Below is a fragment from an upcoming book, La frontera salvaje. 200 años de fanatismo anglosajón en América Latina (The Savage Frontier : 200 Years of Anglo-Saxon Fanaticism in Latin America). It is a useful refresher on Ecuador’s recent history that allows for an improved understanding of the events that are currently taking place during this electoral period.-Tlaxcala
At midday on 30th September 2010, President Rafael Correa spoke at the barracks (the Regimiento No. 1 de la Policía Nacional, Quito) where the police officers who had rebelled against a recent piece of salary law approved by the Asamblea Nacional (National Assembly) were located. Correa explained to them that their salaries had doubled during his administration and that they would continue to increase, but the mutinous officers did not want to hear any of it and began launching tear gas. Amidst the confusion, the President injured one of his knees and was taken to the Hospital de Policía Nacional (the National Police Hospital) showing signs of asphyxiation, where he was detained by the rebelling police officers. Some of them proposed assassinating him as a solution to the problem, but others rejected this.
Hours later, demonstrations in multiple cities filled the streets in protest at the kidnapping. That night, a branch of the army’s special forces confronted the mutinous officers; following an exchange of gunfire that lasted for 30 minutes, they managed to rescue the president at 9 p.m. Although the vehicle transporting him was besieged by gunfire, it managed to escape. Two soldiers and two police officers died as a result.
There are two interpretations of the events that transpired that day. For some, it was merely a police rebellion; while for others, it was yet another attempted coup d’état. After all, the endless list of coups organised and funded by Washington spans more than a century; in Ecuador alone, this includes a coup d’état in 1963 and a presidential assassination in 1981. Unsurprisingly, both were ‘disobedient’ leaders. The most recent intervention in the region had happened barely a year ago with the coup in Honduras against Manuel Zelaya. A couple of years later, Fernando Lugo would be disposed with a coup in the Paraguayan congress, a fate almost identical to that awaiting Dilma Rousseff, the president of Brazil, four years later.
Each of the coups d’état conform to the same ideological template, although with some small procedural variations. Due to an historical experience that has delegitimised the old forms of military dictatorships, the modern coup gives a greater role to the manipulation of political and media opinion than in the traditional sudden, visible and delegitimised intervention by national armies.
Another template is rooted in the patient, sustained and million-dollar participation of Washington in domestic politics and in the strategic and widely acknowledged psychological warfare against disobedient presidents from foreign countries. Since the dawn of the 21st century, when Latin America began to experience a wave of progressive and democratic governments at an unprecedented rate, and when these governments demonstrated, dangerously, that social justice could also bring about economic prosperity, the hegemonic press and international foundations initiated an unrelenting harassment and destabilisation campaign against disobedient governments in the name of other social actors and on behalf of some noble cause or another.
Suddenly, after 200 years of incessantly violating each and every agreement and fundamental right of the native populations on their own soil and abroad, Washington became an important benefactor of various indigenous movements in Ecuador through foundations such as the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID, which has been operating in the country with an annual budget of nearly $ 40 million.
Both organisations had already participated, among other international schemes, in the failed coup d’état in Venezuela in 2002 against another disobedient president. Lurking in the shadows, the budget of the CIA and the NSA has been continually increased by tens of millions of dollars each year (close to the GDP of one or two countries in Central America). No one knows what that fortune is invested in; however, based on the known antecedents, it does not take a rocket scientist to guess where and how.
Currently, in Ecuador, both U.S. agencies are also benefactors of “independent journalism” and of groups such as the Fundación Q’ellkaj, the very same that, with the aim of “empowering the indigenous youth and its entrepreneurial skills”, became a fierce opponent of the government of Rafael Correa. In 2005, a group comprising Norman Bailey (a CIA agent and advisor in different international companies, such as Mobil International Oil) founded the Corporación Empresarial Indígena del Ecuador (the Indigenous Business Corporation of Ecuador). An investigation by Eva Golinger revealed that four of the five founders of this indigenous opposition have direct links to the U.S. government: Ángel Medina, Fernando Navarro, Raúl Gangotena and Lourdes Tibán. In 1965, Bailey, an expert in Latin America with an extensive resumé in the NSA and the Ronald Reagan administration, published the book “The Strategic Importance of Latin America” through the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he left no doubt as to the importance of the “radical economy of free enterprise”, which he termed “neoliberalism”.
USAID caring for "Indians"
As is to be expected, the traditional artifices of the CIA in Ecuador organised mass mobilisations and protests against the disobedient president. According to the USAID’s own correspondence in Quito, Ecuador’s independence in establishing relations with Washington’s enemies (Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela) was not to be tolerated. It was even less tolerable that Ecuador, exercising its sovereignty, could have decided to give political asylum to Julian Assange in its London embassy, and less tolerable still that it had not renewed the free rental agreement that forced Ecuador to relinquish its military base in Manta for the use of the Air Forces Southern Command in the name of a familiar excuse: “the War on Drugs”. In reality, President Rafael Correa had offered Washington the chance to negotiate the continued military presence of the U.S. in Manta. On 21st October 2007, he proposed the renewal of the base “under one condition: that they allow us to put a military base in Miami, an Ecuadorean base”. His offer was not accepted.
In 2014, USAID was to be forced to abandon its operations in Ecuador. In 2018, the new president, supported by Washington, Lenin Moreno, would approve the return of U.S. military planes. This was despite the fact that the constitution, approved by the Ecuadorean people 10 years earlier, set out that “Ecuador is a peaceful territory. The installation of foreign military bases or foreign facilities with military aims will not be permitted”.
Just like in the last 60 years, the parallel government of vast secret agencies which refuses to recognise national borders shows no signs of ending its sale of disguises and Trojan horses. For it, there is no shortage of money or human resources with narrow ambitions.