Ecuador

About 25,000 people squished themselves into the sports stadium of Chillogallo, the most populated area of Quito, to launch the candidates of President Rafael Correa’s Alianza PAIS (Country Alliance, or AP) on November 10. Elections are scheduled for next February for the presidency and National Assembly.
Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa counts on a high level of support at home. But internationally, he has been criticed for policies on development, the environment and indigenous peoples. Tackling these issues in an interview in the September-October issue of New Left Review, Correa raised some important issues for activists in the global North. See also: Rafael Correa speaks on 'Citizen's Revolution'
While European governments continue to impose policies aimed at making working people pay for a crisis they did not cause, the Ecuadorian government of Rafael Correa has taken a different course. “Those who are earning too much will be giving more to the poorest of this country,” a November 1 Reuters dispatch quoted Correa as saying. He was announcing a new measure to raise taxes on banks to help fund social security payments. Ecuador’s banking sector has registered US$349 million in after-tax profits, a November 8 El Telegrafo article said.
“Major U.S. business groups are stepping up pressure on President Barack Obama's administration to suspend longtime trade benefits for Ecuador, citing the Andean country's mistreatment of Chevron Corp as proof of a deteriorating investment climate”, Reuters said September 26.
The decision by WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to seek asylum in Ecuador’s London Embassy triggered an international media campaign that highlighted the “hypocrisy” of his decision to choose a country condemned for supposed attacks on press freedom. The campaign reached a fever pitch following Ecuador’s decision to grant the dissident journalist asylum on August 16. Commentators used the opportunity to stick the boot into both Ecuador and Assange. See also: Why journalists could use a Correa change
The Socialist Alliance released the statement below on August 25. * * * The government of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa gave Julia Gillard's Australian government a lesson in dignity on August 16 when, facing British threats to raid its London embassy, it granted asylum to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.
The statement below was released on August 23 by Craig Murray, a former British ambassador and career diplomat, on the Ecuadorean embassy siege in London. It is reprinted from www.wikileaks.org. * * * My name is Craig John Murray. I am a retired British diplomat. I was a member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service for over 20 years, and a member of the Senior Management Structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over six years.
British-Pakistani author, journalist and activist Tariq Ali chaired a rally outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London on August 19. The rally came before WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange's widely publicised speech. Ali also gave two speeches. In the second, he spoke about why it was that Assange and WikiLeaks had found support in Ecuador and Latin America more generally — and highlighted the revolutionary movements that have swept the continent to challenge US corporate domination.
The Union of South American States (UNASUR) threw its support behind Ecuador in its diplomatic dispute with Britain over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, after a meeting of UNASUR foreign ministers yesterday in Guayaquil, Ecuador. UNASUR unites 12 South American nations (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela). On August 16, Ecuador granted Assange diplomatic asylum in its London embassy due to fears his human rights could be violated if extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges.

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