Category Archives: Ecuador

Ecuador President: Snowden Can’t Leave Moscow

By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN
June 30, 2013 “Information Clearing House – “AP“— PORTOVIEJO, Ecuador (AP) — Edward Snowden is “under the care of the Russian authorities” and can’t leave Moscow’s international airport without their consent, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa told The Associated Press Sunday in an interview telegraphing the slim and diminishing possibility that the National Security Agency leaker will end up in Ecuador.
Correa portrayed Russia as entirely the master of Snowden’s fate and said Ecuador is still awaiting an asylum request from Snowden before deciding its next moves.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has distanced himself from the case since Snowden arrived in Moscow last week, insisting the 30-year-old former NSA contractor remains in the transit zone of the capital’s Sheremetyevo Airport and that as long as he has not legally entered Russia, he is out of the Kremlin’s control.
At the same time, the Kremlin said Sunday that it will take public opinion and the views of human rights activists into account when considering Snowden’s case, a move that could lay the groundwork for him to seek asylum in Russia.
“This is the decision of Russian authorities,” Correa told the AP during a visit to this Pacific coast city. “He doesn’t have a passport. I don’t know the Russian laws, I don’t know if he can leave the airport, but I understand that he can’t. At this moment he’s under the care of the Russian authorities. If he arrives at an Ecuadorean Embassy we’ll analyze his request for asylum.”
Last week, several members of Russia’s Presidential Council for Human Rights spoke out in support of Snowden, saying he deserved to receive political asylum in the country of his choice and should not be handed over to the United States. And a handful of protesters picketed outside the Moscow airport in what appeared to be an orchestrated demonstration on Friday, holding signs reading “Edward, Russia is your second motherland” and “Russia is behind Snowden.”
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Ekho Moskvy radio that while Snowden is not Russia’s concern, the Kremlin is aware of the viewpoints of Russian experts and representatives of human rights organizations.
“Public opinion on the subject is very rich,” Peskov said in the radio interview. “We are aware of this and are taking it into account.”
Correa said he had no idea Snowden’s intended destination was Ecuador when he fled Hong Kong for Russia last week. He said the Ecuadorean consul in London committed “a serious error” by not consulting officials in Ecuador’s capital when the consul issued a letter of safe passage for Snowden. He said the consul would be punished, although he didn’t specify how.
Analysts familiar with the workings of the Ecuadorean government said Correa’s claims that the decision was entirely Russia’s appeared to be at least partly disingenuous. They said they believed Correa’s administration at first intended to host Snowden, then started back-tracking this week when the possible consequences became clearer.
“I think the government started to realize the dimensions of what it was getting itself into, how it was managing things and the consequences that this could bring,” said Santiago Basabe, an analyst and professor of political sciences at the Latin American School of Social Sciences in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito. “So it started pulling back, and they’ll never tell us why, but I think the alarm bells started to go off from people very close to the government, maybe Ecuador’s ambassador in Washington warned them about the consequences of asylum for Snowden.”
Correa said Snowden must assume responsibility if he broke U.S. laws, but added the broader legitimacy of Snowden’s action must be taken into consideration. He said Ecuador would still consider an asylum request but only if Snowden is able to make it to Ecuador or an Ecuadorean Embassy to apply.
The U.S. is seeking the former NSA contractor’s extradition for leaking secret documents that, among other things, detail U.S. surveillance of international online activity. On Sunday, German magazine Der Spiegel reported that classified documents taken by Snowden also revealed U.S. spies had allegedly bugged European Union offices.
Correa never entirely closed the door to Snowden, whom he said had drawn vital attention to the U.S. eavesdropping program and potential violations of human rights. But Correa appeared to be sending the message that it is unlikely Snowden will ever end up in Ecuador. He repeatedly emphasized the importance of the U.S. legal process and praised Vice President Joe Biden for what he described as a courteous and appreciated half-hour call about the Snowden case on Friday.
He similarly declined to reject an important set of U.S. trade benefits for Ecuadorean exports, again a contrast with his government’s unilateral renunciation of a separate set of tariff benefits earlier in the week.
“If he really could have broken North American laws, I am very respectful of other countries and their laws and I believe that someone who breaks the law must assume his responsibilities,” Correa said. “But we also believe in human rights and due process.”
He said Biden had asked him to send Snowden back to the United States immediately because he faces criminal charges, is a fugitive from justice and has had his passport revoked.
“I told him that we would analyze his opinion, which is very important to us,” Correa said, adding that he had demanded the return of several Ecuadoreans who are in the United States but face criminal charges at home.
“I greatly appreciated the call,” he said, contrasting it with threats made by a small group of U.S. senators to revoke Ecuadorean trade privileges. “When I received the call from Vice President Biden, which was with great cordiality and a different vision, we really welcomed it a lot.”
Ecuadorean officials believe Russian authorities stymied the country’s efforts to approve a political asylum application from the former NSA systems analyst, according to government officials with direct knowledge of the case.
Those officials said Ecuador had been making detailed plans to receive and host Snowden. One of the officials said Russia’s refusal to let Snowden leave or be picked up by Ecuadorean officials had thwarted the plans. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the case by name.
One of the officials said Snowden had intended to travel from Moscow to the Ecuadorean capital of Quito. The official said Ecuador had also asked Russia to let Snowden take a commercial flight to meet Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino in Vietnam or Singapore, where Patino was on an official trip.
The Russians rejected all of Ecuador’s requests to let Snowden leave Moscow, or to let an Ecuadorean government plane pick him up there, the official said.
Asked Sunday about those accounts, Correa responded, without elaborating, “We don’t have long-range aircraft. It’s a joke.”
Snowden’s path to Ecuador would have gone through Cuba, which said little about the case all week, including whether it would have allowed him to use its territory to transit.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro praised Correa’s rejection of U.S. trade pressure, expressing his “sympathies” for the Ecuadorean leader in a Sunday editorial in the state press.
_______ Gonzalo Solano contributed from Quito, Ecuador. Lynn Berry in Moscow contributed to this report.

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Ecuador’s Correa says Biden asked him to deny Edward Snowden asylum

Senior White House official confirms vice-president talked to Ecuadorean president over the NSA whistleblower’s status
By Guardian Staff and agencies
June 30, 2013 “Information Clearing House – US vice-president Joe Biden has asked Ecuador to turn down an asylum request from National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, the country’s president said Saturday.
Rafael Correa said he had a “friendly and very cordial” conversation with Biden, and told the vice-president that Ecuador hadn’t sought to be put in the situation of deciding whether to harbor an American fugitive. Correa said Ecuador can’t consider the asylum request until Snowden is on Ecuadorean soil.
“The moment that he arrives, if he arrives, the first thing is we’ll ask the opinion of the United States, as we did in the Assange case with England,” Correa said. “But the decision is ours to make.”
Julian Assange, founder of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks has been given asylum in Ecuador’s embassy in London.
White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan confirmed that the two leaders spoke by phone Friday and discussed Snowden, but wouldn’t disclose any details about the conversation. It’s the highest-level conversation between the US. and Ecuador that has been publicly disclosed since Snowden began seeking asylum from Ecuador.
Correa, in a weekly television address, praised Biden for being more courteous than US senators who have threatened economic penalties if Ecuador doesn’t cooperate.
At the same time, Correa rebuked the Obama administration for hypocrisy, invoking the case of two bankers, brothers Roberto and William Isaias, whom Ecuador is seeking to extradite from the US.
“Let’s be consistent,” Correa said. “Have rules for everyone, because that is a clear double-standard here.”
The US believes Snowden is holed up in a Moscow airport’s transit zone. He may be waiting to see whether Ecuador or another country may grant him asylum. Snowden is charged with violating American espionage laws.
Correspondence obtained by Univision and shared with the Wall Street Journal shows that divisions over Assange have agitated Ecuador’s government.
After meeting with other Ecuadorean diplomats privately, Correa declared invalid a temporary travel document that could have helped extract Snowden from his reported location in Moscow.
In a TV interview on Friday, Snowden’s father expressed concerns about the involvement of WikiLeaks. “I don’t want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him,” Lonnie Snowden told NBC’s Today show.
“I think WikiLeaks, if you’ve looked at past history … their focus isn’t necessarily the constitution of the United States. It’s simply to release as much information as possible.”
Lonnie Snowden said he told US attorney general Eric Holder through his lawyer that his son might return home if he would not be detained before trial, could choose the location for his trial and would not be subjected to a gag order. It was not clear that Lonnie Snowden was communicating his son’s views, as he also said they had not spoken since April.

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Fact or Fiction? Ecuador Cools on Edward Snowden Asylum as Assange Frustration Grows

President Correa revokes Snowden’s temporary travel document amid concerns WikiLeaks founder is ‘running the show’
By Rory Carroll in Quito and Amanda Holpuch in New York
President Correa declared that the safe conduct pass issued by Ecuador’s London consul – in collaboration with Assange – was unauthorised. Photograph: EPA
June 28, 2013 “Information Clearing House – “The Guardian” — The plan to spirit the surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden to sanctuary in Latin America appeared to be unravelling on Friday, amid tension between Ecuador‘s government and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.
President Rafael Correa halted an effort to help Snowden leave Russia amid concern Assange was usurping the role of the Ecuadoran government, according to leaked diplomatic correspondence published on Friday.
Amid signs Quito was cooling with Snowden and irritated with Assange, Correa declared invalid a temporary travel document which could have helped extract Snowden from his reported location in Moscow.
Correa declared that the safe conduct pass issued by Ecuador’s London consul – in collaboration with Assange – was unauthorised, after other Ecuadorean diplomats privately said the WikiLeaks founder could be perceived as “running the show”.
According to the correspondence, which was obtained by the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision and shared with the Wall Street Journal, divisions over Assange have roiled Ecuador’s government.
Ecuador’s ambassador to the US, Nathalie Cely, told presidential spokesman Fernando Alvarado that Quito’s role in the drama was being overshadowed by the WikiLeaks founder, who has sheltered in Ecuador’s London embassy for the past year to avoid extradition.
“I suggest talking to Assange to better control the communications. From outside, [Assange] appears to be running the show.”
Earlier this week a senior foreign diplomat in Quito told the Guardian that some – though not all – factions in the government were annoyed with what they saw as Assange grandstanding.
In a message attributed to Assange sent to Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, and other top officials, the WikiLeaks founder apologised “if we have unwittingly [caused] Ecuador discomfort in the Snowden matter.” The note continued: “There is a fog of war due to the rapid nature of events. If similar events arise you can be assured that they do not originate in any lack of respect or concern for Ecuador or its government.”
Assange appears to have had a strong role in obtaining the travel document for Snowden, dated 22 June which bore the printed name, but not signature, of the London consul, Fidel Narvaez, a confidante. By mid-week Narvaez was reportedly in Moscow.
The document could have helped Snowden, whose US passport has been revoked, leave the transit lounge of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport where he has reportedly holed up since fleeing Hong Kong last weekend.
On Thursday, Correa, who previously has hailed Snowden for exposing US spying, and has earned kudos for defying Washington pressure over the affair, reduced Snowden’s chances of making it to Quito.
At a press conference the president declared the travel document invalid and said Ecuador would not consider an asylum request unless Snowden reached Ecuadorean territory, an increasingly remote prospect.
“The situation of Mr Snowden is a complex situation and we don’t know how he will solve it.”
Correa did however ramp up defiance of the US by waiving preferential trade rights to thwart what officials called Washington “blackmail”. Analysts said Correa, an economist who specialised in game theory, had so far skilfully extracted political capital from the saga without drawing US retaliation.
In a TV interview on Friday, Snowden’s father said said he was worried about the involvement of WikiLeaks. “I don’t want to put him in peril, but I am concerned about those who surround him,” Lonnie Snowden told NBC.
“I think WikiLeaks, if you’ve looked at past history … their focus isn’t necessarily the constitution of the United States. It’s simply to release as much information as possible.”
Snowden said he did not believe his son had betrayed his country. “At this point, I don’t feel that he’s committed treason. He has broken US law, in a sense that he has released classified information. And if folks want to classify him as a traitor, in fact he has betrayed his government. But I don’t believe that he’s betrayed the people of the United States.”
Snowden said he had told US attorney general Eric Holder through his lawyer that his son might return home if he would not be detained before trial, could choose the location for his trial and would not be subjected to a gag order. It was not clear that Lonnie Snowden was communicating his son’s views, as he also said they had not spoken since April.

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Ecuador Snubs US Trade ‘Blackmail’ Over Snowden, Offers Human Rights Training

By RT
June 28, 2013 “Information Clearing House – “RT” — Ecuador renounced trade benefits which the US threatened to revoke over the Latin American country’s consideration of harboring NSA leaker Edward Snowden. It offered $23 million a year to fund human rights education for Americans instead.
The government of leftist President Rafael Correa came up with an angry response on Thursday after an influential US senator said he would use his leverage over trade issues to cut preferential treatment of Ecuadoran goods at the US market, should Ecuador grant political asylum to Snowden.
“Ecuador will not accept pressures or threats from anyone, and it does not traffic in its values or allow them to be subjugated to mercantile interests,” government spokesman Fernando Alvarado said at a news conference.
He added that Ecuador is willing to allocate $23 million annually, an equivalent of the sum that it gained from the benefits, to fund human rights training in the US. It will “avoid violations of privacy, torture and other actions that are denigrating to humanity,” Alvarado said.
US Senator Robert Menendez, who heads the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate, said this week that Ecuador risks losing the benefits it enjoys under two trade programs because of its stance on the NSA whistleblower. 
“Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior,” he said.
The US is Ecuador’s prime trade partner, with over 40 percent of exports going to the US market.
Both programs were due to expire by the end of next month and were subject to congressional review. Before the Snowden debacle arose, the US legislature was expected to scrap one of them while renewing another one.
Snowden has applied for political asylum, hoping to find protection from American prosecutors, who charged him with espionage over his leaking of classified documents on US surveillance programs.
He is currently thought to be staying in the transit zone of a Moscow airport. He became stranded in the Russian capital after arriving from Hong Kong, because the US annulled his travel passport as part of its effort to get him to American soil for trial.
World order unjust and immoral!’ Ecuador’s Correa rips into Snowden coverage
By RT
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa came up with scalding online remarks over criticism his country faced from the US press for potentially granting asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“They’ve managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that ‘support’ him, making us forget the terrible things against the US people and the whole world that he denounced,” Correa said Wednesday in response to a Tuesday Washington Post editorial.
“The world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral,” Correa added.
The US newspaper accused Correa of adhering to double standards in the NSA leaker case, as Ecuador is considering harboring Snowden from prosecution over US espionage charges. It descried the Ecuadoran president as “the autocratic leader of a tiny, impoverished” country with an ambition to replace the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez as “the hemisphere’s preeminent anti-US demagogue”.
The Washington Post lashed out at a legislation recently adopted by Ecuador, saying that it diminishes freedom of press. It also said Ecuador is profiting from duty-free trade with the US while criticizing Washington’s policies.
Earlier this week US Secretary of State John Kerry chose rhetoric similar to that of the Washington Post as he admonished China and Russia for failing to apprehend Snowden and extradite him for trial in America.
“I wonder if Snowden chose Russia or China for assistance because they are such bastions of internet freedom,” he said sarcastically.
Cost of non-compliance
US officials are also mounting pressure on Ecuador over its stance in the leaker debacle. Senator Robert Menendez, who heads the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate, said such a move would hurt Ecuador’s international trade, which is highly dependent on export to the US.
“Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior,” the influential US lawmaker said, as he was warning that he would target two trade programs with Ecuador for accepting the NSA leaker.
Menendez said he would lead the effort to prevent the renewal of Ecuador’s duty-free access to US markets under the Generalized System of Preferences program. He also said he would block renewal of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA). Both programs expire at the end of next month.
Bunches of roses from Ecuador are stacked for delivery at Liberty Wholesale in the flower market.(Reuters / Lucy Nicholson)
The major commodities of Ecuador’s export to the US are crude oil, cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, shrimp and prawns. Duty-free access to US markets is supporting roughly 400,000 jobs in the country of 14 million people.
Ecuador is the last remaining recipient of the ATPDEA, which used to include Bolivia, Colombia and Peru in the past and was not expected to be renewed for Ecuador even before Snowden came up with his revelations of the US phone and internet surveillance programs.
The country has been lobbying the Obama administration to include additional goods under the Generalized System of Preferences program to soften the blow from the cancellation.

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Excerpts From Snowden’s Letter Requesting Asylum in Ecuador

By ROBERT MACKEY
Watch live streaming video from cancilleriaec at livestream.com
Spanish-language video of Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, at a news conference in Vietnam on Monday, posted online by the Ecuadorean government.
June 24, 2013 “Information Clearing House – “NY Times” — Speaking at a news conference in Vietnam on Monday, Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, said that his government was considering a written request for asylum from Edward J. Snowden, the former national security contractor accused of espionage by the United States.
In remarks the foreign ministry streamed live from Hanoi, Mr. Patiño suggested that Mr. Snowden “is being persecuted” for revealing the vast scale of the National Security Agency’s surveillance of electronic communications worldwide. “The word treason has been batted around in recent days,” Mr. Patiño said, “we need to ask who has betrayed who?”
Here, based on a simultaneous translation from Spanish to English broadcast by the BBC, are excerpts from the letter Mr. Snowden sent to President Rafael Correa, as read aloud by Mr. Patiño:
I, Edward Snowden, citizen of the United States of America, am writing to request asylum in the Republic of Ecuador because of the risk of being persecuted by the government of the United States and its agents in relation to my decision to make public serious violations on the part of the government of the United States of its Constitution, specifically of its Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and of various treaties of the United Nations that are binding on my country.
As a result of my political opinions, and my desire to exercise my freedom of speech, through which I’ve shown that the government of the United States is intercepting the majority of communications in the world, the government of the United States has publicly announced a criminal investigation against me. Also, prominent members of Congress and others in the media have accused me of being a traitor and have called for me to be jailed or executed as a result of having communicated this information to the public.
Some of the charges that have been presented against me by the Justice Department of the United States are connected to the 1917 Espionage Act, one of which includes life in prison among the possible sentences.
BBC News video of Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, reading a letter from Edward Snowden.
According to Mr. Patiño, Mr. Snowden also made reference to the fact that charges were filed against him by Justice Department officials in the Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria, close to the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, which is “the same district that has been conducting the Justice Department investigation against Wikileaks.” Mr. Snowden’s letter continued:
Ecuador granted asylum to the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, in relation to this investigation. My case is also very similar to that of the American soldier Bradley Manning, who made public government information through Wikileaks revealing war crimes, was arrested by the United States government and has been treated inhumanely during his time in prison. He was put in solitary confinement before his trial and the U.N. anti-torture representative judged that Mr. Manning was submitted to cruel and inhumane acts by the United States government.
The trial against Bradley Manning is ongoing now, and secret documents have been presented to the court and secret witnesses have testified.
I believe that, given these circumstances, it is unlikely that I would receive a fair trial or proper treatment prior to that trial, and face the possibility of life in prison or even death. — Edward J. Snowden
Mr. Patiño told reporters that he did not have and could not share specific information about Mr. Snowden’s whereabouts, but he said that Ecuador had been in contact with the authorities in Russia, where Mr. Snowden reportedly arrived from Hong Kong on Sunday. As my colleagues David Herszenhorn and Ellen Barry reported from Moscow, Mr. Snowden has not been photographed or seen in public in Russia.

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Ecuador vs The Bankers

President Correa passes legislation that raises taxes on financial sector to finance a “Human Development Bond”
Video
January 07, 2013
 
Ecuadorian president warns of possible ‘CIA attack’ before elections
By RT

January 07, 2013 “
RT” — Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has said the CIA may try to kill him prior to upcoming elections. Citing reports of a plot to “destabilize the region,” Correa said the threats were “credible,” given the history of US involvement in Latin America.

Correa alluded to reports by Chilean journalist Patricio Mery Bell, who allegedly passed on information to the Ecuadorian government that President Correa’s life was “under threat” by a CIA plot.

“There are many cases of [the CIA] interfering” in Latin American affairs, Correa said during a campaign tour in the coastal province of Guayas. “These are credible [reports] because this has happened before in Latin America.”

The head of the US diplomatic mission in Quito, Adam Nann, responded to Bell’s claims by saying that Washington “would never get involved” in Ecuador’s electoral process.

Although Correa conceded that he believed the statements of the US ambassador, he warned that agencies such as the CIA often follow their own agenda and maintain links with organizations representing the extreme right in the countries in which they operate.

Bell first voiced his concerns for the safety of President Correa three months ago when he released a report claiming the CIA sought to “destabilize” Ecuador. He said that the threat to Correa’s life would be at its height from January 15 and onwards, as Correa applies to run for another presidential term.

“We will have to be three times more vigilant with President Correa,” Bell said in an interview with publication El Ciudadano. Bell maintained that although he was not a staunch supporter of Correa, it was his duty as a Latin American citizen to warn of the alleged $88-million CIA plot to destabilize the Ecuadorian government.

The journalist believes that this money will be divided amongst extremist anarchist, leftist and hardline conservative groups, in the hopes of discrediting Correas.

Bell claimed in his report that the main motives behind the CIA plot were the closing of the US Manta military base, hailed as a victory for Ecuadorian national sovereignty, and the granting of asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

President Correa is often described as echoing the policies of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, especially in anti-US rhetoric. The 49-year-old economist has reduced poverty and increased stability and the overall standard of living in Ecuador during his presidency, winning popularity amongst the country’s poorest as well as the educated middle class.

Correa will run for reelection against six other candidates when campaigning begins on January 15. Ecuadorians will vote for the next president and vice president on Sunday, February 17.

See also – Must watch video – Propaganda : North Korean Documentary Exposes Western Propaganda

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CIA Allegedly Using Drug Money to Overthrow Ecuador President Rafael Correa

By Matías Rojas
November 08, 2012 “Information Clearing House” – The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is using drug money to fund Rafael Correa’s opposition in the coming 2013 Ecuadorian elections, intelligence sources have revealed to Chilean independent media. The accusations do not stand alone. In October, former UK diplomat Craig Murray said that the CIA had tripled its budget to destabilize the government of Ecuador. 
The allegations were made public by President Rafael Correa on November 3rd on national television, just days after his official visit to Chile to meet with President Sebastian Piñera.
 
For translation, click on the CC (captions) widget, choose Spanish, then select Translate and English (or preferred language). 
Correa reaffirmed information that appeared in an article written by Chilean independent media outlet Panoramas News, revealing that the CIA and DEA stations in Chile were running a narcotics trafficking network through that country with the full knowledge of Chilean authorities and police. 
One of the sources quoted by Chilean media, a former police officer in the Policia de Investigaciones (PDI) by the name of Fernando Ulloa, said that 300 kilograms of cocaine were entering Chile monthly under the escort of members of his own institution, the Carabineros, and the Chilean Army. In May 2011, Fernando Ulloa met with then Chilean Minister of Interior Rodrigo Hinzpeter in La Moneda to inform him about the drug network. After more than one year, the Piñera’s government had done nothing to investigate the case. 
The scandal resurfaced again after 10 Chilean cops were detained with links to a minor drug smuggling ring, not connected to the one Ulloa was exposing. Although Chilean television was more open to talk about police corruption, Ulloa was only interviewed by two TV networks, where he accused Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter of covering up the larger narcotics ring he was investigating before being kicked out of his job as PDI inspector.

The links to US intelligence emerged after an anonymous source from the Agencia Nacional de Inteligencia (ANI) told Panoramas News that the smuggling of 300 kilos of cocaine was in fact a highly sensitive CIA/DEA operation that would help to raise money to topple the government of Ecuador. The operation is similar to the one carried out by the Agency in Central America during the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980’s, the source said. 
The director of Panoramas News, journalist Patricio Mery Bell, was planning to hand over the information to Rafael Correa while the Ecuadorian President was visiting Chile, but he was strangely accused of beating a woman after she stole his cell-phone. The cell-phone memory contained a video testimony of Mery’s intelligence source, destined to be passed to Correa, but it ended up in the hands of the police after the mysterious incident. 
Once he was in Ecuador, President Rafael Correa connected the dots and decided to go public with the information. He quoted Murray’s early warnings about the CIA’s intent to “fund, bribe or blackmail media and officials”, originally written in the former diplomat’s own blog, adding that the Agency was dealing drugs just as Oliver North had done during the Contra support effort. 
In an interview with NTN24, journalist Patricio Mery added more details to the case, relating the cover-up of the CIA drug dealing operation to the deaths of two different people in the last seven years: former soldier Fabian Vega, who was found hung in the northern city of Calama in 2005, and young citizen Nestor Madariaga Juantok, found death with two bullets in the port of Valparaiso in 2006. Both were ruled as suicides.

 


For translation, click on the CC (captions) widget, choose Spanish, then select Translate and English (or preferred language). 
Mery also gave the name of the alleged CIA liaison with the Chilean Navy, former captain Jesus Saez Luna, who is now being held in a penitentiary after he mysteriously escaped from Navy custody. Saez Luna was described in his arrest as the biggest drug dealer of the coastal city of Viña del Mar, with networks in Santiago de Chile and the Bio-Bio southern region of the country. Known as “El Marino”, the former captain utilized “military intelligence” tactics to avoid detection by police,according to the Chilean newspaper La Segunda
The case is being depicted as “Chile-Contras”, in reference to the history of CIA narcotics trafficking in Nicaragua. This is just another example of how drug money is used to fund covert operations, such as the ones we have seen in Syria, with whole guerrilla armies and opposition forces being financed to overthrow countries that aren’t part of the Anglo-American establishment and don’t bow to American corporate interests.
This article was originally posted at Strapp Magazine

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‘Ecuador stands by Assange’ – President Correa exclusively to RT

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Human rights critics of Russia and Ecuador parade their own hypocrisy

The media’s new converts to civic freedom over the Pussy Riot and Assange asylum affairs show a jingoism blind to US abuses
By Glenn Greenwald
August 21, 2012 “The Guardian” — It’s because feigning concern for these oppressive measures is a convenient instrument for demeaning and punishing Ecuador for the supreme crime of defying the US and its western allies. The government of President Rafael Correa granted asylum to western establishmentarians’ most despised figure, Julian Assange, and Correa’s government then loudly condemned Britain’s implied threats to invade its embassy. Ecuador must therefore be publicly flogged for its impertinence, and its press freedom record is a readily available whip. As a fun bonus, denunciations of Correa’s media oppression is a cheap and easy way to deride Assange’s supposed hypocrisy.
(Apparently, activists should only seek asylum from countries with pristine human rights records, whichever countries those might be: a newly concocted standard that was conspicuously missing during the saga of blind Chinese human rights activist Chen Guangcheng at the US embassy; I don’t recall any western media outlets accusing Guangcheng of hypocrisy for seeking refuge from a country that indefinitely imprisons people with no charges, attacked Iraq, assassinates its own citizens with no due process on the secret orders of the president, bombs funerals and rescuers in Pakistan, uses extreme force and mass arrests to try to obliterate the peaceful Occupy protest movement, wages an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, prosecutes its Muslim citizens for posting YouTube videos critical of US foreign policy, embraces andarms the world’s most oppressive regimes, and imprisoned Muslim journalists for years at Guantánamo and elsewhere with no charges of any kind.)
But this behavior illustrates how purported human rights concerns are cynically exploited as a weapon by western governments and, more inexcusably, by their nationalistic, self-righteous media enablers. Concern over a foreign regime’s human rights abuses are muted, often nonexistent, when those regimes dutifully adhere to US dictates, but are amplified to deafening levels when nations defy those dictates and, especially, when it’s time to wage war against them. This is why attacks on protesters by US-supported regimes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are typically described by western media outlets with the innocuous-sounding, both-sides-are-to-blame term “clashes with rebels”, while villain-of-the-moment regimes in Iran, Syria or Libya are said to be slaughtering their own citizens. It’s why arming Syrian rebels to enable them to defend against regime oppression is conventional wisdom, whereas arming Palestinian rebels to defend against Israeli violence is criminal.
The classic case of this dynamic is the outburst of indignation in 2003 over – all together now – Saddam’s “gassing of his own people”: something he had done 15 years earlier, in 1988, when the US was arming and funding him and had multiple interests in its relationship with Iraq, and thus evinced little care about any of that. It was only when it was time to demonize Saddam in order to justify the attack did western governments and their media outlets suddenly discover their retroactive rage over those crimes.
This exploitation of human rights concerns drives even the most seemingly straightforward cases, such as the universal condemnation among All Decent People of Russia‘s obviously repellent punishment of Pussy Riot, the anti-capitalist, hardcore-leftwing punk rock band. As the Russian journalist Vadim Nikitin demonstrates in a New York Times op-ed Tuesday, western denunciations of Russia’s disregard for free speech are shaped far more by opportunism than anything authentic [my emphasis]:
“Pussy Riot and its comrades at Voina come as a full package: you can’t have the fun, pro-democracy, anti-Putin feminism without the incendiary anarchism, extreme sexual provocations, deliberate obscenity and hard-left politics. Unless you are comfortable with all that (and I strongly suspect 99% of Pussy Riot’s fans in the mainstream media are not), then standing behind Pussy Riot only now, when it is obviously blameless and the government clearly guilty, is pure opportunism. And just like in the bad old days, such knee-jerk yet selective support for Russian dissidents – without fully engaging with their ideas – is not only hypocritical but also does a great disservice to their cause.
“A former Soviet dissident and current member of the anti-Putin opposition, Eduard Limonov, knows such cynicism too well. Thrown out of the Soviet Union and welcomed in New York as a cold war trophy, Limonov soon learned that it wasn’t the dissent part that the United States loved about Soviet dissidents, but their anti-communism. A bristly and provocative anti-Soviet leftist, he got to work doing what he did best – taking on the establishment – and quickly found himself in hot water again, this time with the Americans. Limonov concluded that ‘the FBI is just as zealous in putting down American radicals as the KGB is with its own radicals and dissidents.'”
Nikitin notes what most western media accounts have ignored about Pussy Riot: its lead singer’s “participation, naked and heavily pregnant, in a public orgy at a Moscow museum in 2008”, sponsored by a radical art group that “had previously set fire to a police car and drew obscene images on a St Petersburg drawbridge”. Those acts, he accurately observes, “would get you arrested just about anywhere, not just in authoritarian Russia”.
Does anyone think that an American media that stands by complacently while excessive force and mass arrests are unleashed on the far more peaceful Occupy movement, or which says nothing about the systematic prosecution of American Muslims for core free-speech activities, possesses some sort of genuine concern for free speech and free assembly rights in Russia? As Nikitin rhetorically asks:
“Twenty years after the end of the cold war, are dissident intellectuals once again in danger of becoming pawns in the west’s anti-Russian narrative?”
That’s how human rights advocacy is typically used by the west’s establishment media: as a thinly disguised instrument for advancing nationalistic goals and, more insidiously, for their individual and collective self-affirmation. There is a huge industry of American political and foreign policy commentators who love to prance around together flamboyantly condemning the rights abuses of other people’s governments, while spending very little time and energy condemning abuses by their own.
One of the most vivid examples of this warped dynamic is the extremely disparate reaction from the American commentariat when journalists are imprisoned by Bad Foreign Governments as opposed to their own. For seven years, the US imprisoned an al-Jazeera cameraman, Sami al-Haj, at Guantánamo with no charges and spent most of that time interrogating him not about al-Qaida, but about al-Jazeera. With very few exceptions, American media figures failed even to mention, let alone condemn, the due process-free imprisonment of this journalist by their own government. The same silence characterized their reaction to the imprisonment of other Muslim journalists over the last decade by the US government.
By very stark contrast, when Iran imprisoned the Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi on espionage charges before releasing her five months after her arrest, countless American journalists and self-styled human rights advocates in the media were so very proud of their bold denunciation of the distant Iranian regime, turning the Saberi case into a cause celebre. Exactly the same thing happened with the 2009 conviction and imprisonment by North Korea of American journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling: American journalists so courageously condemned the tyranny of North Korea.
Fixating on the rights abuses of distant governments while largely ignoring those committed by one’s own does not only demonstrate the glaring insincerity of the purported beliefs. Far worse, it is an abdication of one’s primary duty as a journalist and as a citizen: to oppose, first and foremost, the bad acts of one’s own government. Noam Chomsky put this best when asked why he spends the bulk of his time on the crimes of his own government (and its client states) rather than on America’s enemies:
“My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that: namely, I can do something about it. So even if the US was responsible for 2% of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2% I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.”
© 2012 The Guardian

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Ecuador President Rafael “We Are Not A Colony” Correa Stands Up To The Jackbooted British Gestapo

By Paul Craig Roberts
                                    A coward dies many deaths; a brave man dies but once.
The once proud British government, now reduced to Washington’s servile whore, put on its Gestapo Jackboots and declared that if the Ecuadorean Embassy in London did not hand over WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, British storm troopers would invade the embassy with military force and drag Assange out. Ecuador stood its ground. “We want to be very clear, we are not a British colony,” declared Ecuador’s Foreign Minister. Far from being intimidated the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, replied to the threat by granting Assange political asylum.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/world/americas/ecuador-to-let-assange-stay-in-its-embassy.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&emc=na 
The once law-abiding British government had no shame in announcing that it would violate the Vienna Convention and assault the Ecuadorean Embassy, just as the Islamic students in the 1979 Khomeini Revolution in Iran took over the US Embassy and held the diplomatic staff captive. Pushed by their Washington overlords, the Brits have resorted to the tactics of a pariah state. Maybe we should be worried about British nuclear weapons.
Let’s be clear, Assange is not a fugitive from justice. He has not been charged with any crime in any country. He has not raped any women. There are no indictments pending in any court, and as no charges have been brought against him, there is no validity to the Swedish extradition request. It is not normal for people to be extradited for questioning, especially when, as in Assange’s case, he expressed his complete cooperation with being questioned a second time by Swedish officials in London.
What is this all about? First, according to news reports, Assange was picked up by two celebrity-hunting Swedish women who took him home to their beds. Later for reasons unknown, one complained that he had not used a condom, and the other complained that she had offered one helping, but he had taken two. A Swedish prosecutor looked into the case, found that there was nothing to it, and dismissed the case.
Assange left for England. Then another Swedish prosecutor, a woman, claiming what authority I do not know, reopened the case and issued an extradition order for Assange. This is such an unusual procedure that it worked its way through the entire British court system to the Supreme Court and then back to the Supreme Court on appeal. In the end British “justice” did what the Washington overlord ordered and came down on the side of the strange extradition request. 
Assange, realizing that the Swedish government was going to turn him over to Washington to be held in indefinite detention, tortured, and framed as a spy, sought protection from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. As corrupt as the British are, the UK government was unwilling to release Assange directly to Washington. By turning him over to Sweden, the British could feel that their hands were clean. 
Sweden, formerly an honorable country like Canada once was where American war resisters could seek asylum, has been suborned and brought under Washington’s thumb. Recently, Swedish diplomats were expelled from Belarus where they seem to have been involved in helping Washington orchestrate a “color revolution” as Washington keeps attempting to extend its bases and puppet states deeper into traditional Russia. 
The entire world, including Washington’s servile puppet states, understands that once Assange is in Swedish hands, Washington will deliver an extradition order, with which Sweden, unlike the British, would comply. Regardless, Ecuador understands this. The Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced that Ecuador granted Assange asylum because “there are indications to presume that there could be political persecution.” In the US, Patino acknowledged, Assange would not get a fair trial and could face the death penalty in a trumped up case.
The US Puppet State of Great (sic) Britain announced that Assange would not be permitted to leave Britain. So much for the British government’s defense of law and human rights. If the British do not invade the Ecuadorean Embassy and drag Assange out dead or in chains, the British position is that Assange will live out his life inside the London Embassy of Ecuador. According to the New York Times, Assange’s asylum leaves him “with protection from arrest only on Ecuadorean territory (which includes the embassy). To leave the embassy for Ecuador, he would need cooperation that Britain has said it will not offer.” When it comes to Washington’s money or behaving honorably in accordance with international law, the British government comes down on the side of money.
The Anglo-American world, which pretends to be the moral face of humanity has now revealed for all to see that under the mask is the face of the Gestapo.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. paulcraigroberts.org/

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