Jul 072018
 

Washington Moves Against Rafael Correa

 

Americans need to know what their country is doing in their name.

The case of ECUADOR is classic.   It makes me sick.

To remind myself how long-standing and KNOWN the problem is,  I added some background to the recent news.

I would be appreciative if you would forward the link (http://sandrafinley.ca/?p=21497)  to people in the U.S.  and elsewhere.   It is THE BEST LIFE INSURANCE FOR RAFAEL CORREA. 

 

RECENTLY,  (2018)   (find the text further down):

  1. July 3:   Ecuadorean judge orders that ex-President Rafael Correa be jailed
  2. July 6:   Ecuador: 10 Detained As Media Ignores Massive Anti-Gov’t Protest
  3. January 21:   Ecuador’s Correa ‘Afraid for Julian Assange’s Safety’ /“It will only take pressure from the United States to” withdraw protection for Assange said Correa.
  4.  Excerpt re Ecuador,  from  Ch. 34, New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, 2016.

 

Ironic:  Correa should have been afraid for himself (the intention is for him to be jailed).  For 10 years he was a defender of the interests of the Ecuadorean people.  Fortunately, he realized the danger for his family, and moved to Belgium in time.

Ecuador’s Ailment:   Ecuador suffers from an abundance of natural resources that The Corporations want.    It always kills me – – if you want to see how much at risk a nation is for U.S. Interference,  you have only to go to the CIA website:

Definition: This entry lists a country’s mineral, petroleum, hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance, such as rare earth elements (REEs).  In general, products appear only if they make a significant contribution to the economy (INSERT:  doesn’t say for whose economy), or are likely to do so in the future.

Natural resources (Ecuador): petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

(INSERT:   hydropower means “water”, and also, there is an abundance of minerals in Ecuador – – mining company interests.   “Petroleum” interests are always synonymous with the poisoning and destruction of healthy water supplies.  In Ecuador’s case,  rain forest destruction is also a source of local resistance.)

See Also

 

Ecuador continues to be a classic illustration (relevant excerpt below at bottom, from)  Ch. 34, “New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”, John Perkins, 2016.

 

SOME QUICK BACKGROUND:

  • Ecuador is an oil-producing nation, a member of OPEC.
  • Former president of Ecuador for 10 years (2007 – 2017), Rafael Correa stood up to the U.S. and Corporate Interests, in defense of the interests of his people.
  • Correa granted asylum to Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, in 2012.
  • It appears to me that Correa’s successor has fallen to the “Economic Hit Men” (EHM’s).  Ref excerpt at bottom from  Ch. 34, “New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”, John Perkins, 2016.
  • In fear for safety, Correa moved his family to Belgium (his wife’s original home).
  • So now the smear campaign against Correa begins IN EARNEST.
  • The recent news is not surprising:  attempts to have Correa arrested (an Interpol warrant) and returned to Ecuador for trial.  They will eventually get Assange, too – – UNLESS – –  unless,  we can help the Ecuadorian protesters counteract the  Media Black-Out of the Massive Anti-Gov’t Protests in Ecuador.  

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Washington Moves Against Rafael Correa

First Washington went after Julian Assange for exposing US war crimes, and now Rafael Correa for granting Assange asylum in the Ecuadoran embassy.

From the Foreign Policy Journal, by Paul Craig Roberts, July 5, 2018

As President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa was a Godsend for the Ecuadorian people, for Latin American independence, and for WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. By serving justice and truth instead of Washington, Correa earned Washington’s hatred and determination to destroy him.

Correa was succeeded as president by Lenin Moreno, whom Correa mistakenly believed to be an ally, but who has every appearance of being a Washington asset.

The first thing that Moreno did was to make a deal with Washington, block Correa from being able to again stand for the presidency and turn on Julian Assange.

Moreno wants to revoke the asylum granted to Assange and has prevented Assange from continuing his journalistic activity from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In other words, Moreno has conspired with Washington and the UK to effectively imprison Assange in the embassy.

Now Moreno has taken another step that highlights his character as a blackguard. Correa, realizing that he and his family were in danger, moved to Belgium. An Ecuadorian court has now ordered the Belgians to detain Correa and extradite him to Ecuador on a fabricated kidnapping charge.

Correa thinks that Belgium will not comply with an absurd charge for which no evidence is presented and that the charge is intended to smear his name.

If I were Correa, I would not be so sure. Look at the ease with which Washington was able to use its vassals—Sweden and the UK—to effectively nullify the political asylum that Ecuador gave Assange.

Belgium is also Washington’s vassal and will experience threats and bribes—whatever it takes—to deliver Correa into Moreno’s hands, which is to say into Washington’s hands.

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Excerpt, Wikipedia:

– – – – –  – – – –  – – – –

Excerpt, research paper below,  Ecuador After Ten Years of President Correa: New Paper Examines Key Indicators, Reforms, and Policy Changes

The paper notes that these results (INSERT:  benefits for Ecuadorean people) were not driven by a “commodities boom,” but from deliberate policy choices and reforms that the Correa government enacted, including ending central bank independence, defaulting on illegitimate debt, taxing capital leaving the country, countercyclical fiscal policy, and ― in response to the most recent oil price crash ― tariffs implemented under the WTO’s provision for emergency balance of payments safeguards.

“Ecuador’s experience over the last ten years indicates that a relatively small, lower-middle income developing country is less restricted in its policy choices by ‘globalization’ than is commonly believed,” Weisbrot said.

– – – – –  – – – –  – – – –

Cont., from Wikipedia:

He (Correa) declared Ecuador’s national debt illegitimate and announced that the country would default on over $3 billion worth of bonds; he pledged to fight creditors in international courts and succeeded in reducing the price of outstanding bonds by more than 60%.[1] He oversaw the introduction of a new constitution, being re-elected in 2009 and again 2013 general election. During Correa’s presidency, he was part of the wider Latin American pink tide, a turn toward leftist governments in the region, allying himself with Hugo Chávez‘s Venezuela and brought Ecuador into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas in June 2009.[2] Using its own form of 21st century socialism, Correa’s administration increased government spending, reducing poverty, raising the minimum wage and increasing the standard of living in Ecuador.[2][3][4] By the end of Correa’s tenure, reliance on oil, public overspending, and 2016 earthquakes (more than 650 deaths and damage estimated at the equivalent of about 3% of GDP) caused Ecuador’s economy to enter a recession, resulting in government spending being slashed.[2][3][4][5]On 3 July 2018, a judge in Ecuador ordered the arrest of Correa after he failed to appear in court during a trial surrounding the kidnapping of a political opponent. Correa, who lived in Belgium at the time, denied the allegations regarding the kidnapping.[6]

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RECENTLY,

  1.   WORLD NEWS  JULY 3, 2018

Alexandra Valencia

QUITO (Reuters) – An Ecuadorean judge on Tuesday ordered that ex-President Rafael Correa be jailed as part of a case involving the kidnapping of a lawmaker, setting up a showdown with the Belgium-based leftist politician who vowed to appeal and defy the orders.

In 2012, former opposition lawmaker Fernando Balda was briefly kidnapped in neighboring Colombia, where he had fled after being sentenced to two years in prison for slander against Correa.

Balda accused Correa of having orchestrated the kidnapping, which the Colombian police broke up after a few hours.

Correa, who governed the Andean country for a decade, has always said he had nothing to do with the incident and has accused his successor Lenin Moreno of seeking to smear his administration for political gain.

The state prosecutor’s office in June requested that Correa be linked to the proceedings as the “author” of the incident.

Judge Daniella Camacho accepted that request and ordered Correa, who is living in Belgium, where his wife is from, to present himself in Ecuadorean courts every two weeks.

Instead, Correa on Monday presented himself to the Ecuadorean consulate in Belgium, which the judge on Tuesday termed a violation of her orders.

“Judge Daniella Camacho receives the prosecutor’s request and orders preventive prison for ex-president Rafael C. for his alleged participation in the crime of illicit association and kidnapping,” the Ecuadorean prosecutor’s office said on Twitter.

“A request will be submitted to Interpol for his capture, with the aim of extraditing him.”

Correa’s lawyer Caupolican Ochoa said the decision was a result of political pressures from Moreno, who was once an ally of Correa but turned on his mentor after being elected last year.

“This decision is arbitrary, it is a lie, it is defamatory. I do not believe they are seeking justice but rather revenge,” Ochoa told journalists at the end of the hearing, adding he would appeal.

Right after the decision, Correa tweeted that any attempt to jail him would fail.

“I’m well. Do not worry,” Correa tweeted. “They will seek to humiliate us and make us suffer a tough time, but a monstrosity like this will NEVER prosper in a country like Belgium with rule of law.”

Additional reporting by José Llangarí; writing by Alexandra Ulmer; editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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2.   News    > Latin America

Ecuador: 10 Detained As Media Ignores Massive Anti-Gov’t Protest

Protesters reject neoliberal reforms and show their support for Rafael Correa.

Published 6 July 2018

Protesters reject neoliberal reforms and show their support for Rafael Correa.

Photo: @PaolaPabonC

Protesters rejected the “political persecution” against former president Rafael Correa, and a series of economic reforms they say benefit economic elites.

Ecuadorean police detained ten people during Thursday’s “Indígnate Ecuador” (which translates to Be Outraged Ecuador) march against a series of neoliberal economic reforms and political persecution, most notably against former president Rafael Correa.

Those detained were charged with causing a public disorder. Via Twitter, the police said that three of those arrested also had criminal records for robbery and homicide, among others offenses.

Through social media, civil society organizations and citizens condemned the police for obstructing the peaceful protest and arresting at least five people before the rally began for handing out posters that invited others to march.

Foro de los Comunes, an organization of academics and activists, tweeted Thursday “Today | Five detained by 15 policemen in five patrol cars for pasting posters inviting people to march. The government of ‘tenderness’ and the ‘outstretched hand.’ #IndígnateEcuador.”

One incident of violence documented by TeleSUR’s reporting team occurred when a group of 30 protesters attempted to bypass a police blockade that kept them from reaching the Carondelet, Ecuador’s presidential palace. The event took place as thousands more, who were protesting against a series of reforms made by Lenin Moreno’s government continued to walk peacefully to Domingo square, where they gathered to hear speeches by political leaders.

Ecuadorean media outlets have been accused of underreporting or mischaracterizing the number of protesters or the cause of the protest by observers; they have also been accused of exaggerating the incidents of violence that occurred.

Carlos Perez, a member of Quito’s city council, said on Twitter: “Do these newspapers close their edition at noon, they don’t have reporters in Quito or are they deliberately hiding what happened yesterday afternoon? What bothers me the most is @el_telegrafo a public outlet that should be an example of an independent and plural press.”

El Telegrafo, a state-owned Spanish-language daily newspaper based in Guayaquil, claimed there were only 1,000 protesters in Quito and both El Telegrafo and El Comercio, a privately owned newspaper based in Quito, stated that the march was motivated solely by the recent order for preventive detention of Correa. Critics claim, and a review of the reporting confirms both failed to report that the protesters were also against the government’s policy of debt forgiveness for the business sector, the Productive Development Law, and austerity measures that have affected Campesinos, and the cut the budget of the Ministry of Social and Economic Inclusion.

“First, First First is the Worker. Later, later the money of the bourgeois,” citizens chanted as the also rejected a series of tax breaks given to foreign investors.

Media outlets also failed to cover the placards and chants, which highlighted the press’ role in the campaign of persecution against Correa.

One of the signs carried yesterday reads “Press. You will not deceive us again, TODAY you occupy power with political hate to quench your thirst for revenge.”

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3.  News    > Latin America

January 21, 2018

Ecuador’s Correa ‘Afraid for Julian Assange’s Safety’

“It will only take pressure from the United States to” withdraw protection for Assange said Correa.

Former Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa has warned that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s days are numbered at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Correa, who gave Assange asylum back in 2012, said that he’s “afraid for Julian Assange’s safety” due to the new government´s actions with regards to his case. He said that he believes President Lenin Moreno is likely “take away the support” previously afforded to the anti-secrecy activist.

“It will only take pressure from the United States to” withdraw protection for Assange and “surely it’s already being done, and maybe they await the results of the Feb. 4 (referendum) to make a decision,” said Correa, in an article published by AFP.

When asked does he have evidence to support his claim, Correa said it’s clear that Moreno “has no convictions, it’s clear that he has yielded to the usual powerbrokers” and will “soon enough yield regarding the question of Assange.” The 54-year old economist added that the ambassador for the United States was shamelessly interfering in Ecuador’s internal affairs, something “hadn’t occurred during ten years” of his government.

Earlier this week Correa officially left the ruling PAIS Alliance, the leftist political movement he founded in 2006 and which he first rose to political prominence.

Having referred to Moreno as a “traitor,” someone who has called for an “unconstitutional” referendum that could spell an end to “democracy,” Correa went on to say that “they can rob us of Alianza Pais, but never our will and convictions. Despite the pain, this only strengthens us.” More than two dozen other leaders and lawmakers have also resigned from the party, including Mauricio Proaño, Liliana Duran, and Esteban Melo.

The departing faction intends to start a new party called Citizens’ Revolution, the phrase Correa often uses to describe his socialist movement aimed at reducing the nation’s inequality.

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Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460

Washington, DC — A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) looks at key economic and social indicators, as well as policy, institutional, and regulatory changes in Ecuador in the decade since President Rafael Correa took office. The paper also looks at how the government dealt with the 2008–2009 world financial crisis and recession, and then a second oil price collapse beginning in 2014.

“The reforms and macroeconomic policy changes over the past decade, some of which were quite innovative, seem to have allowed for significant economic and social progress ― despite two major external economic shocks that triggered recessions in Ecuador,” said CEPR Co-Director and economist Mark Weisbrot, a coauthor of the paper.

Among the highlights, the paper finds:

  • Annual per capita GDP growth during the past decade (2006–2016) was 1.5 percent, as compared to 0.6 percent over the prior 26 years.
  • The poverty rate declined by 38 percent, and extreme poverty by 47 percent ― a reduction many times larger than that of the previous decade. This resulted from economic growth and employment, and from government programs that helped the poor, such as the cash transfer program Bono de Desarollo Humano, which more than doubled in size as a percent of GDP.
  • Inequality fell substantially, as measured by the Gini coefficient (from 0.55 to 0.47), or by the ratio of the top 10 percent to the bottom 10 percent of the income distribution (from 36 to 25, as of 2012).
  • The government doubled social spending, as a percentage of GDP, from 4.3 percent in 2006 to 8.6 percent in 2016. This included large increases in spending on education, health, and urban development and housing.
  • There were significant gains in education enrollment at various levels, as spending on higher education increased from 0.7 to 2.1 percent of GDP. This is the highest level of government spending on higher education in Latin America, and higher than the average of the OECD countries.
  • Government expenditure on health services doubled as a percentage of GDP from 2006 to 2016.
  • Public investment increased from 4 percent of GDP in 2006 to 14.8 percent in 2013, before falling to about 10 percent of GDP in 2016.

The paper notes that these results were not driven by a “commodities boom,” but from deliberate policy choices and reforms that the Correa government enacted, including ending central bank independence, defaulting on illegitimate debt, taxing capital leaving the country, countercyclical fiscal policy, and ― in response to the most recent oil price crash ― tariffs implemented under the WTO’s provision for emergency balance of payments safeguards.

“Ecuador’s experience over the last ten years indicates that a relatively small, lower-middle income developing country is less restricted in its policy choices by ‘globalization’ than is commonly believed,” Weisbrot said.

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Ch. 34, New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins, 2016.

P.  230:

INSERT: Present day Ecuador. Rafael Correa, “a very different type of politician”, had emerged. Reminds Perkins of a former client, Jaime Roldos, who became President of Ecuador in 1979. From P. 152  “Roldos struck me as a man who walked the path blazed by Torrijos. (President of Panama, also a “client” of Perkins.) “Both stood up to the world’s strongest superpower.   . . . Like Torrijos, Roldos was not a Communist but instead stood for the right of his country to determine its own destiny. And as they had with Torrijos, pundits predicted that big business and Washington would never tolerate Roldos as president – – that if elected he would meet a fate similar to that of Guatemala’s Arbenz or Chile’s Allende.

It seemed to me that the two men together might spearhead a new movement in Latin American politics and that this movement might form the foundation of changes that could affect every nation on the planet. These men were not Castros or Gadhafis. They were not associated with Russia or China or, as in Allende’s case, the international Socialist movement. They were popular, intelligent, charismatic leaders who were pragmatic rather than dogmatic. They were nationalistic but not anti-American. If corporatocracy was built by three sectorss – – major corporations, international banks, and colluding governments – – Roldos and Torrijos held out the possibility of removing the element of government collusion.

INSERT:   Less than two years after his inauguration as president of Ecuador, Roldos “died in a fiery airplane crash.” Omar Torrijos (president, Panama) later “dropped from the sky in a gigantic fireball”. Both men assassinated in 1981.  Roldos at the end of May, Torrijos less than three months later, with almost no reporting in the U.S.

Now, here was Correa, a candidate who openly invoked the memory of Jaime Roldos. . . . Correa said that he has been approached by EHMs and was very aware of the threat posed by jackals. . . .

In 1968, Texaco had only just discovered petroleum in Ecuador’s Amazon. Today, oil accounts for roughly half of the country’s export earnings. A trans-Andean pipeline, built shortly after my first visit, has since leaked more than half a million barrels of oil into the fragile rain forest – more than twice the amount spilled by the Exon Valdez.  A $1.3 billion, three-hundred-mile pipeline constructed by an EHM-organized consortium had promised to make Ecuador one of the world’s top ten suppliers of oil to the United \States.  Vast areas of rain forest had fallen, macaws and jaguars had all but vanished, three Ecuadorian indigenous cultures had been driven to the verge of collapse, and pristine rivers had been transformed into flaming cesspools.

INSERT: There was a fight back by indigenous nations.   2003 – American lawyers filed a lawsuit representing more than 30,000 Ecuadorians, …

P.  231 . . . a $1 billion lawsuit against Chevron Texaco asserting “that between 1971 and 1992 the oil giant dumped into open holes and rivers more than four million gallons per day of toxic wastewater contaminated with oil, heavy metals, and carcinogens, and that the company left behind nearly 350 uncovered waste pits that continue to kill both people and animals.”   . . .

(A cement wall in the jungle)  … This is the Agoyan hydroelectric project, which fuels the industries that make a handful of Ecuadorian families wealthy.

… Because of the way such projects were financed, by the time Correa decided to run for president, Ecuador was devoting a large share of its national budget to paying off its debts. The International Monetary Fund had assured Ecuador that the only way to end this cycle was by selling the vast sea of petroleum beneath its rain forests to the oil companies.

. . . Correa won with nearly 60% of the vote. . . . took office in 2007

. . . Correa refused to pay many of Ecuador’s debts, proclaiming that they had been signed by CIA-sponsored military dictators who had been bribed by EHMs (a fact I (i.e. Perkins) knew only too well was true). He closed the United States’ largest military base in Latin America, withdrew support for the CIA’s war on rebels in neighboring Columbia, ordered Ecuador’s central bank to divert to domestic funds that had been invested in the U.S., oversaw the rewriting of the constitution to make his country the first in the world to codify the inalienable rights of nature (a threat to the bottom lines of big business), and joined ALBA, an alternative to Washington’s plan to increase US hegemony through its Free Trade Area of the Americas.

But the most courageous of Correa’s actions was his renegotiation of oil contracts. He insisted that the companies could no longer base Ecuador’s share of oil revenues on “profits” – – an

P.  232:   all-too-common arrangement between big oil and economically developing countries, which historically has cheated these countries through creative accounting. Instead, the oil would belong to Ecuador, and the companies could only collect a fee for each barrel they produced.

The EHMs were dispatched. They offered the president and his cronies bribes – – both legal and illegal – – if he’d just back off. He refused.

Then, Honduran president Manuel Zelaya fell to a jackal coup.

That coup had a huge impact on all of Latin America – and especially on President Correa.

INSERT:  You will have to read the story of Zelaya in Honduras yourself!  The role of the “School of the Americas” (School of the Assassins”) is discussed. And the misrepresentations of what happened, as written in mainstream American media.

“No matter how many toys we amass we leave them behind when we die, just as we leave a broken environment, an economy that only benefits the richest, and a legacy of . . .

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