|A neighborhood on the north side of Quito-from the roof of the house I stayed at in 2000|
Another Coup. Again, Latin America. Ecuador this time. What role did the United States government play?
The Leftist elected president Rafael Correa has just been rescued, by military forces still loyal to him, from a Quito hospital where police and military personnel had been holding him captive all day Thursday. The rebel group had taken him captive during a meeting Thursday morning where he came to negotiate with them. They were upset because of a new law congress passed that would slow down the growth in their benefits.
Throughout the day Thursday other Latin American governments, and the OAS, the Organization of American States, and the UN, and the US State Department, all had issued statements condemning the coup and supporting Correa and the rule of law.
But if you will recall, the so-called socialist Barak Obama also issued statements like that after a coup last year against Honduran President Manuel Zalaya, a left-leaning president like Correa who was trying to make things better for the working class of his country. But then Obama worked to undermine Zelaya's return to power, and when the coup government, which represented the old oligarchy, held new elections, Obama immediately recognized the results. Most Latin American governments still do not recognize the results of that election, while the details of US involvement in the coup itself have steadily become known.
In Ecuador it's been a day of continual, often conflicting news reports. An unusual day when major news organizations issued breathless, often contradictory, one paragraph updates throughout the day. Even now only the scarcest of details are known. But what is known is that Rafel Correa has been trying to change Ecuadorian policies to improve the lives of the working class, which, as we have seen in case after case in Latin America, is viewed by the powers that be here as a dangerous example for our own docile, obedient working class.
We know also that Correa ended the lease for the air base the US had in Ecuador. He wanted the Yankees to go home. We know also that Ecuador has a lot of oil.
And we know there's been another coup against a left leaning Latin American leader. Otro golpe.