Ecuador Politics & Reality


Will Ecuador politics lead to this?

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or is this the more likely result of Ecuador politics?

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See below a batch pf Ecuador pictures and why I lean towards the politics of dancers in Ecuador.  First some words about Ecuador politics.

A reader sent this note asking about Ecuador political realities.

Mr. Scott, I want to thank you for the reports that you are sending me about Ecuador politics. I had decided to come there the first week of April and check things out. Then I saw on the news, here in the US, that the President of Ecuador is becoming just like the President of Venezuela, another dictator that will ruin the country and make it very undesirable and unsafe to live there. I would like for your honest opinion on this matter.  Sincerely,

Here is my Ecuador politics reply.

I never believe much of what I read in the news anymore. When I see how the US, especially the CIA treats Latin politics and Ecuador I am surprised there is not more hostility to the US.

Many readers read a lot of bad stuff about Ecuador politics and Correa and how he is not renewing the US lease on the Manta air base that started in 2000.

What the news on Ecuador politics does not report is what the US has been helping Colombia do from that base.

For example the news up north has not reported on an article at Commondreams .com written by the Environment News Service. Here is an excerpt:

Ecuador Sues Colombia to Stop Anti-Coca Herbicide Spray

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands- The government of Ecuador today filed suit at the International Court of Justice against the government of Colombia, in an effort to stop or restrict aerial anti-coca spraying that has allegedly sickened people on the Ecuadorean side of the border and harmed livestock, farmland, and sensitive, ecologically diverse rainforest areas.

The lawsuit follows seven years of persistent but unsuccessful diplomatic efforts on Ecuador’s part to convince its neighbor to the north to establish a 10 kilometer (six mile) no-spray zone along their shared border.

Colombia is expected to argue that the aerial fumigation of illegal coca farms, which provide the raw material for cocaine production, is a linchpin of the war on drugs.  Ecuador claims that the chemical sprays have sickened its people, poisoned farmland and damaged ecologically sensitive areas.

At a press conference in Quito announcing the lawsuit, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Maràa Isabel Salvador said, “With the purpose of establishing the existence and dimensions of the afflictions suffered by Ecuador as a result of these and past fumigations, last year President Rafael Correa created the Ecuadorian Scientific Commission, comprised of eminent scientists from our country.

“The results of the commission’s work have been crucial to reaching the irrefutable conclusion that Colombian aerial fumigations have had noxious effects on our people and our environment,” she said.

“There is no doubt that the fumigations conducted by the government of Colombia constitute a grave violation of the sovereignty of Ecuador and of the most basic principles of international law,” she said, “which prohibits a state from causing harm to the population, land and well-being of a neighboring state.”

Since spraying began in 2000, Colombia has refused to consider such measures, the lawsuit asserts. Instead, its planes and helicopters loaded with herbicide have flown right up to and sometimes directly over the border, releasing chemicals designed to eradicate all forms of plant life.

The spray has drifted to the Ecuadorean side, where villagers have reported feeling the mist settle on their skin. People in Ecuadorean border communities, many of them poor subsistence farmers or those raising small cash crops, have suffered skin lesions and rashes, burning eyes, nausea, dizziness, respiratory problems, and intestinal bleeding. Some have died.

Ecuador alleges that the spraying has killed livestock and crops, forcing the abandonment of villages, while harming ecologically sensitive areas of high biodiversity.

Nearly one third of the country’s territory is protected or park land, and Ecuador is estimated to have the highest average biological diversity of any nation on Earth.

Since 2000, the United States has been financing the aerial spraying of coca crops in Colombia, which is the world’s leading producer.

According to the lawsuit, Colombia has refused to disclose the exact makeup of the herbicide it uses, though the active ingredient is known to be glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl). The active ingredient is reportedly combined with other chemicals to make aerial sprays more potent.

Ecuador protested the violation of its territory as soon as spraying began in 2000, and has sought to resolve the countries’ dispute through negotiation and diplomacy.

As a last resort, it submits its argument to the International Court of Justice, whose jurisdiction is confirmed by the American Treaty for the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, also known as the Pact of Bogotá, to which both Ecuador and Colombia are parties.

Ecuador has been an active partner against illegal drugs. It is the only Andean country with virtually no coca crop. Yet they have to put up with this even though Colombian government officials agree that the aerial spraying against coca plants is largely ineffective.

Nor did the northern news make much mention when Colombia bombed Ecuador territory to kill a FARC commander that had taken refuge in the hinterlands of Ecuador.

I wonder how the US would have reacted had Mexico dropped bombs in Arizona to kill Mexican criminals there?

Nor have the northern news reported much of the details outlined at antiwar.com in an article by Kintto Lucas entitled  “CIA Infiltration’ Charges Prompt Shakeup in Ecuador’s Armed Forces”

Here are excerpts:

QUITO – President Rafael Correa’s allegations that intelligence services in Ecuador had been infiltrated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have led to a shakeup in the armed forces of unforeseeable consequences.

The current crisis broke out as a result of Colombia’s Mar. 1 bombing raid of a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) camp in Ecuadorian territory, which led to a brief rupture in relations between Ecuador and Colombia and sparked a regional crisis that was quickly overcome through dialogue.

At least two other members of the Ecuadorian high command have also offered their resignations, said Camacho.

Ponce, the new defense minister, said “this is not setting the stage for a witch hunt, but for a healthy critical exercise of transparency. The stability of our democracy is not based on cover-ups but on the courageous analysis of our actions.”

He also urged the armed forces “to undertake a generous review of their structures and practices.”

On Saturday, Correa denounced in his weekly radio broadcast that the CIA “has totally infiltrated some of Ecuador’s military intelligence bodies.”

According to the news report, when it began to be revealed that the armed forces had previous knowledge of the Colombian air strike on the FARC camp in Ecuador, several military officers complained internally that the intelligence service had not passed on the information.

Local media outlets reported that military intelligence had been following Franklin Aizalla, an Ecuadorian citizen who died in the attack on the FARC camp, without informing Correa.

On Mar. 17, Correa and then defense minister Sandoval learned from the press that Aizalla had been under surveillance, which Colombia’s right-wing President Álvaro Uribe had been aware of for some time.

Colonel Pazmiño’s curriculum indicates “very effective training by the US and Israeli security bodies,” wrote Ecuadorinmediato, which added that “he handled military intelligence operations in a nearly autonomous manner, without duly reporting to his superiors, many of whom were unaware of those actions.”

He also said that, “besides the CIA’s infiltration in the armed forces, it is essential to take a look at what is happening in the police, who have traditionally had the closest ties to US security policies for the region.”

Former US Southern Command chief Charles Wilhelm said in 2000 that after Ecuador signed an agreement leasing the air base in the port city of Manta to the US military, one of Washington’s aims was to “reorient” the Ecuadorian armed forces.

The officer who spoke anonymously to IPS said “part of that reorientation was the modification of the training received by the Ecuadorian military, to make it more similar to the training received by the Colombian army.”

A few days after the Mar. 1 bombing of the FARC camp, the Colombian magazine Cambio reported that members of the Ecuadorian police intelligence services had helped locate the camp.

More recently Ecuador accused an expelled Mark Sullivan, the U.S. Embassy’s first secretary in the office of regional affairs and stated he was in charge of CIA operations here.   Ecuadorean officials claim he meddle in the assignment of senior police.

The US denied this CIA allegation… but why am I not convinced?

Having said this, the Presidents in Ecuador have been bad for the entire 14 years Merri and I have been here. This has made little difference to day to day life.  Go to Garyascott.com and type Correa in the search engine as I have written several messages about him.  He is the best I have seen so far.

I believe that many of his policies are incorrect but he is the first President here that I believe will be reelected in April.

He is smart in that after just two years in office he is running again while he is popular instead of waiting the normal four years.  I believe he will be reelected now. In two more years…who knows?

He has been providing free housing for the poor.

They are little 240 square feet affairs.

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given free.

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These little houses are everywhere on the coast.

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Let me be clear about Correa. I do not like many of the things he has been doing… but then again I do not like many things that Obama is doing either.

Obama and Correa have much in common… youth… energy and inexperience.

Anyone looking for a place to live where the country has only good politicians may be in for quite a search.

Let me also be clear about my position regarding the USA.

A reader recently asked:

Gary, Just curious – if you love Ecuador so much – why is legal address in NC, USA.   Why a non-profit entity in the US!

My reply kind of says it all.

Does one have to dislike one country because they love another?

We have lived in Hong Kong,  England, Europe, The US, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and have enjoyed them all.    If there is one key theme in the thousands of messages we have sent to our tens of thousands of readers about global living is that diversification, people and value are keys aspects in our beliefs.

We love Ecuador and live part time here.We also love North Carolina and live part time there.  We make no bones about our love for America and how we live more there than in Ecuador.

We reported recently how we are shifting our focus back to Florida and why at Ecuador shamans & truth … value and people… plus diversification.

Those three themes value… people… diversification are our politics.

This is our North Carolina home.

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This, Meson de las Flores is our Ecuador home. Note how the US and Ecuadorian flag freely fly, side by side, with those of many other nations.

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Each makes the other better!

We do not get much into politics here. We just enjoy the life… the sweet people… the warm weather… the good food and low cost living and let the politicians and the newscasters play their games. They have very little effect on life here.

In fact bad Ecuador politics in many ways make life better for retirees here.  Bad politics screw up the economy leaving people poor and keeping the cost of living low.

I hope that changes. I would like to see more people in Ecuador prosper but that probably will not happen soon.

Low oil prices… reduced remittances from abroad and a global economic slow down will challenge Correa over the next four years if I am correct and he is reelected.

The bad economics will put Correa under pressure and he’ll make mistakes. He may even come off as a brash hot head.  Does this make him a dictator? Not that I have seen.  Will it make any difference in my life or the other gringo’s living here. Probably not.

In fact if there is anyone to fear it is the NEWS that misleads you and tries with its spin to lock you into a narrow point of view. Life is good out here… make no mistake about this.

While many are living with the crowds and stress and snow and high prices… thinking there is danger here… a growing number of us are enjoying the sun… low stress… low cost and a good life without big brother.

While so many are stressing out up north, here is a group of new residents here in Cotacachi who decided to take the day train from Ibarra to Salinas.

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Off they go!

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Sun… ecuador-political-reality

blue skies and friendship… plus…

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happy entertainment when they arrive…

ecuador-political-reality joy… color and

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good food to share.

None of us are worried much about dictators and these soldiers here.  See my upcoming story about this one next week!

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However, you should come take a look, see and feel for yourself.

Gary

Join us in Cotacachi.

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