Aug 17, 2012

‘Una papa caliente’: what Ecuador is playing at

There's no doubt that Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, as Spanish speakers put it, is a man with "cojones" -- but what is he playing at on Assange, ask Matthew Knott and Cathy Alexander.

There’s no doubt Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, as Spanish speakers put it, is a man with “cojones”.

In 2009, he gave an almighty middle-finger salute to America by closing down the US air base in the port city of Manta. In 2010, during a debate with striking police officers, the left-wing firebrand thundered: “I’m not taking one step back. Gentleman, if you want to kill the president, here he is, kill him if you have the guts.” The police, in turn, took him hostage in a police hospital and Correa only managed to escape thanks to the efforts of an elite special rescue team.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

3 thoughts on “‘Una papa caliente’: what Ecuador is playing at

  1. Dion Giles

    It seems to be de rigueur for geostrategy wonks like the authors to bury issues in their irrelevant terms, but just MIGHT there be actual principles involved, principles relevant to the 99% and not just to the 1%? Could the authors not conceive of the possibility that a Latin American leader, unlike US and UK leaders guided only by colonial interests, just MIGHT act on them?

  2. Ian

    I would be surprised if Correa didn’t consult with his Latin American counterparts before coming to his decision. It’s a brave decision given the US’s obvious willingness to institute or support coups or even assassinations on that continent.

    And Dion I think you are right that Correa is guided by principles. In Australia along with the UK and US foreign policies have long been principle free. In Sweden too it seems principles no longer count especially in dealings with the dreaded empire.

  3. warwick fry

    The jeopardisation of relations with Australia is a complete furphy.

    Unfortunately Australia’s foreign policy designers have studiously excluded the development of financial and economic relations with the ALBA countries, which is becoming a major economic force in the autonomous development of the Latin American economies. A look at the reports of Australian Joint Parliamentary Committees involving engagement with Latin American countries show that DFAT only looks at relations with Chile, Argentina, in some cases Colombia, occasionally Mexico and the (mostly English speaking) Caribbean countries.

    The focus on Chile and Argentina will come round and bite them on the bum, as more and more of the ALBA countries become integrated with MERCOSUR – a kind of South/Latin American free trade agreement that counterbalances the various NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreements) and ‘CAFTA’ (Central American Free Trade Agreements) from which Australia, if not prepared to look it in the eye without anglophile or eurocentric attitudes will be excluded.

    It would be wise for our politicians not to be too snooty or smug about Ecuador. Or for that matter, Assange.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details