina. Evo's been detained in his plane. They're not letting him leave Europe."

"Qué? Evo? Evo Morales detenido?" Inmediatamente me viene a la mente su última fotografía, en Rusia…

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

"What? Evo? Evo Morales [President of Bolivia] detained?" Immediately his latest photo, in Russia, pops into my head...

Junto a Putín, Nicolás Maduro y otros Jefes de Estado. "Pero que pasó Rafael?"

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

together with Putin, Nicolás Maduro and other Heads of State. "But what happened, Rafael?"

"Varios países le revocaron el permiso de vuelo y está en Viena", me contesta.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

"Several countries revoked his permission to fly over, and he's in Vienna," he answers.

Definitivamente están todos locos. Jefe de Estado y su avión tiene inmunidad total. No puede ser este grado de impunidad.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

They've definitely gone crazy. Head of State, and his plane has total immunity. This level of impunity [a word which here evokes the memory of the last dictatorship, which exterminated some ten to thirty thousand of its political opponents, a crime that wasn't successfully prosecuted until Sra. Fernandez and her late husband did so in their presidencies] cannot be.

Rafael me dice que va a llamar urgente a Ollanta Humala para reunión urgente UNASUR.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

Rafael tells me he's going to call Ollanta Humala [president of Perú] urgently for an urgent meeting of UNASUR.

Llamo a Evo. Del otro lado de la línea, su voz me responde tranquila: "Hola compañera, como está?". El me pregunta a mí como estoy!

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

I call Evo. From the other end of the line, his voice answers me calmly, "Hey buddy, how's it going?" He's asking me how I am!

Me lleva miles de años de civilización de ventaja. Me cuenta la situación. "Estoy aquí, en un saloncito en el aeropuerto…"

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

He has the advantage of thousands of years of civilization over me. [Not sure I understood that sentence correctly.] He explains the situation to me. "So here I am, in a little room in the airport…"

"Y no voy a permitir que revisen mi avión. No soy un ladrón". Simplemente perfecto. Fuerza Evo.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

"and I'm not going to let them search my plane. I'm not a thief." Simply perfect. Stay strong, Evo.

CFK: "Dejáme que llame a Cancillería. Quiero ver jurisdicción, Tratado y Tribunal al cual recurrir. Te vuelvo a llamar". "Gracias compañera"

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

CFK [Cristina]: "Let me call the State Department. I want to check out which jurisdiction, Treaty and Court to use. I'll call you back." "Thanks, buddy."

"Hola, Susana". No querido, Susana Ruiz Cerruti. Nuestra experta en legales internacionales de Cancillería...

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

"Hello, Susana." No, darling, Susana Ruiz Cerruti. [Cristina is clarifying to the reader that she's not referring to the popular TV show host Susana Gimenez.]) Our expert in international legal matters in the State Department.

Me confirma inmunidad absoluta por derecho consuetudinario, receptado por Convención de 2004 y Tribunal de La Haya.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

She confirms absolute immunity by legal tradition, received [We're told that in this usage "received" means something like "recognized" or "confirmed as legitimate" — Ed.] by the 2004 Convention and the Tribunal of The Hague.

Si Austria no lo deja salir o quiere revisar su avión, puede presentarse ante la Corte Internacional de La Haya y pedir…

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

If Austria doesn't let him go or wants to search his plane, we can present the case before the International Court of The Hague and request…

Siiii!, UNA MEDIDA CAUTELAR. No se si ponerme a reír o llorar. Te dás cuenta para que son las medidas cautelares.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

Yesss! A PREVENTATIVE INJUNCTION. I don't know whether to start laughing or crying. [This is a reference to the President's years-long struggle against preventative injunctions put in place by Argentine courts against her efforts to break up the big Argentine media trusts that are her strongest local political enemies.] You see what preventative injunctions are for.

Bueno, sino le podemos mandar algún juez de acá. Madre de Dios! Qué mundo!

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

And, well, if not, we can send him some judge from here. Mother of God! What a world!

Lo llamo a Evo nuevamente. Su Ministro de Defensa toma nota. En Austria son las 3AM. Van a intentar comunicarse con las autoridades.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

I call Evo back. His Minister of Defense takes note. In Austria it's 3 AM. They're going to try to call the authorities.

Hablo con Pepe (Mujica). Está indignado. Tiene razón. Es todo muy humillante. Me vuelve a hablar Rafa.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

I speak with Pepe (Mujica) [President of Uruguay, whose legal given name is José]. He's outraged. He's right. It's all very humiliating. Rafa calls me back.

Me avisa que Ollanta va a convocar a reunión de UNASUR. Son las 00:25 AM. Mañana va a ser un día largo y difícil. Calma. No van a poder.

— Cristina Kirchner (@CFKArgentina) July 3, 2013

He tells me Ollanta will call a meeting of UNASUR. It's 12:25 AM. Tomorrow will be a long, hard day. Don't worry. This will not stand.