Ecuador: Correa 'Attacked' While Campaigning in Esmeraldas

Correa's life was reportedly threatened by violent opposition members who surrounded a radio station where he was being interviewed.

Ecuador’s former president Rafael Correa has denounced an attack carried out on his motorcade and a building where he was being interviewed in Quininde, a city in the northern province of Esmeraldas.

RELATED: Ecuador's Referendum: Conciliation or 'Coup'?

According to a series of tweets posted by Correa and local media reports he was being interviewed at Radio Magia’s building when the individuals encircled the building and vandalized vehicles that formed part of his motorcade.

“The situation is very serious in Quininde. The radio where I was being interviewed is surrounded by people from the city council led by some people from the MPD (Popular Democratic Party), who were also in Brobón. I am sorry for the country! I embrace our beloved Quininde. Many people waited for the caravan,” Correa stated.

He also said leaders of the aggression had armed bodyguards and claimed they threatened his life and physical integrity. During an interview with TeleSUR, Correa claimed they were waiting for police protection to leave the radio station.  

Supporters of president Lenin Moreno's referendum (locally known as popular consultation) allegedly participated in the attack. In a video uploaded to multiple social media platforms, one attacker can be seen wearing a t-shirt supporting the referendum. 

"#UltimoMinuto (LastMinute) Aggression against #Ecuador former president Rafael Correa's caravan has been denounced. The radio where he was being interviewed in the province of #Esmeraldas had been surrounded. Rafael Correa confirmed the situation is serious. #ConsultaPopular2018 (#PopularConsultation2018)."

Correa's caravan was vandalized by the opposition members. "@MasiRafael caravan was attacked in the city of #Quininde, in the province of #Esmeraldas."

Ricardo Patiño, one of Correa's closest allies has said "it is the national government's responsibility to provide security for a former president. That is intelligence and efficacy."   
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Ecuador's Correa Returns To Support 'NO' In Referendum

“These people want to end with the division of power, they want to end democracy," stated the ex-president.

Rafael Correa, the former president of Ecuador, announced in a radio interview, that he would return to the country next Thursday, to support the campaign against next month's referendum.

RELATED: Correa Responds After Ecuadorean VP's Guilty Verdict

The plebiscite was proposed by Lenín Moreno, the current president of Ecuador, in order to “strengthen democracy”, and will take place on Feb. 4.

In the interview, Correa stated that he would support the “NO” against three specific points of the seven included in the referendum:

2.- Election of new members of the Civic Participation Council.

3.- Invalidating the amendment that allows indefinite re-election of elected positions.

6.- Restriction of mineral mining.

“These people want to end the division of power, they want to end democracy, go back 20 years and then take the next 20 years for themselves," stated the ex-president, “they may have control of the media, millions of dollars and the government, but we have millions of arms, millions of hearts and millions of minds”.

This is the second time the ex-president is visiting Ecuador after his term ended. Between last November and December, Correa spent ten days in the country, attending several events including a ruling party PAIS Alliance convention. He stated that his visit and the organization against the Moreno faction within the PAIS Alliance was virtually ignored by the media.

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Ecuador's President Visits Cuba

Ecuador''s outgoing President Rafael Correa is today in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba where he starts a two-day visit to the island during which he''ll pay tribute to late Fidel Castro and be conferred the Order Jose Marti, the country''s highest distinction.

In Santiago, the Ecuadorian Head of State, who arrived last night, is scheduled to visit Thursday Santa Ifigenia cemetery to pay homage to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution; then, he'll be declared Illustrious Son of the City.

He is also visiting the Moncada Garrison, where the armed struggle against the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship sparked in 1953.

Correa's also scheduled to meet with local neighbors whose houses were uplifted or rebuilt by Ecuador's solidarity aid in the wake of Sandy hurricane in 2012, and talk with Ecuadorian students who are studying medicine there.

He'll be on Friday in Havana where he'll be hosted by President Raul Castro who will confer on him the Order Jose Marti, Cuba's highest award, after laying a wreath at the Memorial Jose Marti at the Revolution Square.

Rafael Correa who came to power in Ecuador in 2007 at the helm of the PAIS Alliance and led what he called the Citizens's Revolution will be honored as Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Havana.

The outgoing leader will pass on the Presidency of Ecuador to Lenin Moreno next May 24.

  • Published in Cuba

Ecuador's President Supports Random Review of Ballot Papers

Quito, Apr 13 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa supported a proposal by Guayaquil Mayor Jaime Nebot for a random review of ballot papers for the second round of presidential elections held on April 2, but under conditions.

In his Twitter account, the president referred to the idea of Nebot, which he said is similar to a suggestion he made a few days ago.

The initiative, defined by the mayor as a supra-legal solution, establishes that representatives of the academy, the church, political movements and the media, among other factors, randomly choose a group of records and check them publicly.

'We fully support this proposal. We ask the CNE to accept it despite not being covered by the law,' the president stated.

However, he mentioned three conditions for implementing the proposal: to review records of the first round of elections (February 19), when the opposition also spoke of fraud, to accept the results and if these are ratified, CREO-SUMA political organization and the media that supported it should apologize publicly to Ecuadorians and the entire world.

According to Correa, the opposition of this South American state seeks to copy the strategy of the Venezuelan right that is to question results and delegitimize the origin of the administration, keep the streets warm and tear their clothes for a divided country, only to prevent governability.

'The difference: it will not happen here. Let all the ballot papers they want to be publicly open. They will not be able to steal from us the popular victory,' the president concluded.

The initiative recently proposed seeks to put to an end the environment generated by the right, led by CREO-SUMA and Guillermo Lasso-Andrés Páez, who from the same day of ballotage went out to the streets to talk about fraud and to incite their followers to ignore the results.

Official data from the National Electoral Council (CNE) indicate that the second round of elections was won by former vice president and representative of PAIS Alliance, Lenín Moreno, with 51.15 percent, while rival Lasso scored 48.85 percentage points. These estimates were corroborated in the recount carried out recently in five provinces, which recorded the initial figures.

However, the post-election process is at the stage of objection, challenge and appeal, valid reasons to file claims.

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New Book Details US Attempts to Topple Correa

Norwegian journalist Eirik Vold identifies current vice presidential candidate for the right-wing CREO party as a key U.S. contact in the country.
In his new book, "Ecuador In the Sights: The WikiLeaks Revelations and the Conspiracy Against the Government of Rafael Correa," released this week in Quito, Norwegian journalist Eirik Vold details attempts by the U.S. government to topple Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and derail his Citizens' Revolution.

RELATED: Ecuador Celebrates 10 Years of the Citizens' Revolution

"Correa was not about to let Washington maintain its dominance through financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund," Vold told the Andes press agency in explaining the motivation behind years of U.S. efforts to undermine the Ecuadorean president.

The book is largely based on the "Cablegate" documents released by WikiLeaks in 2010, including thousands of secret documents sent from the U.S. Embassy in Quito and the U.S. consulate in Guayaquil.

"There is direct U.S. interference in Ecuador," Vold told El Telegrafo, adding that "documents show a close relationship between several figures of Ecuadorean political life, the financial sector, and the United States Embassy.

In the book, Vold outlines how the U.S. looked to thwart Correa from the very beginning, trying to directly prevent his election out of fear of losing the U.S. military base in Manta, the base of CIA operations in the region, as well as control over the U.S. oil company Occidental Petroleum Corp.

After his 2006 election, Correa nationalized the oil company and closed the U.S. base in Manta.

Vold says his book documents multiple attempts by the U.S. to sabotage UNASUR — the regional cooperation body founded in 2007 by progressive governments in Latin America — as well as extensive contacts between the U.S. Embassy and members of the national police force before an attempted 2010 coup, known as 30S.

In 2015, 22 police officers were found guilty of insubordination for their role in the failed coup.

Vold also claims the secret cables identify multiple NGO, media, finance, and political contacts which the U.S. embassy used to attempt to destabilize Correa’s government.

One of those Vold names is current vice presidential candidate Andres Paez. Paez, formerly the president of the left-wing Left Democracy Party, is now running on the right-wing CREO ticket along with former banker Guillermo Lasso.

ANALYSIS: Is Ecuador's Historic Left Working with the Right Against Correa?

"The U.S. says in a document he is one of our most trusted contacts. In other documents, it is pointed out that he was considered an ally for imposing free trade agreements, and it is evident that he had meetings at the United States Embassy."

The Norwegian journalist, who has written extensively about U.S. involvement in Latin America, including a book about Hugo Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution, said that Ecuador is of particular importance due to its efforts to protect WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from U.S. persecution, ensuring its role as a "protector of the right to information for the whole planet."

"We’re talking about a region with the world’s greatest concentration of natural resources, and obviously a region which has been known as the U.S.’s ‘backyard’," he told Andes. "So U.S. activities are very intense in the region, but they have been maintained, for the last decade, with a more discrete, more covert strategy."

"The revelations are many, the purpose is one," he said at a book launch in Quito on Thursday. "That the Ecuadorean public regardless of their political inclination has access to truthful information about the activities of U.S. officials. And local informants in the country who had previously been concealed from them."


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Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: A Witch with Pretenses of "prosecutor?"

With her fragile crystal roof, the republican lawmaker from Miami aims now her weapons toward the Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa.  

And not by chance, we are talking about an outstanding progressive figure in Latin America.

What pretext did she make up this time? The alleged case of corruption of the Brazilian firm Odebrecht and its activities in Quito.

To finish her move, Ileana sent a letter to the U.S. general attorney, Loretta Lynch, where she demands to reveal the name of the Ecuadorian officials involved in the matter.

According to versions she makes her own, such officials received personal benefits granted by Odebrecht between years 2007 and 2016.

According to the same sources, the money paid rounds the 34 million dollars.

In exchange for what?, they highlight, of contracts that Ileana requests to clarify together with the name of its authors.

In her letter to general attorney Lynch she writes:  


I request to reveal the names of public officials involved in corruption next to executives from Odebrecht and other people.

According to Ros-Lehtinen, Ecuador doesn't offer juridical guarantees in identifying the culprits.

With such reasoning she demands that it’s Washington, and not Quito, the one to carry on this task.

Then Ileana with her usual grotesque language made this threat:

"If names are not revealed, as the Department of State established, they would violate human rights for political interference".

It’s curious the huge interest of Mrs. Lehtinen regarding what happened in Ecuador to Odebrecht.

It’s worth mentioning because she and her Washington allies, kept a tight silent regarding the huge scandal of the American company Exxon (former Texaco).

It took place in August 2013, at a time in which the later called Chevron caused in that South American nation a worse natural disaster than that of the British Petroleum and Exxon.

At a meeting of the College of Journalists from Chile with the Ecuadorian leader, Rafael Correa, the latter asserted that the damage to the Amazons was higher than in the Gulf of Mexico (2010 and Alaska 1989).  

He also denounced that the oil company has become a great defiler of judges so they attempt against the domestic sovereignty.    

Amid all this show, violent crimes executed by North American companies against the Ecuadorian environment.

Will Ileana say something about it? Very unlikely.

  • Published in Now

Rafael Correa Calls Trump 'Ignorant' over Fidel Remarks

Several countries rebuked the U.S. president-elect over his insensitive and inaccurate statement on Fidel Castro after his death.

Several leaders have slammed U.S. President-elect Donald Trump over his hostile statements on the death of Cuban revolutionary and leader Fidel Castro, with the most pointed critique coming from Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa who called Trump “ignorant.”

RELATED: Fidel Castro: A Latin American Legend

In a tweet Sunday morning sharing an article about Trump’s remarks, calling Fidel a brutal dictator, Correa said, “The words of an ignorant (person) … an example of what Latin America can expect.”

Bolivian President Evo Morales also had some harsh words about Trump as he likened it to “fascism” having a “feast” over Fidel’s death.

"Almost everyone cries … but the president-elect of the United States with a group of people are celebrating,” Morales said in a speech Sunday. “I can not understand and I want to tell you: fascism with a lot of cynicism celebrates Fidel's death."

The Russian government also criticized Trump’s comments on the death of the Cuban leader saying it was disrespectful.

Alexander Schetinin, the director of the Latin American Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry attacked Trump over his comments.

RELATED: Songs to Remember Fidel and the Cuban Revolution

“As for the various manifestations and desires to backbite and speak in a disrespectful manner in respect to a deceased person, a politician, I leave it to the conscience of those who do so," Schetinin told RIA Novosti commenting on Trump’s statement on Fidel.

He added that the Cuban revolutionary was "a great politician of our time" who is “worthy of everyone's respect."

His comments came after people began to point to the stark difference between how Russian President Vladimir Putin reacted to the death of Fidel, calling him a "sincere and reliable friend of Russia," compared to Trump’s reaction, as many question the back and forth praise between the two men.

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U.S. Court Rules in Favor of Chevron in Ecuador Pollution Case

A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the oil giant Chevron in a case that dates back more than 20 years, blocking one of Ecuador's indigenous communities from collecting a judgment of nearly $8.6 billion for environmental damage to the Amazon rain forest.

The decision from the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan dismissed claims by lawyer Steven Donziger on behalf of Ecuador's Lago Agrio region, that is most impacted by the dirty legacy of Chevron's Amazon drilling. Donzinger had requested that the court enforce an earlier ruling by an Ecuadorean court awarding the plaintiffs nearly $9 billion in damages for water and soil contamination to the Amazon between 1964 and 1992 when Texaco, acquired by Chevron in 2001, drilled in the region.

But instead, the U.S. court let stand a lower court decision which concluded that Donziger corrupted the Ecuadorian case by submitting fraudulent evidence, coercing the judge, bribing an expert witness, and paying a Colorado consulting firm to write the expert's report, all in an effort to mislead the U.S. courts.

Chevron no longer has assets in Ecuador, forcing the plaintiffs to petition the U.S. to collect damages. The court ruling applies only to the multinational corporation's holdings in the U.S., and do not apply to the plaintiff's efforts to collect on the judgment in other countries where Chevron has extensive holdings, including Canada, Argentina, and Brazil.

Billions of gallons of toxic waste left behind by Chevron in in the oil-rich area of Lago Agrio in Ecuador’s Amazon — one of the world's largest environmental disasters — has impacted as many as 30,000 people, mostly Indigenous. Ecuador’s Supreme Court ordered Chevron in 2013 to pay 9.5 billion in damages and cleanup costs, but the oil giant has refused to comply, dragging out the lengthy court battle

  • Published in World
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