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What is going on in Ecuador?

Yesterday morning, as I was checking my spam filter, I fished out an obvious non-spam from a reader from Down Under, which was posted on this entry. I'm going to repost it up top here today, as I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle. I think you'll agree that Luis Cayetano asks a very good question:

Hi Sabina. You said that Correa had actually doubled police pay. Obviously, something different has been said, as you mentioned, in much of the media. Here is the Sydney Morning Herald: "Mr Correa was greeted by cheering crowds and cries of "Viva Ecuador" outside the presidential palace after security forces whisked him out of a Quito hospital that police demonstrating against wage cuts had laid siege to." All the outlets I've read so far, including the progressive Upside Down World, claim that the rebel police were protesting at pay cuts.

Just what the fuck is going on down there?

Luis, I often ask myself the same thing.

I'm pretty sure that the anglo media are all following that false lead about cut police pay because it's the only one they have at present. Right now there's a lot of tangled webs yet to be unraveled, but I'm finding all kinds of interesting clues. And they give me a pretty good idea what the real situation is. Here's one from Jean-Guy Allard in Granma (translation mine):

An odd couple appeared on NTN24, the right-wing Colombian channel affiliated with FOX News. A few hours into the attempted coup d'état in Quito, the CIA agent Carlos Alberto Montaner, a terrorist fugitive from Cuban justice, met with one of the leaders of the failed Ecuador coup plot, former military officer Lucio Gutiérrez, to attack president Rafael Correa.

Montaner opened the show by denigrating the president with fallacies, in his typical fashion: "If they killed [President Correa] there would have been a bloodbath all over the country. Why did they do it? These things don't just happen. This isn't how presidents comport themselves--taking off his tie and defying the police," Montaner said.

Calling the president a "choleric man" and "a person who has to work hard to control himself", Montaner--known for precisely those characteristics himself--accused Correa of having met with the rebellious police officers to provoke them. "He didn't go to seek consensus, nor to converse, he went to destroy them," Montaner accused.

Arrogant as always, Montaner ironically remarked that Correa wanted to give "the image of a president full of testosterone, who is capable of controlling the situation...and this among some people who are very primitive, who have little education. He wanted to awaken their sympathies."

With an uncharacteristic respect for the ousted president Lucio Gutiérrez, calling him "Mr. Ex-President", Montaner asked him with a fine incredulity: "Did you really have the intention of toppling Rafael Correa?"

And the putschist conspirator answered him with great solemnity: "Greetings to all the democratic world. I deny the assertions of President Correa that there was an attempted coup d'état in Ecuador. There was nothing more than a protest by police, a protest by police troops."

Gutiérrez continued with allegations of "the worst economic management by President Correa", and "for this reason, he tried to reduce the police salaries by way of a law."

"We have a president who doesn't tolerate opposition," assured Gutiérrez to his congenial interviewer, then preoccupied himself with the luck of the conspirators: "What will happen to the opposition? And who will speak in the name of the opposition? They're already being persecuted..."

And Montaner added: "That's the problem, there are no international mechanisms in defence of the opposition..."

A marginal figure in media spectacles, Montaner is known for his fanatical support for the most extremist elements of the Cuban-American mafia. Last year, following the coup d'état against the Honduran president, Manuel Zelaya, on June 28, he became a furibund apologist for the dictator Roberto Micheletti, along with US congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and another Cuban-American terrorist and CIA collaborator, Armando Valladares.

Montaner turned up repeatedly in Tegucigalpa to "defend human rights", applauding when the fascist Honduran coup-régime turned its police against demonstrations of the Resistance.

A graduate of the Inter-American Defense College (IADC) in Washington, Lucio Gutiérrez participated, on January 21, 2000, in the coup d'état against Ecuador's constitutional president, Jamil Mahuad. In 2002, he got himself elected president. A popular protest on April 20, 2005, expelled him from power amid a heavy crackdown that caused the death of a Chilean news photographer, Julio García, and left hundreds wounded.

NTN24 is a right-wing news channel, property of the Colombian chain RCN Television, transmitting from studios in Bogotá, Colombia.

Linkage (not in original) added, so you can see just what I'm talking about here.

I find it endlessly interesting that two well-known, long-time putschists like Gutiérrez and Montaner would take advantage of such an opportune time to get their faces out on all the "right" (as in wing) TV outlets. Lucio Gutiérrez, who goes by the well-earned nickname of "Sucio" (Filthy), also showed up on CNN, presumably from Brazil, making the same coup-apologist noises. I was on Twitter as that was going down, and not in front of the TV. But a lot of my Latin-American tweeps were, and a flurry of indignation erupted all over the tweeter as Sucio was blatting. They already knew the man, and they knew that democracy and human rights are to him as French perfumes are to a hog-factory cesspit. A good thing I was NOT in front of the tube, or I'd have been throwing things, too.

Not that there weren't plenty of things for me to throw shit at on the Internet, either; another usual suspect from the CIA crapaganda mill who talks big about freedom and democracy, but doesn't mean a word of it, was hard at it, claiming there was "no coup". Yes, Alvaro Vargas Llosa reared his smirky, useless head so quickly, and issued such slick, pat pronunciations on this still very messy affair, you'd swear he had his material prepared in advance. And he probably did. If you're really in the mood to eat baloney sandwiches, here it is, in English and Spanish.

Of course, anything a Vargas Llosa says nowadays should be rotated 180 degrees if one wants the truth. The day the Vargas Llosas, père et fils, stopped labelling their fiction as such was a bad one for Latin America. You want facts? Read me, I deal in them. (And I don't mislabel my fictions, either.)

So. Here are some more facts:

The history of Ecuador as an "ungovernable" country is rooted in the activities of the CIA. For those interested, and who can read Spanish, Philip Agee's CIA Diary, in Scribd form here, is worth a look-see. (Audio, in English, here.) Anyone who thinks the CIA's days of interfering in Latin America are over, should think again. They will never be over until the CIA is killed and a stake is driven through its heart.

Meanwhile, Mark Weisbrot chimes in with some good analysis:

In June of last year, when the Honduran military overthrew the social-democratic government of Manuel Zelaya, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador took it personally. "We have intelligence reports that say that after Zelaya, I'm next," said Correa.

On Thursday, it turned out to be true. Some analysts are still insisting that what happened was just a police protest over possible benefit cuts that got out of hand. But to anyone who watched the prolonged, pitched gun-battle on TV last night, when the armed forces finally rescued President Correa from the hospital where he was trapped by the police, this did not look like a protest. It was an attempt to overthrow the government.

The co-ordinated actions in various cities, the takeover of Quito's airport by a section of the armed forces - all this indicated a planned coup attempt.

And what could be behind that coup attempt? Weisbrot has some insights:

Despite his enemies in high places, the president's approval rating was 67% in Quito a couple of weeks ago. His government has doubled spending on healthcare, significantly increased other social spending, and successfully defaulted on $3.2bn of foreign debt that was found to be illegitimately contracted. Ecuador's economy managed to squeak through 2009 without a recession, and is projected to grow about 2.5% this year. Correa, an economist, has had to use heterodox and creative methods to keep the economy growing in the face of external shocks because the country does not have its own currency. (Ecuador adopted the dollar in 2000, which means that it can do little in the way of monetary policy and has no control over its exchange rate.)

Correa had warned that he might try to temporarily dissolve the congress in order to break an impasse in the legislature, something that he has the right to request under the new constitution - though it would have to be approved by the constitutional court. This probably gave the pro-coup forces something they saw as a pretext. It is reminiscent of the coup in Honduras, when Zelaya's support for a non-binding referendum on a constituent assembly was falsely reported by the media - both Honduran and international - as a bid to extend his presidency.

Media manipulation has a big role in Ecuador, too, with most of the media controlled by rightwing interests opposed to the government. This has helped build a base of people - analogous to those who get all of their information from Fox News in the United States, but proportionately larger - who believe that Correa is a dictator trying to turn his country into a clone of communist Cuba.

Popular president? Successful shedding of odious debt (a hefty hunk of it, no doubt, contracted by Sucio Lucio Gutiérrez himself)? NO recession, even in the midst of last year's global catastrophe? Doubled social spending? Growth instead of contraction? Holy shit, let's get rid of the bastard! Otherwise, no other Sucio will ever stand a chance! And then the IMF, World Bank, etc., will never get their pound of flesh! Can't ever let Ecuador move ahead, be sovereign or succeed, otherwise all those other little countries will get all uppity. Remember Honduras? Poorest country in Central America until Zelaya started boogying with the ALBA. Then things started to improve. WITHOUT THE GRINGOS! And if word ever got out, the rest of Central America would start clamoring for some of that good stuff, too. And they'd never let the gringos establish military bases on their soil, either...

It's not as if there were any lack of motives, in other words, for a coup. And El Ecuadorable was more than prescient when he predicted that Ecuador would be next, after the coup in Honduras. The same putschist slimeballs and crapaganda-mongers--Montaner, Valladares, Vargas Llosa--all showed up, along with Sucio Gutiérrez. That all is just a little too convenient for mere coincidence.

And if anyone still thinks this was just a police protest against nonexistent "wage cuts" gone out of hand, have I got pix for you:

correa-car-bullets.jpg

Pretty big and businesslike bullets, no? They were strong enough to put holes in the armor of a bulletproofed minivan--the same that Correa sped out of the hospital in. Four of them, at least, damaged the hood and windshield of that vehicle.

And if you're wondering what kind of standard-issue police sidearm they came out of, here's your answer:

correa-guns.jpg

Those newspaper photos were scanned and uploaded and tweeted by Dr. Paula Vernimmen, who was trapped inside the same hospital as her president at the time of the coup attempt.

And yes, it WAS a coup attempt. Planned, orchestrated...and ultimately, fortunately, failed. As will the anglo whore media's crapaganda offensive.

Hope this begins to clear up your questions, Luis. I know it's been illuminating for me!

Comments

Thank the gods for Sabina. Here in the Former United States, now Der Homeland, I read the usual media accounts, dismissed them all as lies and just waited, cuz i knew how to find out the facts.
Yay!

Nice job, 'Bina. Everyone in favor of Queen 'Bina for President of CNN, WaHoPo, The Grey Whore, Faux News, Waah Screech Journal, the Miami Hysteria and The Pisstian Slimbulence Moniker say Aye. AAAYYYEEE! Those opposed by saying Nay. . The Ayes have it.

So when can you assume your new duties which include firing all of those lazy slobs who do their reporting and opinion writing from the verandas of the most right wing nut-house they can find with a gin and tonic in each hand so that they feel comfortable when they are slaving over their keyboard. Or their scanners if they happen to be using some CIA, USAID, US State Department, Wingnut Think Tank, Pentagon, White House bull shit piece in place of actually doing anything like original thinking so that they don't have to slave over that hot keyboard all day.

Like guns now, don't you Sabina?

No, actually, I don't. I like them even less, considering that the cops tried to kill him with them. Are you fucking stupid or something?

Hi Sabina, thanks for that. Very interesting and enlightening. However, I was particularly concerned with the more parochial question of police pay, and what sources you used in saying that it had been doubled rather than cut.