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Carroll reports: "Ecuador has ramped up its defiance of the US over Edward Snowden by waiving preferential trade rights with Washington even as the whistleblower's prospect of reaching the country dimmed."

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. (photo: AP)
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. (photo: AP)


Ecuador Breaks US Trade Pact to Thwart 'Blackmail' Over Snowden Asylum

By Rory Carroll, Guardian UK

28 June 13

 

Government renounces Andean Trade Preference Act even as Snowden's prospects of reaching Ecuador from Moscow dimmed

cuador has ramped up its defiance of the US over Edward Snowden by waiving preferential trade rights with Washington even as the whistleblower's prospect of reaching Quito dimmed.

President Rafael Correa's government said on Thursday it was renouncing the Andean Trade Preference Act to thwart US "blackmail" of Ecuador in the former NSA contractor's asylum request.

Officials, speaking at an early morning press conference, also offered a $23m donation for human rights training in the US, a brash riposte to recent US criticism of Ecuador's own human rights record.

Betty Tola, the minister of political coordination, said the asylum request had not been processed because Snowden, who is believed to be at Moscow airport, was neither in Ecuador nor at an Ecuadorean embassy or consulate. "The petitioner is not in Ecuadorean territory as the law requires."

Tola also said Ecuador had not supplied any travel document or diplomatic letter to Snowden, who is reportedly marooned in Moscow airport's transit lounge because his US passport has been invalidated.

A document leaked to Univision on Wednesday showed that someone at Ecuador's consulate in London did issue a safe conduct pass for the fugitive on June 22, as he prepared to leave Hong Kong. The name of the consul general, Fidel Narvaez, was printed but not signed.

Tola said it was unauthorised: "Any document of this type has no validity and is the exclusive responsibility of the person who issued it."

The renunciation underlined divisions within Ecuador's government between leftists who have embraced Snowden as an anti-imperialist symbol and centrists who fear diplomatic and economic damage.

Some in the government are believed to be annoyed that Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has sheltered at Ecuador's London embassy to avoid extradition, has seized the limelight in the Snowden saga. Assange caught Quito by surprise last week when he announced Snowden had been given a safe conduct pass. Quito replaced its ambassador to London earlier this month in hope of better managing its famous guest.

The waiving of preferential trade rights followed threats from members of the US congress to drop the ATPA in July, when it is due for renewal, unless Ecuador toed the line on Snowden.

"Ecuador does not accept pressure or threats from anyone, nor does it trade with principles or submit them to mercantile interests, however important those may be," said Fernando Alvarado, the communications secretary.

"Ecuador gives up, unilaterally and irrevocably, the said customs benefits." The announcement will enhance President Correa's reputation as a bold leader unafraid to defy the US, just like the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez.

Tactical calculation lay behind the decision. Even before the Snowden affair Quito feared losing the trade preferences, largely because of Republican antipathy to Ecuador's outspoken socialist leader.

"The Ecuadorans got word that renewal of ATPDEA was a long shot in any case, so instead of waiting for rejection, they took the initiative and the high road," said Michael Shifter, of the Inter-American Dialogue.

Correa loved a fight and was responding to perceived US hypocrisy and heavy-handedness, said Shifter. But the president had showed caution in refraining, so far, from granting Snowden asylum. "He appears to be weighing the political and public relations benefits against the real consequences for Ecuador's economy, should he grant the asylum request."

Juan Carlos Calderon, the editorial of Vanguardia, a weekly which has had its offices raided and staff threatened in disputes with the president, said Correa's firebrand image masked shrewd, pragmatic calculation.

Even before the Snowden affair the president tried to soothe Ecuadoreans that losing the trade preferences, which exclude thousands of products such as roses, tuna and broccoli from export duty, would have a small impact.

Not all are convinced. "This will have serious consequence for Ecuadorean producers," said Ramiro Crespo, director general of Analytica Investments, a Quito-based consultancy.

"These products which are exported to the United States have become major industries in Ecuador. If commerce is restricted there's going to be unemployment … This does not penalise the government, it penalises the people."

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+35 # Okieangels 2013-06-28 09:10
Sad that foreign presidents will speak up for human rights but not prominent Democrats here at home.
 
 
+3 # Tazio 2013-06-29 08:35
Remember when Jimmy Carter spoke out for human rights and Ronald Reagan just laughed at him and ridiculed the very idea of human rights?
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2013-06-29 11:07
Quoting Tazio:
Remember when Jimmy Carter spoke out for human rights and Ronald Reagan just laughed at him and ridiculed the very idea of human rights?

Yeah, like his comrade in arms "There is only the individual" "Hatchet" Thatcher!
 
 
+4 # Valleyboy 2013-06-28 09:32
Shit reporting from someone who jumped aboard the "Kick Chavez" Train when he died.
 
 
+18 # cmp 2013-06-28 09:58
I think that I need a little help in keeping all of these US Government Wars straight..

Wasn't the rhetoric (sale) of the Andean Trade Preference Act to help fight the "War on Drugs?" Are we now, witnessing a battlefield where the "War on Terror" is directly engaged with the "War on Drugs?"

And, in Syria, we have a Leftist Government with tightly controlled banking, oil production, etc.. In other words, a natural "Cold War" enemy.. But, we know that a part of the uprising against the Syrian government is Al-Qaeda. In fact, we know that the Rebels have to have much more imported soldiers in order to win. But, are we to now understand that we have to spend tax dollars to fund the "Cold War" that directly defeats the "War on Terror?"

Now me, I'm not a warring guy. But, I'm still wondering just what happened with the "War on Poverty.." Or, could it be that the "Class War" was ramped up to take good care of that one?

"A man is incapable of comprehending any argument that interferes with his revenue."
~Descartes~
 
 
+9 # indian weaver 2013-06-28 10:43
The Descartes quote also applies to our government, and probably all governments.
 
 
+4 # cmp 2013-06-28 11:00
indian weaver, you're exactly right!

By the way, how come the Corp Media hasn't been talking about all of the warnings that we've had over the years?

Here is a few examples from one of the Patriot Act authors:

~Rep. James Sensenbrenner March 9th, 2007 Interview~
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/government_programs/jan-june07/patriotact_03-09.html
"I am shocked. I think that the Justice Department has overreached. There's something seriously wrong with the internal management of the Justice Department, and that better be fixed, because if it isn't, the support for the internal part of our war against terrorism is going to evaporate rapidly."

~Rep. James Sensenbrenner April 14,2010 "Rep. Feels Betrayed by the FBI"~
http://www.mainjustice.com/2010/04/14/sensenbrenner-feels-betrayed-by-fbis-violations/
"I came to this whole issue as your friends and I feel betrayed," said Sensenbrenner. "I don't think you're getting the message.."

~Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jun 6th, 2013 "Rep. Writes Letter To Holder"~
http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/uploadedfiles/sensenbrenner_letter_to_attorney_general_eric_holder.pdf
"These reports are deeply concerning and raise questions about whether our constitutional rights are secure... I do not believe the released FISA order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. How could the phone records of so many innocent Americans be relevant to an authorized investigation?"
 
 
0 # TCinLA 2013-06-28 22:29
And you think Senselessbrenne r is someone to celebrate????
 
 
+2 # cmp 2013-06-29 10:28
The Corp Media & the Corp Govt is on all out battlefield assault of Snowdwen's identity.. They're winning.

For Biden, Feinstein, Pelosi, Schummer, Rogers, Alexander, etc., etc., etc., in the terms of our 1st Amendment "chill or trump," they've already won..


Obama (hacker? really?)
Barack Obama in 2007: “This Administration also puts forward a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand… That means no more illegal wire-tapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists… We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.”

Do You like that one better???? It's a lousy Campaign speech.

Look at the date of Sensenbrenner's 3rd quote from the Letter to Holder. Does that particular date mean anything to you????

In case you haven't noticed, their is absolutely zero National discussion of our 1st, 4th and 5th Amendment Rights by those that matter today..

Do you see Clapper being Indicted? Are you holding your breadth?
 
 
0 # TCinLA 2013-06-28 22:28
"Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia"
 
 
+21 # Erdajean 2013-06-28 10:42
What a nightmare that America is now the bully of the world, out to slap other countries around, to force "respect" for our downright evil activities.
Many, many thanks to Ecuador's Correa -- such a novelty, a president with a spine and a will to do the right thing. May he live and thrive.
 
 
+2 # 666 2013-06-28 21:13
just "now", erdajean?? sweetie, it's been that way a long, long time.
 
 
+14 # Kwelinyingi 2013-06-28 11:18
One important item is missing from this piece: Ecuador has also offered to donate $23 million to the US to "finance human rights training...the money would be aimed at helping avoid violations of privacy, torture and other actions that are denigrating to humanity".
http://www.democratandchronicle.com/usatoday/article/2463465?odyssey=mod_sectionstories

But what is really disturbing is that the great majority of nations, powerful or weak, rich or poor, simply cannot summon the courage to stand up to this evil, self-declared god that our country has now become. The Snowden affair has been left to the conscience of a small, weak and impoverished country like Ecuador. Meanwhile our mainstream media is busy speculating on the whereabouts and what would happen to Snowden, now identified as a traitor, paying scant attention to the real treachery of our government compromising the privacy and secrets of billions on an unprecedented global scale.
 
 
+6 # Cailleach 2013-06-28 13:01
Why isn't Cheney charged as a traitor for outing Valerie Plame? I am so sick of the hypocrisy of this country! I actually know of someone who travels on an Irish passport because she is so ashamed of the U.S.
 
 
+13 # reiverpacific 2013-06-28 11:37
I've always loved Ecuador, even before Correa, when they seemed to be having presidential elections every few months.
Now I'm proud of it for thumbing it's nose at "El Hermano Grande al Norte" and moving from having a major CIA presence -top station in S. Americas- to kicking they and the US military beyond their borders.
And giving the earth 'human rights'.
¡Viva Correa y qué dejas con poder del genté propio!
 
 
+3 # Activista 2013-06-28 13:24
There is stark contrast between USA Money/Neocon culture and principles of poor country as Ecuador. Hurry before they seal the Mexican border and move ..
 
 
+4 # reiverpacific 2013-06-28 18:53
Quoting Activista:
There is stark contrast between USA Money/Neocon culture and principles of poor country as Ecuador. Hurry before they seal the Mexican border and move ..

Ecuador isn't so poor anymore -just becoming more sustainable and beholden to the grassroots -dare iI say "socialist"?!.
It was "poor" and kept that way deliberately, when it was under the thumb of the US/CIA in the days of instability when ruled by big banana and shrimp farmers along the coast and big long-time dynastic land owners in the Andes and Orienté (Amazon headwaters side of the Andes).
Careful which country you deem "poor" and "less than" these days.
I look forward to the era -if I live to see it- when the entire Central and South American land mass moves out of the Thrall of the menace up north.
 
 
0 # Nominae 2013-06-28 20:39
Quoting reiverpacific:

Ecuador isn't so poor anymore....... It was "poor" ... when it was under the thumb of the US/CIA in the days of instability when ruled by big banana and shrimp farmers along the coast and big long-time dynastic land owners in the Andes and Orienté (Amazon headwaters side of the Andes).
Careful which country you deem "poor" and "less than" these days.


While it may no longer be at the beck and call of the US/CIA, that doesn't mean that Ecuador has become some kind of a world power.

That very Eastern Ecuador region you mention, including the headwaters of the Amazon, is now under full control of China.
The Chinese Oil Industry is even now hard at work "developing" that entire Eastern Region.

This state of affairs came about due to the fact that China made Ecuador a huge cash loan. When China "called in the note", cash poor Ecuador could not pay. China then "claimed" the entire region of Eastern Ecuador in lieu of the cash owed. This has been quite recent, as in : during this very year.

So while you encourage research on the part of others, it may be equally beneficial to remain abreast of current events in the region of which you claim knowledge yourself.

BTW, statements of *observable* and *demonstrable* fact are NOT "put downs". If Ecuador were NOT poor, would she just have ceded such a huge percentage of her sovereign territory
to the freakin' Chinese Oil Companies ?

Research can be a boon to us all.
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2013-06-29 11:16
@ "Nominae"
While it may no longer be at the beck and call of the US/CIA, that doesn't mean that Ecuador has become some kind of a world power.

That very Eastern Ecuador region you mention, including the headwaters of the Amazon, is now under full control of China.
The Chinese Oil Industry is even now hard at work "developing" that entire Eastern Region.

This state of affairs came about due to the fact that China made Ecuador a huge cash loan. When China "called in the note", cash poor Ecuador could not pay. China then "claimed" the entire region of Eastern Ecuador in lieu of the cash owed. This has been quite recent, as in : during this very year.

So while you encourage research on the part of others, it may be equally beneficial to remain abreast of current events in the region of which you claim knowledge yourself.

BTW, statements of *observable* and *demonstrable* fact are NOT "put downs". If Ecuador were NOT poor, would she just have ceded such a huge percentage of her sovereign territory
to the freakin' Chinese Oil Companies ?

Research can be a boon to us all.
Did I ever say that Ecuador was a :World power"? That would be a spurious claim for such a small country indeed.
When I was working there, there was a strong Chinese ((and Russian) presence, including the joint-venture partners of Chiquita, the V- Wong dynasty. So you're not teliin' me anything I don't know.
So get off yer high horse -I'm still in touch with Ecuatorianos (as).
 
 
-1 # Nominae 2013-06-29 19:19
Quoting reiverpacific:
........
Did I ever say that Ecuador was a :World power"? That would be a spurious claim for such a small country indeed.


Part I

As you are a long-time commenter, and a fellow Celt (American Irish here), I chose to avoid insulting your intelligence by hanging a neon sign on the "world power" reference shouting: "SATIRE". To my mind, if satire has to be labeled, it has already been wasted upon the intended recipient. So please just accept that statement for the hyperbole that it obviously (to many readers) actually is.

Perhaps there is truth to what I have heard about the difference between the Irish and the Scottish sense of play and humor. I obviously misjudged the audience in your case.

Con'td
 
 
-1 # Nominae 2013-06-29 19:21
PART II

Quoting reiverpacific:
.....When I was working there, there was a strong Chinese ((and Russian) presence, including the joint-venture partners of Chiquita, the V- Wong dynasty. So you're not teliin' me anything I don't know.
So get off yer high horse -I'm still in touch with Ecuatorianos (as).


Claiming association is not the same as acquiring knowledge. If you were aware that Ecuador was so fiscally desperate that it was forced to take out loans that it couldn't repay by using it's sovereign territory as collateral, then how could you be chastising our fellow commenter Activista for "assuming" that Ecuador is poor ?

Ecuador's financial straights are a DEMONSTRABLE fact. If that fact is lost on you in SPITE of having been there, and in SPITE of maintaining contact with the people there - my condolences.

I don't care if you are cousins Correa himself - association with Ecuadorans, and having been to the country doesn't make your argument to Activista anymore logically valid.

Therefore, given that you are a person who *obviously* knows a lot ABOUT "high horses" I would commend your own advice to you on that subject.
 
 
-1 # Nominae 2013-06-29 23:16
Quoting NOMINAE:


Ecuador's financial straights are a DEMONSTRABLE fact.


Correction: make that Ecuador's financial "straits". Thank you.
 
 
-1 # reiverpacific 2013-06-30 10:18
Quoting NOMINAE:
[quote name="NOMINAE"]
Correction: make that Ecuador's financial "straits". Thank you.


I give up; I'm not getting into a war of words or rationale with a wise-monkey and mean-spirited kibitzer. Right enough you don't care as long as you are published to demean another and make yourself look smart -but smart is as smart does and you ain't looking real good so far. To me, this is a personal attack for some reason which escapes me and I certainly wasn't 'attacking' "Activista' in my commentary; just making a fairly tactful cautionary statement. And "Activista" certainly didn't jump out at me with fangs, gnashin' and hate-glands phuttin' like you did! I'm almost inclined to invite you to butt out and mind yer own business until asked for y'r opinion -oops, let it slip- and confine y'r bile-snotty, self-aggrandizi ng remarks to the general readership in the pluralistic sense - personal attacks are discouraged here, although I confess, I'm inclined to a certain pungency of rebuttal myself at times.
My experience of many countries which you look down on I could never have received from books or newspapers (which I also read deeply), including the true richness of direct involvement with their language(s) senses o' humor, food, culture, music, relationships of all kinds, as I take the trouble to get to know all this in situ, the best reasons to travel I'd say.
I'm done with you o' wise, from-a-distance one! Avant and quit my sight.
 
 
-1 # Nominae 2013-06-30 20:22
Quoting reiverpacific:


I give up; I'm not getting into a war of words or rationale with a wise-monkey and mean-spirited kibitzer.....


When you respond to logical argumentation with simple second grade name-calling, there truly is no reason to exchange ideas.

However, I am not "butting out" of *anything* on your say so, or that of anyone else. This is not the reiverpacific Forum. Thank you for your comments.
 
 
0 # reiverpacific 2013-07-01 16:15
Quoting NOMINAE:
Quoting reiverpacific:


I give up; I'm not getting into a war of words or rationale with a wise-monkey and mean-spirited kibitzer.....


When you respond to logical argumentation with simple second grade name-calling, there truly is no reason to exchange ideas.

However, I am not "butting out" of *anything* on your say so, or that of anyone else. This is not the reiverpacific Forum. Thank you for your comments.

last comment;
I just invited you to butt outa this, which should really be between 'Activista' and I, if indeed there was a problem, I have no illusions about it being an RP forum; just share my views, including from experience which most readers seem to find tolerably acceptable -I only post on subjects I feel qualified to comment on BTW, not everything and anything that comes down the pike -I have too full a life for that-.
If you can't see that your whole rant was a tract of name calling and unwarranted attack, you are not worth the exchange. I've had great and informative exchanges with many times with RSN posters and even had a couple of pieces published here, so I don't intend to rattle this empty tin can any further.
Again, if "Activista" was indeed unintentionally offended by my original post and wishes to engage me, I'll definitely and unconditionally apologize. haven't yet heard from (her?).
You must be a whole lotta fun to be around.
Now rant on all you like; -the rest is silence; 'nuff said!
By-ee.
 
 
+1 # rockieball 2013-06-29 12:01
Sounds to me that you do not like it when a little guy or in this case little country, stands up to the big bully, in this case the good ole U.S of A. Or maybe you feel that it is fine to prosecute the messenger who points out the wrongs of the government instead of prosecute the people who violate the rights and freedoms of it's citizen. Or maybe you feel that it is wrong except when the messenger is pointing at the good old U.S. of A., but okay when it's another country that gets caught. We here in this country live under the illusion that we are fee,independent and have leaders, corporations, banks that uphold the laws. Ethan Allen put his head in the noose for fighting injustice and we honor him. Snowden puts his head in that same noose for fighting that same injustice called Freedom and they want to prosecute him for it.
 
 
+8 # Bruce Gruber 2013-06-28 17:40
The concept and heritage of the United States I was taught to believe was simplistic and chauvinistic. Nonetheless it defined ideals I came to defend and cherish with a sense of prophetic human evolution and destiny, not for the brilliance of its substance, but for the 'open platform' with which it allowed growth of understanding and modification of application.

My dismay and horror expands at how simply a populace can be divided, dis-educated and paralyzed to accept without realization the destruction of each and every principle those concepts and ideals represented.

Doubletalk and misdirection, blame and fear allowed Nazi Germany to mobilize part of its population while disenfranchisin g and neutralizing the intellectual, economic and purposefulness of 'other' Germans. We are accomplishing the same beneath the twin pincers of greed and want, fear and misplaced sense of superiority, ignorance and blame.
 
 
+1 # tomo 2013-06-30 13:37
I'm deeply sympathetic with the drift of your statements here. Let me intensify, however, if I can the skepticism you manifest about our dedication to an open forum and to freedom of speech. The "City on a Hill" people, Winthrop and company, believed greatly in their freedom of speech. But when it came to Roger Williams and Anne Hathaway, it seemed to them a corollary to such freedom that they must shut up those who were abusing it by saying the wrong things. This carried over in spades to our forefathers' dealings with Native Americans. Words were exchanged. Promises were made. But these were never regarded as anything other than stratagems--per mitted to God's people, but laying on no obligations on them in their dealings with the Indians, who were obviously outside the pale.
 
 
+6 # ladymidath 2013-06-28 19:25
Well it happened, America has become the bully of the playground, smacking down other countries and stomping around looking for someone to beat up. The world needs to stands up to this bully and say enough is enough.
 

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