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Correa Thumbs Nose at U.S.–Offers $23 Million Foreign Aid For Human Rights Training

Thursday, June 27, 2013

“You need a reality check. Don’t act like such a spoiled rude child. Here you will only find dignity and sovereignty. We haven’t ever invaded anyone. Here we don’t torture like in Guantanamo. Here we don’t have drones killing alleged terrorists without any due trial, killing also the women and children of those supposed terrorists. So don’t come lecturing us about life, law, dignity, or liberty. You don’t have the moral right to do so.” — Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, Interview, May 2013

Ecuador's President Correa

Ecuador’s President Correa

 

The U. S. has threatened to eliminate Ecuador’s tariff and trade preference if Ecuador gives asylum to NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden.  Today Ecuador responded to that threat.

At a press conference in Quito, National Communications Secretary Fernando Alvarado informed the world that Ecuador will not participate in the InterAndian Free Trade Pact.  Alvarado said that Ecuador does not accept pressure or threats from anyone and will not compromise its principles for commercial interests, no matter how important they may be.  

He wanted to remind the world that tariff preferences were originally granted as compensation to the Andean countries for their fight against drugs, but they soon became a new instrument of blackmail.

Alvarado said, “Consequently, Ecuador unilaterally and irrevocably rejects any such tariff preferences.

“Moreover, Ecuador offers  the U.S. economic aid of 23 million dollars annually–an amount similar to that which we received from the tariff preferences–in order to provide training in human rights to help to avoid attacks on the privacy of people, torture, extrajudicial killings, and other acts injurious to mankind.

“Ecuador is one of only seven American countries that has ratified all of the inter-American human rights instruments, so we respectfully requested that the U.S. ratify at least some of them, starting with the American Convention on Human Rights or Pact of San José , the basis of the Inter American Human Rights System.

“We understand that there must be mechanisms to combat terrorism, but we cannot accept in this endeavor, that human rights and the sovereignty of peoples are trampled.

“We express the love, appreciation and respect for the American people with whom we have always had excellent relations and we sympathize with them for the massive espionage they have been subject to.

“Finally, we would enjoy that the U.S. respond with the same urgency that they are asking of us to deliver Mr. Snowden when he enters Ecuadorian soil, to our requests to the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador, via communication POL 081/2013 that they deliver to us the many fugitives from Ecuadorian justice who are currently living in the United States, particularly the corrupt bankers who knowingly destroyed our economy in 1999, whose extradition has been repeatedly denied by the United States.”  Information gleaned from El Ciudadano.

In a news conference on June 24, speaking from Hanoi, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño read Snowden’s request for asylum.   Patiño then addressed reporters, telling them that Ecuador responds based on principles “enshrined in its constitution and the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” He said that “the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be placed by Ecuador’s government over other interests that may be planted or by pressures that might be exerted.”

Patiño spoke about the “paradox” of Snowden’s case. “The man who is trying to shine a light and show transparency over acts that have affected the fundamental liberty of all people is now being pursued by those who should be giving explanations to governments and the citizens of the world about the denunciations presented by Mr. Snowden. But it’s a paradox of life that now the whistle blower is being chased by the one being accused.”


Patiño went on to talk about how “the word treason” has been tossed around recently. “We’d like to reflect,” he went on, “the question is treason against what, against whom? Do we betray principles, betray the principles of the interests of humanity or do we believe that in one case there is betrayal of the interests of the elites in power of one country?

“…Is (treason) betraying all the citizens of the world or betraying the elites in power of a given country? What is the concept of treason?”

Patiño said that the world would have avoided terrible suffering had the “absolutely false information” presented by the Bush administration before the Iraq war been publicly known.

Here is a partial text of Snowden’s request for asylum from the Washington Post:

“I, Edward Snowden, citizen of the United States of America, write to you to request asylum from the Republic of Ecuador because of the pursuit by the government of the United States and its agents in relation to my decision to make public grave violations by the United States of America of its constitution, namely the fourth and fifth amendments.

“As a result of my political opinions and the exercising of my rights of free expression through which I have shown how the United States is intercepting the majority of the communications of the world, the government of the United States has publicly announced a criminal investigation against me.

“Also, prominent figures in the Congress of the United States of America as well as different media outlets have accused me of being a traitor. And they have made a call that I be jailed or executed …”

Ecuador law prohibits extradition of any person to any country where there is a possibility that that person may be executed.

So while Julian Assange of Wikileaks has now passed the one year mark in asylum in Ecuador’s  Embassy in London, another brave soul is challenging the status quo by revealing pervasive secret spying on the world at large.  Snowden, too, is looking for sanctuary in Ecuador.  The drama continues.

 

 

 

 

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20 Comments

  1. A rare instance of when a smaller, less powerful country decides to step up and tell these giants what’s up, and here Ecuador wasn’t afraid to shove the USA’s words right back in their face. Declaring Snowden a traitor was a blindingly wrong decision, not as much a bad one as simply a /wrong/ one, and then threatening to cease financial aid to Ecuador unless they gave him up just made America look even more immoral. Not to mention, they announced this in such a globally public way that almost anybody could find reasonable ammunition to accuse America of putting money before virtue.

  2. I tend to think Snowden did the right thing, however, Correa’s pride will harm the people of his country which he has sworn to protect. He should have just ignored the calls of some from the US Congress or at the most made the point that the US hasn’t sent back the bankers. Instead he couldn’t help but spout off at the cost of Ecuadorians who can’t afford to lose the huge amount of US trade it has.

  3. Guy St Hilaire says:

    A big thumbs up for President Correa.We need more people like him directing world affairs.

  4. Hmm… It seems there might be backtracking here. Is Snowden now really welcome? Can the U.S. thank Joe Biden for talking Ecuador out of it?
    Maybe trade does trump principles.

  5. Hallelujah and my compliments to President Correa for his stand of courage and integrity and not allowing their people and country to be bullied by my country the USA. I would like Ecuadorian people to know that there are millions of USA citizens that would back and support his decisions in dealing with the USA!

    Sincerely, Robert

  6. Bravo. Merck. We shall program a trip to Ecuador very soon to looks at properties on the beach.

  7. President Correa makes some good points, and I respect his opinion and his right to do what he feels is best for his country. That is how it should be. But Mr. Snowden is just a grandstander and a traitor. I am sure that because of what he did, Al Qaida will change the way they communicate and that will probably cost many innocent lives. As will North Korea and other enemies of the free world.

    The war on terror is seeking to protect the world from some very vicious, sick individuals. The NSA program that people are talking about was intended to fight terrorism, and it sounds like it was very effective. Why do so many of you condemn America but praise Snowden? My two sons just got back from Afghanistan.

    It was my oldest son’s fourth time and my youngest son’s first. I can’t tell you how hard it was worrying about them. Many brave men and women are fighting and dying so you can be free to speak your minds. I am sure there are many dedicated individuals working for the NSA, too. Maybe you should give them at least a chance to defend themselves.

    Remember, they are trying to protect us. I for one am glad for what they do. However, I also know we must always keep an eye on our government. Perhaps one day we’ll find out that Snowden really meant well, but he sure could of picked a better way to do it. And I sure am disappointed in President Correa’s comments; typical political trash talk.

  8. President Correa speaks well and I am glad to hear what he says
    I am not so old or young that I cannot remember when the USA had high
    standards and we were all proud of her!
    Sincerely, Robert USA

  9. Hermann Schmitt says:

    I have posted that page on FB. If what Snowden did was treason and if treason is to share secrets with the enemy, then Americans are the enemy of their government since he shared what he knew with the people of the USA.

  10. ECUADOR HAS BIGGER BALL THAN USA ” VIVA ECUADOR “