2018-12-18 I was asked for my take on former President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, the large loans from China
I am needing extra information on Ecuador and more info on Correa and of course the Assange case and I know that you were working in that direction a while back. I see the attached article is blaming Correa for taking big loans from China.
|Indigenous peoples denounce ongoing land rights violations in Ecuador
Indigenous people in Ecuador say their territorial rights are being systematically violated, according to a top United Nations official.
Re your question: article is blaming Correa on taking big loans from China
I can tell you some things. But I have to be careful about objectivity in sorting through the information:
my introduction to Rafael Correa was through his actions in support of Julian Assange. Correa is fearless; he may have saved Assange’s life. I have sketchbook information of some of what Correa accomplished for the Ecuadorean people. And have a sense of how he infuriated the powers-that-be.
I can offer a hypothesis as to why Indigenous Ecuadoreans might be critical of Correa.
Indigenous people were vocal and critical about Correa’s failures in the Amazon forests. At first it seems incongruous. For example, Correa was determined that the pillagers would pay. Under Correa the Constitutional Court upheld US$9.5 billion in fines levied against Chevron-Texaco for the damage it did in Ecuador’s Amazon. (Correa’s successor, Lenin Moreno, is un-doing a lot of what Correa accomplished; the fines will not be paid.)
Hypothesis: The issues related to resource extraction for Ecuador’s indigenous people and Canada’s first nations are the same. To me, you can understand the seeming-incongruity in Ecuador (indigenous people critical of Correa who has championed environmental issues in the Amazon Rain Forest) by understanding the issue as it exists in Canada.
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A President of Ecuador, or a Premier or Prime Minister in Canada can actively support sustainable logging, for example – – protection of the environment.
But that’s not the basic issue. The basic issue is Indigenous Sovereignty.
The Manuel family in Canada has been incredibly effective in leadership on this issue in Canada, but also in helping to organize indigenous peoples around the Planet. It is likely that Ecuadorean indigenous people have participated in the international meetings of indigenous people, the same ones as organized and attended by Canadian First Nations.
I hypothesize that Correa was acting in the same frame-of-reference that most Canadian leaders still embrace. They can’t envision what Haida Gwaii, for example, has accomplished. It’s new, pretty unique, and interesting.
Ref: The Haida Gwaii Lesson, A Strategic Playbook for Indigenous Sovereignty, by Mark Dowie, 2017).
I haven’t posted excerpts from the book, but hope to.
In Haida Gwaii it’s a fait accompli, although still a work-in-progress. The book “Unsettling Canada“, is very good, the same issue, but as it exists in other parts of Canada.
I have posted excerpts from it: Unsettling Canada, excerpts; Also, the obituary of its’ author Arthur Manuel.
Your question is about the China role. Wikipedia quotes Correa re China:
“On this point he (Correa) mentioned that in the year 2006, 75% of the Ecuadorian petroleum went to United States, in exchange for nothing. “Now we have 50% of the committed petroleum with China, in exchange for thousands of millions of dollars to finance the development of this country.”
- Correa took loans from China, Yes. Sold oil rights to China (how DARE Ecuador do that?! That oil belongs to the colonizing empire, to Chevron, to the Americans), AND
Ecuador’s national emergency response system which also has capability in face-recognition technology (surveillance), has a drone component, etc. is Chinese-built and funded. (There’s no evidence the Ecuadorian government has used these advanced technologies for ends beyond typical crime control.)
What you have is numbers of countries (Ecuador (under Correa), Bolivia, Chile, some African countries gone over to the CHINESE for technologies, long-term contracts, that the Americans would see as threatening to American interests.
CONSEQUENCE: You may know better than I the South American countries that have undergone regime changes, from left-leaning, to ones “supportive” of the Americans (like the change in Ecuador from Correa’s leadership to current President Moreno’s – – an about-face). I could be wrong, of course, but to me the EHM (American empire) is at work, trying to re-take control; they got to Moreno. With that goes all the dirty tricks – – smear campaigns, intimidation, show of force (the U.S. Southern Command military ship on the Ecuadorean coastline). The American military-industrial-congressional complex is master of the techniques.
The problem for the Americans is that “the game is up” so to speak. Too many people know how they operate. So now the propaganda doesn’t work as well as it used to; they are reduced to show of and use of force. I think we are experiencing a change in the balance-of-powers in the world.
Thoughts regarding the article you read:
- a top United Nations official, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples – – in the article, she is speaking on behalf of the indigenous people of Ecuador. She believes what she said. But there are complexities. The primary one is explained above. She is coming from an entirely different plane. The indigenous people of Ecuador, like other indigenous people around the world, through the United Nations, and through, for example court cases in Canada, have established rights. They have aboriginal title to land that was illegally appropriated by colonizing nations. To me, there’s a bit of propaganda about Correa she’s picked up, mixed in with what she’s saying.
For national leaders like Correa, in order for these countries to escape the poverty and domination that has plagued them under American colonialism, they have to find alternative sources of capital – – Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, the U.N.’s special rapporteur, does not factor that in.
- She “ is urging the Ecuadoran government to form a “truly plurinational and multicultural society” in accordance with its constitution and international law.
This is the same battle being fought by First Nations in Canada. The Constitution Express was a movement organized in 1980 and 1981 to protest the lack of recognition of Aboriginal rights in the proposed patriation of the Canadian constitution by the Trudeau government. A group of activists led by George Manuel, then president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs chartered two trains from Vancouver that eventually carried approximately one thousand people to Ottawa to publicize concerns that Aboriginal rights would be abolished in the proposed Canadian Constitution. When this large-scale peaceful demonstration did not initially alter the Trudeau government’s position, delegations continued on to the United Nations in New York, and then to Europe to spread their message to an international audience. Eventually, the Trudeau government agreed to recognize Aboriginal rights within the Constitution. Contemporary activist Arthur Manuel calls the Constitution Express the most effective direct action in Canadian history, as it ultimately changed the Constitution.1
The First Nation, or Indigenous People, or Aboriginals might have the right IN THE CONSTITUTION, but they have to fight on, to achieve implementation or activation of the right. In my experience it’s not Governments that uphold Charter Rights. Citizens have to battle to defend the rights.
The Constitution of Ecuador was enacted in 2008. Rafael Correa was President. There was a lot of opposition from the entrenched powers. As I understand things, I doubt that Ecuador would have a solid Constitution and protected rights, if not for the determination of Correa. See the URL (“Background“) below, for a few details.
The work to figure out HOW to create a “truly plurinational” society requires a huge amount of talk and dedication.
- “The Government” who Tauli-Corpuz refers to, would be the Government under President Correa. His last term ended in 2017.
- Look at what Correa accomplished. Between 2006 and 2016, poverty decreased from 36.7% to 22.5% and annual per capita GDP growth was 1.5 percent (as compared to 0.6 percent over the prior two decades). At the same time, inequalities, as measured by the Gini index, decreased from 0.55 to 0.47.
- Correa did outrageous things. In campaigning for President “he described himself as the head of “a citizen’s revolution” against the established political parties and corrupt elites,[28. . . as the leader of a second independence movement devoted to freeing Ecuador from American imperialism.” He got elected!
- Correa was very effective in his efforts to throw off the mantle of American hegemony, not only for Ecuador, but by helping unite South American countries in their own independent organization. He helped empower governments in Central and South America.
You know that the wrath of the Americans will come down upon him. It will start with smear campaigns. He has to be discredited. Somewhere, exaggerated claims about Correa’s relationships with the Chinese will be planted.
Today, working with President Lenin Moreno (Correa’s successor), the U.S. has a lot to dismantle.
See (2018-11-06 Background for “US Navy Ship (US Southern Command) Lands On Ecuador’s Shore to Give Free Medical Care”).
Among other things, (I titled this “Sticking your finger in the eye of the bully”)
Can you imagine how the U.S. reacted? – – Correa effectively removed Assange from the clutches of the CIA, NSA, Pentagon, when he gave Assange asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.
THEN, Correa Doing what “developed countries” would do, if the culprit wasn’t the U.S. – – took a principled stand re Edward Snowden 2013-06-28 Ecuador suspends preferential trade with US over Snowden affair
- Correa was wary and smart: he left Ecuador before they could arrest him. He would be in jail, or equally likely, dead – – had he not fled.
(John Perkins quotes from a conversation with Correa in which he asked Correa about the EHM and jackals: Correa said he had been approached by the EHM. Correa was aware of the dangers in what he did; he was aware of the assassinations of Roldos and Torrijos (Ecuador and Panama) by the CIA-jackals)
– CLASSIC TOOL #1: start a smear campaign against dissenting leadership. Correa was accused of various things, arrest warrants issued; his lawyer reported that Interpol did not react because of insufficient evidence.
– I believe that the Americans got to Correa’s successor, Lenin Moreno. Much of what Correa accomplished is being undone, as mentioned. The people of Ecuador remain vocal and active supporters of Correa. They’re out on the streets protesting various Government actions (under Moreno), but with scant attention from Western media.
– The vigils for Assange, by respected people (Hedges, Ellsberg, McGovern, and so on) also acknowledge and endorse Correa. To me, they would not be doing that if Correa lacks integrity.
Anyhow, the way I piece things together: Correa is straight. As with all of us, some of his decisions will have been poor ones. The attempts to discredit and take him down are predictable, given the eyes he stuck his finger in. The powers that be don’t like that. Correa has exhibited amazing courage. The same with Assange.