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Avatar Samantha Ai

Ecuador refuses US aid; offers $23 m instead

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

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.com/article/news/2463465

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Score!

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

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.com/politics/2013/06/27/ecuador-turns-away-us-trade-benefits-makes-defiant-offer-amid-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.

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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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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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hmmmmmmm, id be happy with 23 mill

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

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Posted (edited)

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

Edited by WoIverine
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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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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.

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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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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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Posted (edited)

Snowden case highlights Ecuador’s double standard

*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

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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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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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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.

I think he clearly wants to make a martyr of himself. And what better way than by going into Exile, like Trotsky? And of course, if the US does try to put any kind of pressure on plucky little Ecuador, they'll be the Great Bully once again.

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Posted (edited)

Well one thing is certain. It is Ecuador's president who is trying to turn this into more Snowden-driven-drama and not our president.

What a few congresspersons state is not the official government view and never has been.

While America can be a bully toward our Latin American neighbors, more so in the past, the legacy is there and Ecuador and Venezuela certainly capitalize on it as a play for their own domestic audience. Meanwhile they still wheel and deal with us and business continues as usual.

When it comes to Venezuela they have Citgos all over some parts of our country. Chavez also gave heating aid to low income Americans at one point in time after our domestic budget slashed LIHEAP funds (with respect to questionmarks' comments of, "Now they should start a collection for CARE packages for US food stamp recipients and we would have seen it all.")

So while they play up the production to their home audience both our countries are also in bed together to some degree. Those ties that bind us are more important than the present wedge the Snowden affair is causing between us. Don't see any long term ramifications. This is our American version of saber rattling which could be dubbed "oil stick dipping". Yep, we might need an oil change when it comes to foreign policy with Latin America because we are certainly losing influence and instead of trying to gain it back or make them out to be enemies we need to strengthen our partnerships with them as equals.

Edited by The world needs you

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Posted (edited)

I kind of admire their gusto in a way. Maybe Snowden and Ecuador will set a trend. Whistleblowers will pop up like daisies, other nations will offer asylum, we will pis those countries off, they will retract our foreign aid and the icing on the cake is that they will even pay us back a little money. What an incredible turn of events. We will save billions and make millions all the while knowing the dirty little secrets our government keeps. Win win win.

Edited by F3SS
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Uh oh! What's this? A growing trend? I'll take it. I know it's just the people and not the government but...

‘OH AMERICA, KEEP YOUR MONEY!’: EGYPTIAN DEMONSTRATORS CALL PRESIDENT MORSI A ‘DOG’ AND THE U.S. ‘ACCURSED’

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/06/27/oh-america-keep-your-money-egyptian-demonstrators-call-president-morsi-a-dog-and-the-u-s-accursed/

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well good.

America gets some extra cash in pocket to pay their debts.

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I would like nothing more than to see the U.S. become less involved with how other countries run themselves.

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It's nice to see that all roads don't lead to Rome II.

God Bless Ecuador ... for their bravery. They're poor, but they have great dignity.

It also sounds like a place that might survive the firestorm that is coming.

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Well one thing is certain. It is Ecuador's president who is trying to turn this into more Snowden-driven-drama and not our president.

How did you get that from those articles? Ecuador simply said if you want something you ask for it, you don't threaten us... I actually support them standing up to our government because they have been doing this crap forever now, all they do is threaten other countries, they never actually consider doing stuff the peaceful way.

Even what they call diplomacy pretty much goes like this:

"If you don't give us what we want, we will do x"

As opposed to:

"We want Y, what can we do to get Y from you"

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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.

I rather like the courage displayed by Ecuador. David & Goliath image. :tu:

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Posted (edited)

I rather like the courage displayed by Ecuador. David & Goliath image. :tu:

I don't know about David and Goliath, but I am pretty sure if our government tried to declare on Ecuador they'd be in a for the fight of their lives, cause they'd finally be fighting a war by themselves. The government is doing a great job of making enemies, and an even better job of linking them together. Why be afraid of a country, when you know you have other countries supporting you? You might not have been following South American issues because the media tends to focus on what we are doing in places around the world, but South America has been growing some strong ties amongst themselves. The US wont do squat but bark and blackmail the UN to do something. We've already seen this course of action before, it's called Cuba. Just 90 freaking miles off the coast and here's this real jerk of a guy publicly mocking, insulting, and challenging the President, meanwhile all the President did was run and blackmail the UN to impose an embargo. Yeah let's starve the citizens he's holding hostage, that'll hurt him real bad. If he tries that with Ecuador, the most he would get is South America really ticked off. We can say it's an unfair fight, assuring ourselves of how great the US is, but we haven't seen the other side to that coin.

We only have a fighting force of about 3 million troops.. One single South American country could completely dwarf our troops if it came to it. I won't even begin to mention the unity they've all been working towards recently, and other countries agreeing with them that our diplomacy is garbage... Not to mention the ones already in the US... What then? Stale mate? All I see is "Cool story.. Now show some respect Mr.President, you must not remember your place is North America, and we aren't North America". Even though South America isn't as rich, they are still the big brother of the Americas, not the other way around.

Edited by xFelix
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