Cablegate: Media Reaction: Ecuador Foreign Policy And

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Newspapers have reported widely on visits to
Caracas of the foreign affairs and economics
ministries, which included meetings with Chavez, and
increasing ties between Ecuador and Venezuela. An
article in the July 15 El Universo is entitled
"Change in foreign policy" and includes an interview
with foreign minister Parra in which he makes the
following points:
1. Although Ecuador will respect the agreement
establishing the Manta FOL, if Parra were minister in
2009 when the agreement terminates, he would "cut off
his hand" before renewing it."
2. Plan Colombia began as a war against drugs but
became a U.S. intervention in Colombia with effects
in Ecuador, Venezuela, and Panama.
3. Ecuador has "magnificent" relations with
Venezuela, Brazil, and the U.S. Ecuador now has a
different foreign policy. If Venezuela offers good
proposals for cooperation, Ecuador will accept, just
as it would do with the U.S.
Papers also reported that economics minister Correa
met with Chavez and other officials to discuss
financing of Ecuadorian debt to cover an anticipated
budgetary shortfall. Following are two editorials
dealing with Ecuadorian foreign policy.

1. "Pragmatism or External Improvisation," an
editorial (07/15) in Quito's leading centrist "El
Comercio" (circ. 90,000)

Quote: ". . .we hope there is a global strategic
plan for security, one that would establish adequate
priorities and maintain the coherence needed for the
respectability of a sovereign republic. . . It is
possible .that the Government's foreign policy
attempts to be pragmatic and discreet. In that line,
it is trying to cooperate with Colombia in providing
strict security along the border by turning over an
alleged guerrilla, it is attempting a financial and
political rapprochement with Venezuela, and it is
maintaining a cordial but formal relation with the
U.S. Will this idyllic scheme work in the present
continental scenario?

2. "Hunger and Need," an "Analysis" column in
Quito's center-left "Hoy" (circ. 38,500)

Quote: "A relationship [of Venezuela] with the
Ecuadorian government modifies the axis of
international relations in the region; after the
Lucio Gutierrez regime's unconditional support for
State Department policies, an alliance of Argentina,
Brazil, and Venezuela that is not to Washington's
liking and that inclines towards trade alliances
opposed to the U.S. FTA, seems to add a new partner.

"This Chavist need of consolidating a Bolivarian
alliance, or offering the image that such an alliance
is a reality, encounters the pressing liquidity
issues faced by [Ecuadorian president] Alfredo
Palacio and his Minister of Economy, Rafael Correa, .
to patch a hole of at least US$ 484 million in the
general state budget and support almost US$ 700
million in Treasury Certificates (internal debt) that
are to expire.

"It is understood that in international relations and
in negotiations between governments, there are only
interests. . . If to that it is possible to add
elements of a common shared history.then Rafael
Correa might tell international organizations that it
is possible to resolve short term problems without
their tutelage. What is difficult to affirm though,
at this time, is if that is a solution to long term


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