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Ecuador refuses US aid; offers $23 m instead


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#1    Jessica Christ

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:34 PM

Ecuador nixes U.S. trade pact, 'blackmail' over Snowden

Quote

Ecuador said Thursday it is renouncing a trade pact up for renewal by the U.S. Congress because it had become a "new instrument of blackmail" involving the fate of an NSA leaker who has asked for political asylum from the South American country.

*snip*

On Wednesday, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that if Ecuador grants Snowden asylum, "I will lead the effort to prevent the renewal of Ecuador's duty-free access under GSP and will also make sure there is no chance for renewal of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act."

The pact, initially aimed at helping Andean countries in their fight against drugs, reduces tariffs on hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of trade in products such as cut flowers, artichokes and broccoli. Nearly half Ecuador's foreign trade depends on the U.S.

Under the terms of the pact, Ecuador exported $5.4 billion worth of oil to the USA last year.

Communications minister Fernando Alvarez told a news conference in the Ecuadoran capital Quito that the pact, which already faced an uphill battle for renewal, had become "a new instrument of blackmail."

He said his country of 15 million people "does not accept threats from anybody, and does not trade in principles, or submit to mercantile interests, as important as they may be."

"In consequence, Ecuador unilaterally and irrevocably renounces said preferences," he said.

*snip*

In a pointed jab at Washington over Snowden's revelations on data-gathering by NSA, Alavarez said Ecuador offered $23 million per year to the United States to finance human rights training.

He said the money would be aimed at helping "avoid violations of privacy, torture and other actions that are denigrating to humanity."


*snip*

http://www.usatoday....le/news/2463465





#2    eight bits

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:42 PM

Score!

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#3    Jessica Christ

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:44 PM

Ecuador turns away US trade benefits, makes defiant offer amid Snowden asylum request

Quote

Ecuador's government gave the Obama administration a defiant response in the face of warnings not to grant asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, sending the message that it does not need U.S. aid and assistance.

According to Reuters, Ecuador said Thursday it was waiving favorable trade rights under a trade agreement with the U.S. In a dig at Washington, officials there also offered the U.S. $23 million in aid for "education about human rights."

The moves were a signal that Ecuador was not considering its own U.S. benefits in weighing Snowden's asylum request.

In Washington, some analysts have said the U.S. could use both its direct aid and the trade benefits as leverage against Ecuador. That's because in recent months, Ecuadorean officials have made trips to Washington, jockeying for preferential treatment for some of its country's key native products like frozen broccoli and fresh-cut roses.

Favored political status, which breaks down to more jobs for Ecuadoreans and cheaper goods for Americans, was considered a potentially powerful negotiating chip.

But that may be off the table now that Ecuador is waiving those agreements.

Officials told Reuters that Ecuador was giving up the benefits "unilaterally and irrevocably. "

*snip*

There's also the matter of direct aid to Ecuador.

During the past 50 years, USAID, the main American foreign aid agency, has given millions of dollars for education and economic growth. In the past five years alone, Ecuador has received $144.4 million.

The amount has steadily decreased from $35 million in 2009 to an estimated $12 million in aid requested for 2014.

National security analyst Aaron Cohen told Fox News the U.S. should consider cutting off that aid if Ecuador approves Snowden's asylum request.

"The fact is is that we're giving millions of millions of dollars to this country right now who may potentially be harboring somebody who could have been responsible for one of the most massive intelligence leaks in the history of both private contracting and our espionage world," he said.

http://www.foxnews.c...snowden-asylum/

So basically Ecuador is trying to "school us" in human rights and privacy by offering us $23 million in "aid" which is nearly double the amount of $12 million in actual aid we were planning to offer them in 2014.

Boisterous and too big for their britches they are being but whatever.



#4    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:49 PM

I rather like their sense of humour.
They definitely seemto want to take over from Venezuela as the S. American country that does its best to annoy Uncle Sam.

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#5    questionmark

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:52 PM

Now they should start a collection for CARE packages for US food stamp recipients and we would have seen it all.

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#6    kannin

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 04:54 PM

hmmmmmmm, id be happy with 23 mill

happiness can be found in the darkest of times, only if one remembers to turn on the light

#7    Papagiorgio

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:00 PM

Nobody likes to be threatened. Maybe Senator Menendez of New Jersey should apologize for his less than tactful attempt at bullying Ecuador.

I'm just saying.

#8    WoIverine

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:07 PM

So...minus $5.4 billion in oil. Ugh, what a mess.

Edited by WoIverine, 27 June 2013 - 05:07 PM.


#9    questionmark

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:07 PM

View PostPapagiorgio, on 27 June 2013 - 05:00 PM, said:

Nobody likes to be threatened. Maybe Senator Menendez of New Jersey should apologize for his less than tactful attempt at bullying Ecuador.

They all think that they are still capable of pulling a stunt like the Mexican-American war... the problem is that the times have changed.

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#10    Papagiorgio

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:16 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 27 June 2013 - 05:07 PM, said:

They all think that they are still capable of pulling a stunt like the Mexican-American war... the problem is that the times have changed.
Nobody likes a bully. Maybe the senator should have spoken with the Ecuadorian government instead of just leaping into a p***ing contest. The government really seems to be going out of it's way to make us look bad.

I'm just saying.

#11    questionmark

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:19 PM

View PostPapagiorgio, on 27 June 2013 - 05:16 PM, said:

Nobody likes a bully. Maybe the senator should have spoken with the Ecuadorian government instead of just leaping into a p***ing contest. The government really seems to be going out of it's way to make us look bad.

Ecuador has more than one score to settle with the US of A, and they will be happy to do that every time they get an opportunity.

Bullying the smaller neighbors to the South has been going on since 1846, it is quite a tradition.

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#12    Valdemar the Great

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 05:31 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 27 June 2013 - 05:07 PM, said:

They all think that they are still capable of pulling a stunt like the Mexican-American war... the problem is that the times have changed.
oh really, surely you don't think that it's yet another country that' wants to challenge the great United States in Armed Conflict, do you?  Surely it's obvious it's tongue in cheek.

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#13    Jessica Christ

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:02 PM

Snowden case highlights Ecuador’s double standard

Quote

*snip*

Yet, as we see it, that all might be worth it if the case were to focus public and congressional attention on Mr. Correa’s own repression of free speech — and his attempt to set himself up as a U.S. foil even while profiting from U.S. trade preferences.

For years, Mr. Correa has been known for his prosecutions of his own country’s journalists and his attempts to destroy the Organization of American States’ office on press freedom. But this month he outdid himself: The country’s rubber-stamp legislature passed a new media law, widely known as the “gag law,” that was aptly described by the Inter-American Press Association as “the most serious setback for freedom of the press and of expression in the recent history of Latin America.”

Mr. Snowden should be particularly interested in Section 30 of the law, which bans the “free circulation, especially by means of the communications media” of information “protected under a reserve clause established by law.” The legislation empowers a new superintendent of information and communication to heavily fine anyone involved in releasing such information, even before they are prosecuted in the courts. In other words, had Mr. Snowden done his leaking in Ecuador, not just he but also any journalist who received his information would be subject to immediate financial sanction, followed by prosecution.

Other provisions of Ecuador’s new law would limit private media to 33 percent of the broadcast market and establish a new crime of “media lynching,” defined as the dissemination of information to reduce the public credibility of someone — such as Mr. Correa, for example. As the Committee to Protect Journalists put it, “this legislation puts into law a key goal of the Correa presidency: muzzling all critics.”

Some might find it awkward to be granting sanctuary to one country’s self-proclaimed whistleblower while stifling their own. Not Mr. Correa, who for years has been campaigning against the United States while depending on it to prop up his economy with trade preferences. Thanks to the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Protection Act, Ecuador — which uses the dollar as its currency — is able to export many goods to the United States duty-free, supporting roughly 400,000 jobs in a country of 14 million people.

*snip*

http://www.washingto...36ed_story.html

Edited by The world needs you, 27 June 2013 - 06:03 PM.


#14    questionmark

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:07 PM

View PostColonel Rhuairidh, on 27 June 2013 - 05:31 PM, said:

oh really, surely you don't think that it's yet another country that' wants to challenge the great United States in Armed Conflict, do you?  Surely it's obvious it's tongue in cheek.

Can't remember any of those countries ever challenging the US, history certainly remembers many occasions when it was the other way around.

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#15    pallidin

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Posted 27 June 2013 - 06:27 PM

I have mixed feelings about Ecuador.

One one hand I respect that they are a potential "haven"
Indeed, it's nice to know that one might have a place to go if the political s**t hits the fan regarding one's actions.

On the other hand, I don't like their criteria for it, as they seem to allow non-extraditable residency to certain criminal types.
If approved, of course.

Snowden, for example, has been charged with espionage and has a demand placed on him to stand trial in the US.
Importantly, no-one disagree's that Snowden stole state secrets. Which is a serious crime in any country.

And, no-one disagree's that he revealed those state secrets to third parties. Also a serious crime in any country.

If one has access to, and a "beef" about state secrets, in the US there are numerous safegaurds for him to "whistleblow" without retribution.
That precious availabilty does not exist in many countries outside the US.
Many other countries just, well, kill you.

As such, in reality, he should have stayed here, "lawyerd-up" and asked for trial to present his case to the public and Congress.

But he choose not to do so, either out of paranoia or some other mental agenda, and instead fled and now it's presumed the Chinese and Russian intelligence services have all his stolen NSA data, some of which he may or may not have desired to make public.





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