About That Leverage We Had Over Ecuador in Snowden Case... Never Mind
According to El Telegrafo, Correa declared that his country's "dignity is priceless" so forfeiting the trade agreement didn't matter.
"Ecuador is offering financial assistance to the U.S. ...with the goal to provide training in human rights," the president added. "Ecuador is not believed morally superior to any nation in the world ...but we will not accept cynical double-standard filled positions that are based in neither reason nor truth."
Ros-Lehtinen said "Correa saw the writing on the wall" after her warning and Menendez's, and decided to cancel the trade deal.
"This unilateral act is further proof that Ecuadorian leader does not want close ties with the United States and only wishes to sabotage our bilateral relationship in order to save face following pressure from our government for Correa to refuse asylum to Edward Snowden," she said.
The offer of funds for human-rights training, Ros-Lehtinen added, was "as if to add insult to injury."
"This is perhaps the most laughable move by Correa to date, as it is he and his government who are in need of training in the protection and respect of fundamental basic human rights and democratic freedoms. This, after all, comes from the mini-Chavez who earlier this year launched an international campaign to weaken the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and who has consistently attempted to silence free speech and the independent media," she said.
The congresswoman urged Obama "to send a clear message to Correa that his ill-considered actions will not go without consequences and reexamine all foreign aid that goes directly to this reckless government.”
Ecuador received more than $35 million in aid -- military and police funds and development assistance -- this year.
"We’re urging them not to grant asylum and to uphold the law," Secretary of State John Kerry said in a Tuesday interview with CNN. "But let’s wait and see what happens. Again, I don’t know if [Snowden is] going to be in Ecuador, if he’s going to Ecuador. I don’t think anybody knows at this point. Let’s let this unfold."
Since Congress held the purse strings of the trade agreement, the Obama White House that has dismissed its responsibility to even call the world leaders involved in Snowden's escape will be eager to shift the blame for crumbling relations to the legislative branch.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said his conversations with world leaders on his travels, particularly in the Middle East, reflect a global belief that "there's no American leadership, and that's correct."
"I think it's very clear that they believe that President Obama is not a player in the international scene, that President Obama, which has characterized his behavior, does not want to get involved or engaged in international security issues," he said on Fox this week.
"The worst case scenario is, that Snowden somehow, they get him to Cuba and then to Ecuador where he will -- like the WikiLeaks guy have some kind of immunity like the WikiLeaks guy has in the embassy in England," McCain continued. "I think one of the places where we are is that I am confident that Russian and Chinese interrogators got a lot of information from Mr. Snowden. I cannot imagine them letting him go without rather extensive interviews. Whatever Mr. Snowden had or knew, I'm sure the Chinese or Russians know today."
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