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Rafel Correa, President of Ecuador

Ecuador was the original banana republic.

Professor Doctor Correa is one tough character.

He told George Bush to take the US military base and stick it where the equatorial sun don’t shine.

He told the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which held Ecuador’s finances by the throat, to go to hell.

He ripped up the “ agreements ” which his predecessors had signed at financial gun point.

He told the Miami bond vultures that were charging Ecuador usurious interest, to eat their bonds.

He said “We are not going to pay off this debt with the hunger of our people.”

Food first, interest later.

Much later.

And he meant it.

Rafel Correa, President of Ecuador
From Ecuador: Good and Evil at the Center of the Earth
Published March 5th, 2008 in Articles
A Conversation with Ecuador’s New President
by Greg Palast
[Quito]    I don’t know what the hell seized me.
In the middle of an hour-long interview with the President of Ecuador, I asked him about his father.
Ecuadorean soldiers board helicopter
I’m not Barbara Walters.   It’s not the kind of question I ask.
He hesitated.   Then said, “My father was unemployed.”
He paused.   Then added, “He took a little drugs to the States... This is called in Spanish a mula [mule].    He passed four years in the states — in a jail.”
He continued. “I’d never talked about my father before.”
Apparently he hadn’t.   His staff stood stone silent, eyes widened.
Correa’s dad took that frightening chance in the 1960s, a time when his family, like almost all families in Ecuador, was destitute.
Ecuador was the original “banana republic” — and the price of bananas had hit the floor.
Million Ecuadorans fled to the USA due to 'banana republic'
A million desperate Ecuadorans, probably a tenth of the entire adult population, fled to the USA anyway they could.
“My mother told us he was working in the States.”
His father, released from prison, was deported back to Ecuador.
Humiliated, poor, broken, his father, I learned later, committed suicide.
At the end of our formal interview, through a doorway surrounded by paintings of the pale plutocrats who once ruled this difficult land, he took me into his own Oval Office.
I asked him about an odd-looking framed note he had on the wall.
It was, he said, from his daughter and her grade school class at Christmas time.
He translated for me:
“We are writing to remind you that in Ecuador there are a lot of very poor children in the streets and we ask you please to help these children who are cold almost every night.”
Rafel Correa, President of Ecuador, looks at a framed note from his daughter and her grade school class at Christmas time.

Rafel Correa, the President of Ecuador translated the note:

“We are writing to remind you that in Ecuador there are a lot of very poor children in the streets and we ask you please to help these children who are cold almost every night.”

It was kind of corny.   And kind of sweet.   A smart display for a politician.
Or maybe there was something else to it.
Correa is one of the first dark-skinned men to win election to this Quechua and mixed-race nation.
Certainly, one of the first from the streets.
He’d won a surprise victory over the richest man in Ecuador, the owner of the biggest banana plantation.
Doctor Correa, I should say, with a Ph.D in economics earned in Europe.
Professor Correa as he is officially called — who, until not long ago, taught at the University of Illinois.
Ecuadorean commandos
carry out patrol
And Professor Doctor Correa is one tough character.
Told George Bush to take US base and stick it where equatorial sun don’t shine
He told George Bush to take the US military base and stick it where the equatorial sun don’t shine.
He told the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which held Ecuador’s finances by the throat, to go to hell.
He ripped up the “agreements” which his predecessors had signed at financial gun point.
He told the Miami bond vultures that were charging Ecuador usurious interest, to eat their bonds.
He said “We are not going to pay off this debt with the hunger of our people.”
Food first, interest later.
Much later.
And he meant it.
It was a stunning performance.
I’d met two years ago with his predecessor, President Alfredo Palacio, a man of good heart, who told me, looking at the secret IMF agreements I showed him, “We cannot pay this level of debt.   If we do, we are DEAD.   And if we are dead, how can we pay?”
Palacio told me that he would explain this to George Bush and Condoleezza Rice and the World Bank, then headed by Paul Wolfowitz.
He was sure they would understand.
They didn’t.
Cut off Ecuador at the knees
They cut off Ecuador at the knees.
But Ecuador didn’t fall to the floor.
Correa, then Economics Minister, secretly went to Hugo Chavez Venezuela’s president and obtained emergency financing.
Ecuador side of border with Colombia
Ecuador survived.
And thrived.
But Correa was not done.
Elected President, one of his first acts was to establish a fund for the Ecuadoran refugees in America — to give them loans to return to Ecuador with a little cash and lot of dignity.
And there were other dragons to slay.
He and Palacio kicked US oil giant Occidental Petroleum out of the country.
Correa STILL wasn’t done.
I’d returned from a very wet visit to the rainforest — by canoe to a Cofan Indian village in the Amazon where there was an epidemic of childhood cancers.
The indigenous folk related this to the hundreds of open pits of oil sludge left to them by Texaco Oil, now part of Chevron, and its partners.
I met the Cofan’s chief.
His three year old son swam in what appeared to be contaminated water then came out vomiting blood and died.
Cofan Leader Criollo.

I’d returned from a very wet visit to the rainforest — by canoe to a Cofan Indian village in the Amazon where there was an epidemic of childhood cancers.

The indigenous folk related this to the hundreds of open pits of oil sludge left to them by Texaco Oil, now part of Chevron, and its partners.

I met the Cofan’s chief.

His three year old son swam in what appeared to be contaminated water then came out vomiting blood and died.

Rafel Correa had gone to the rainforest and President Correa announced that the company that left these filthy pits would pay to clean them up.

But it’s not just any company he was challenging.

Chevron’s largest oil tanker was named after a long-serving member of its Board of Directors, the Condoleezza. US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice

The Cofan have sued Chevron corporation, demanding the oil company clean up the filthy oil pits that it left in the jungle near the Cofan Indian village in the Amazon where there was an epidemic of child cancer.

The cost would be roughly $12 billion.

Correa won’t comment on the suit itself, a private legal action.

But if there’s a verdict in favor of Ecuador’s citizens, Correa told me, he will make sure Chevron pays up.

Cofan sued corporation where Rice long-served on its Board of Directors, demanding the oil company clean up crap it left in the jungle
Correa had gone there too, to the rainforest, though probably in something sturdier than a canoe.
And President Correa announced that the company that left these filthy pits would pay to clean them up.
But it’s not just any company he was challenging. Chevron’s largest oil tanker was named after a long-serving member of its Board of Directors, the Condoleezza.
Our Secretary of State.
Father of student
killed in US attack on Ecuador
The Cofan have sued Condi’s corporation, demanding the oil company clean up the crap it left in the jungle.
The cost would be roughly $12 billion.
Correa won’t comment on the suit itself, a private legal action.
But if there’s a verdict in favor of Ecuador’s citizens, Correa told me, he will make sure Chevron pays up.
Is he kidding?
No one has ever made an oil company pay for their slop.
Even in the USA, the Exxon Valdez case drags on to its 18th year.
Correa is not deterred.
He told me he would create an international tribunal to collect, if necessary.
In retaliation, he could hold up payments to US companies who sue Ecuador in US courts.
This is hard core.
No one — NO ONE — has made such a threat to Bush and Big Oil and lived to carry it out.
And, in an office tower looking down on Quito, the lawyers for Chevron were not amused.
I met with them.
How many cases of children with cancer do you have in the States?
“And it’s the only case of cancer in the world?   How many cases of children with cancer do you have in the States?”
Rodrigo Perez, Texaco’s top lawyer in Ecuador was chuckling over the legal difficulties the Indians would have in proving their case that Chevron-Texaco caused their kids’ deaths.
“If there is somebody with cancer there, [the Cofan parents] must prove [the deaths were] caused by crude or by petroleum industry.   And, second, they have to prove that it is OUR crude – which is absolutely impossible.”
He laughed again.
You have to see this on film to believe it.
The oil company lawyer added, “No one has ever proved scientifically the connection between cancer and crude oil.”
Ecuador Defense Minister at border area with Colombia
You could swim in the stuff and you’d be just fine.
The Cofan had heard this before.
When Chevron’s Texaco unit came to their land the the oil men said they could rub the crude oil on their arms and it would cure their ailments.
Now Condi’s men had told me that crude oil doesn’t cause cancer.
But maybe they are right.
I’m no expert.
So I called one. Robert F Kennedy Jr., professor of Environmental Law at Pace University, told me that elements of crude oil production — benzene, toluene, and xylene, “are well-known carcinogens.”
Kennedy told me he’s seen Chevron-Texaco’s ugly open pits in the Amazon and said that this toxic dumping would mean jail time in the USA.
But it wasn’t as much what the Chevron-Texaco lawyers said that shook me.
It was the way they said it.
Childhood cancer answered with a chuckle.
The Chevron lawyer, a wealthy guy, Jaime Varela, with a blond bouffant hairdo, in the kind of yellow chinos you’d see on country club links, was beside himself with delight at the impossibility of the legal hurdles the Cofan would face.
Especially this one: Chevron had pulled all its assets out of Ecuador.
The Indians could win, but they wouldn’t get a dime.
“What about the chairs in this office?” I asked.
Couldn’t the Cofan at least get those?
“No,” they laughed, the chairs were held in the name of the law firm.
Well, now they might not be laughing.
Correa’s threat to use the power of his Presidency to protect the Indians, should they win, is a shocker.
No one could have expected that.
And Correa, no fool, knows that confronting Chevron means confronting the full power of the Bush Administration.
But to this President, it’s all about justice, fairness.
But to this President, it’s all about justice, fairness.
“You [Americans] wouldn’t do this to your own people,” he told me.
Oh yes we would, I was thinking to myself, remembering Alaska’s Natives.
Puerto Nuevo, Ecuador, border area with Colombia
Correa’s not unique.
He’s the latest of a new breed in Latin America.
Lula, President of Brazil, Evo Morales, the first Indian ever elected President of Bolivia, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.
All “Leftists,” as the press tells us.
But all have something else in common: they are dark-skinned working-class or poor kids who found themselves leaders of nations of dark-skinned people who had forever been ruled by an elite of bouffant blonds.
When I was in Venezuela, the leaders of the old order liked to refer to Chavez as, “the monkey.”
Chavez told me proudly, “I am negro e indio” — Black and Indian, like most Venezuelans.
Chavez, as a kid rising in the ranks of the blond-controlled armed forces, undoubtedly had to endure many jeers of “monkey.”
Now, all over Latin America, the “monkeys” are in charge
Now, all over Latin America, the “monkeys” are in charge.
And they are unlocking the economic cages.
Maybe the mood will drift north.
Far above the equator, a nation is ruled by a blond oil company executive.
He never made much in oil — but every time he lost his money or his investors’ money, his daddy, another oil man, would give him another oil well.
And when, as a rich young man out of Philips Andover Academy, the wayward youth tooted a little blow off the bar, daddy took care of that too.
Maybe young George got his powder from some guy up from Ecuador.
I know this is an incredibly simple story.
Indians in white hats with dead kids and oil millionaires playing musical chairs with oil assets
Indians in white hats with their dead kids and oil millionaires in black hats laughing at kiddy cancer and playing musical chairs with oil assets.
Father and uncle of
Franklin Aisalia Molina
Ecuador citizen
killed in US attack on Ecuador
But maybe it’s just that simple.
Maybe in this world there really is Good and Evil.
Maybe Santa will sort it out for us, tell us who’s been good and who’s been bad.
Maybe Lawyer Yellow Pants will wake up on Christmas Eve staring at the ghost of Christmas Future and promise to get the oil sludge out of the Cofan’s drinking water.
Or maybe we’ll have to figure it out ourselves.
When I met Chief Emergildo, I was reminded of an evening years back, when I was way the hell in the middle of nowhere in the Prince William Sound, Alaska, in the Chugach Native village of Chenega.
I was investigating the damage done by Exxon’s oil.
There was oil sludge all over Chenega’s beaches.
It was March 1991, and I was in the home of village elder Paul Kompkoff on the island’s shore, watching CNN.
We stared in silence as “smart” bombs exploded in Baghdad and Basra.
Then Paul said to me, in that slow, quiet way he had, “Well, I guess we’re all Natives now.”
Well, maybe we are.
But we don’t have to be, do we?
Maybe we can take some guidance from this tiny nation at the center of the earth.
I listened back through my talk with President Correa.
And I can assure his daughter that she didn’t have to worry that her dad would forget about “the poor children who are cold” on the streets of Quito.
Because the Professor Doctor is still one of them.
Watch the Palast investigation, Rumble in the Jungle: Big Oil and Little Indians, on BBC Television Newsnight, now on-line via
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on the Lawsuit Against Chevron, Eradicating Foreign Debt and Why He Says “Ecuador is No Longer for Sale” —
Greg Palast Reports on the Battle Between Indigenous Ecuadorians and the U.S. Oil Giant Chevron —
For a copy of Palast’s prior reports from Venezuela for BBC and Democracy Now, get “The Assassination of Hugo Chavez,” on DVD, filmed by award-winning videographer Richard Rowley.
March 5, 2008
The Raid on Ecuador
Underestimating Rafael Correa
I remember when Rafael Correa visited us, months before the electoral campaign when he was thinking of running as a candidate for the Presidency of Ecuador.
He had been the Minister of the Economy in the government of Alfredo Palacio, a surgeon with professional prestige who had also visited us as Vice President, before becoming the President in an unexpected situation that took place in Ecuador.
He had been receptive to a program of ophthalmologic operations that we offered him as a form of cooperation.
There were good relations between our two governments.
A while earlier Correa had resigned from the Ministry of the Economy.
He was unhappy with what he called administrative corruption instigated by Oxy, a foreign company that explored and invested important sums of money, but was holding on to four out of every five barrels of oil that it extracted.
He didn't talk about nationalization, but about taxing them heavily; these taxes would be assigned in advance to specific social investments.
He had already approved the measures and a judge had declared them to be valid.
Since the word "nationalize" had not been mentioned, I thought he felt apprehensive about the concept.
It didn't surprise me because he had graduated as an economist with much acclaim from a well-known U.S. university.
I didn't bother getting into much depth; I bombarded him with questions from the arsenal accumulated in the struggle against the Latin American foreign debt in 1985 and of Cuba's own experience.
There are high-risk investments that use sophisticated technology and that no small nation like Cuba or Ecuador could take on.
Since this was already in 2006 and we were determined to promote the energy revolution — ours was the first country on the planet to proclaim this as a vital issue for humankind — I had dealt with the subject particularly emphatically.
But I halted, as I understood one of his reasons.
I related to him the conversation I had had a while ago with the president of REPSOL, a Spanish company.
This company, associated with other international companies, would undertake an expensive operation to drill the ocean floor, more than 2000 meters down, using sophisticated technology, in Cuba's jurisdictional waters.
I asked the head of the Spanish company: How much is an exploratory well worth?
I ask you this because we would like to participate, even if it is for one percent of the total cost and we would like to know what you want to do with our oil.
Ecuador soldiers on patrol
Oil policies verged on treason against the country
Correa, for his part, had told me that for every one hundred dollars taken out by the companies, only twenty remained in the country; it didn't even get into the budget, he said; it was left in a separate fund for just about anything other than improving the living conditions of the people.
I abolished the fund, he told me, and directed 40 percent towards education and health, technological and highway development, and the rest towards buying back the debt if the price was favorable, and if not, investing it in something more useful.
Before, every year we had to buy a portion of that debt which was becoming more expensive.
In the case of Ecuador ­ he added ­ oil policies verged on treason against the country.
Why do they do it? I asked him.
Is it because they are afraid of the Yankees or due to unbearable pressure?
He answered: If they have a Minister of the Economy who tells them privatization would improve efficiency, you can just imagine.   I didn't do that.
I encourage him to go on and he calmly explains.
The foreign company Oxy is one that has broken its contract and according to Ecuadorian law it requires an expiration date.
Because of Yankee pressure the government does not dare
It means that the oil field operated by this company must go over to the State, but because of Yankee pressure the government does not dare to occupy it; a situation is created which is not contemplated by the legislation.
The law just states that an expiration date must be set, and nothing more.
The judge at the court of first instance at that moment was the president of PETROECUADOR and he made it happen.
I was a member of PETROECUADOR and they called an emergency meeting to expel him from his position.
I didn't attend and they couldn't fire him.
The judge declared the expiration date.
What did the Yankees want? I asked him.
They wanted a fine, he quickly replied.
Listening to him I realized that I had underestimated him.
I was in a hurry because of a great number of commitments. I invited him to sit in on a meeting with a large group of highly qualified Cuban professionals who were leaving for Bolivia to be part of the Medical Brigade; it had staff for more than 30 hospitals including 19 surgical positions that could do more than 130 thousand ophthalmologic operations per year; all in the manner of free cooperation.
Ecuador possesses three similar centers with six ophthalmologic positions.
Dinner with the Ecuadorian economist took place into the morning hours of February 9, 2006.
There were scarcely any view points that I didn't cover.
I even spoke to him about the very harmful mercury that modern industry scatters throughout the planet's oceans.
Consumerism was of course a subject that I emphasized:
The high cost of the kilowatt/hour in the thermoelectric plants
The differences between socialist and communist forms of distribution.
The role of money, the trillions spent on advertising which people had no choice but to pay for in the prices of goods.
And the studies made by university social brigades who discovered, among the 500 thousand families in the capital, the number of elderly folk lived alone.
I explained the stage of university courses for all that we were involved in.
Body of person killed by US bomb
Imperialism has just committed a monstrous crime in Ecuador
We became friends even though he perhaps received the impression that I was self-sufficient.
If that happened, it was truly not my intention.
Since that time I have observed his every step: the electoral process, focusing on the concrete problems of Ecuadorians and the people's victory over the oligarchy.
In the history of our peoples there are many things that bring us together.
Sucre was always a highly admired figure, along with The Liberator Bolivar; as Marti said, what he hasn't done in America remains to be done, and as Neruda exclaimed, Bolivar awakens every hundred years.
Imperialism has just committed a monstrous crime in Ecuador.
Deadly bombs were dropped in the early morning hours on a group of men and women who, almost without exception, were asleep.
That has been deduced by all the official reports right from the beginning.
Any concrete accusations against that group of human beings do not justify that action.
Yankee bombs, guided by Yankee satellites
They were Yankee bombs, guided by Yankee satellites.
Absolutely no one has the right to kill in cold blood.
If we accept that imperial method of warfare and barbarism, Yankee bombs directed by satellites could fall on any group of Latin American men and women, in the territory of any country, war or no war.
The fact that this happened on undisputed Ecuadorian territory is an aggravating circumstance.
We are not an enemy of Colombia.
Previous reflections and exchanges demonstrate how much of an effort we have made, both the current President of the Council of State of Cuba and I, to abide by a declared policy of principles and peace, proclaimed years ago in our relations with the rest of the Latin American states.
Today, with everything at risk, we have not been transformed into belligerent people.
We are determined supporters of that unity among peoples which Marti named Our America.
If we keep quiet we shall become accomplices.
Today they would like to have our friend, the economist and President of Ecuador Rafael Correa, seated in the dock.
This is something we couldn't even conceive that morning of February 9, 2006.
At that time it seemed that my imagination was capable of embracing all kinds of dreams and risks.
But never anything like what has occurred in the early morning of Saturday March 1, 2008.
Bodies of people killed by US bombs
Correa has in his hands the few survivors and the rest of the bodies.
The two which are missing prove that Ecuadorian territory was occupied by troops that crossed the border.
Now he can cry out like Emile Zola:
ECUADOR: Manta Air Base Tied to Colombian Raid on FARC Camp
By Kintto Lucas
BRUSSELS, Oct 29, 2007 (IPS)
MANTA, Ecuador, Mar 21 (IPS) — Military and diplomatic sources see a link between the Manta air base, operated by the United States in Ecuadorean territory, and this month’s bombing raid by Colombia on a FARC guerrilla camp in Ecuador.
The U.S. air force was granted a 10-year concession in 1999 to use the base, located in the port city of Manta on Ecuador’s northern Pacific coast, in its counter-drug trafficking activities in the region.
No more state terrorism by Colombia
A high-level Ecuadorean military officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, told IPS that "a large proportion of senior officers" in Ecuador share "the conviction that the United States was an accomplice in the attack" launched Mar. 1 by the Colombian military on a FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) camp in Ecuador, near the Colombian border.
FARC’s international spokesman Raúl Reyes and 24 other people were killed in the bombing raid, which prompted Quito to break off diplomatic relations with Colombia, although ties were restored several days later.
Plan Colombia
"Since Plan Colombia was launched in 2000, a strategic alliance between the United States and Colombia has taken shape, first to combat the insurgents and later to involve neighbouring countries in that war," said the officer.   "What is happening today is a consequence of that."
Plan Colombia is a U.S.-financed and supported counterinsurgency and anti-drug strategy carried out by Bogotá.
The information gathered by IPS from military and diplomatic sources indicates that the Manta air base played a role in locating, and carrying out reconnaissance of, the FARC camp in Ecuador.
Ecuadorean Defence Minister Wellington Sandoval said there should be an investigation of whether the Manta air base was used for the attack on the rebel camp in Ecuador.
According to the agreement signed by Washington and Quito, it is the Ecuadorean armed forces that should carry out such a probe.
The Manta air base lease clearly stipulates that the base can only be used for counter-narcotics operations.
Sandoval said he cannot provide any information until an investigation has been conducted.
The military source who spoke to IPS said that what should be verified "above all are the flights from the base in the 20 days prior to the bombing, who was on them, the routes they took, and what they were investigating.   This data should be complemented by other inquiries and information."
It was from the United States
On Mar. 13, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister María Isabel Salvador said she had had "a conversation with (U.S.) Ambassador Linda Jewell who ensured us that the planes (at the base) were not involved in any way" in the bombing of the FARC camp.
An end to rights abuses by Colombia government
But the military source said that "the technology used, first to locate the target, in other words the camp, and later to attack it, was from the United States."
Sandoval declared that "equipment that the Latin American armed forces do not have" was used in the Mar. 1 bombing.
"They dropped around five 'smart bombs'," the kind used by the United States in the First Gulf War (1991), "with impressive precision and a margin of error of just one metre, at night, from planes travelling at high speeds," said the minister.
The military source said that "an attack with smart bombs requires pilots who have experience in such operations, which means U.S. pilots.
That’s why I think they did the job and later told the Colombians ‘now go in and find the bodies’, which is when Colombian helicopters and troops showed up" at the site of the raid.
According to the official version of events that the Colombian government gave an Organisation of American States (OAS) fact-finding commission that visited both countries, 10 "conventional" bombs were dropped from five Brazilian-made Super Tucano aircraft and three U.S.-made A-37 planes.
The A-37s dropped bombs guided by GPS (Global Positioning System) and the five Super Tucanos have the technological means to launch bombs at targets with a five-metre margin of error, said the OAS delegation’s report.
But according to the sources who spoke to IPS, the U.S. role in the incident could have been even greater.
The military officer said the bombing raid in Ecuadorean air space was actually led by "U.S. pilots, possibly from DynCorp," a U.S.-based private military contractor that has contracts under Plan Colombia.
Stop state terrorism in Colombia
The aircraft took off from the Tres Esquinas air base in the southern Colombian department of Caquetá, said the source.
Serving members of the U.S. military or men at the service of companies like DynCorp
"The planes used to fumigate coca crops or to attack the guerrillas are piloted by serving members of the U.S. military or (former) military men at the service of companies like DynCorp," said the officer.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Mar. 15 that his government would not allow "any foreign soldier, whether regular or irregular, to affect the soil of our fatherland.   That is why there will be no more foreign bases after 2009."
U.S. usage rights for Manta expire on Nov. 12, 2009.
A committee in the Constituent Assembly that is rewriting the Ecuadorean constitution approved the chapter on territorial sovereignty on Mar. 17.
One of the articles states that "Ecuador is a territory of peace.   The establishment of foreign military bases, or foreign installations for military purposes, is not permitted.   National military bases cannot be leased to foreign security forces."
Failing to inform Ecuador
In its refusal to renew the air base lease, Ecuador can argue "many causes: direct or indirect participation (by U.S. forces from Manta) in the bombing; negligence for failure to detect the FARC camp with their technology, first of all, and the attack, in second place; and, in case they did detect the camp and the raid, for failing to inform authorities in the partner country, Ecuador," said a diplomatic source who spoke with IPS on condition of anonymity.
March against Colombia government and paramilitary right wing violence
Another reason that could be set forth is the direct support that the U.S. Southern Command, under which the U.S. armed forces at the Manta air base operate, has provided the Colombian military.
US monitoring Ecuadorean and Venezuelan troops
Admiral James Stavridis, the commander of the Southern Command, told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on Mar. 6 that he was monitoring the movement of Ecuadorean and Venezuelan troops to the Colombian border.
Stavridis said that with continuous U.S. support, Colombia has won "hard-fought successes" in the armed conflict.   He added that "this key strategic ally" was making irreversible progress towards peace and against "terrorism."
He also told the Senate Committee that the FARC had been reduced from 17,500 guerrillas in 2002 to around 9,000 today.
In July 2001, retired colonel Fausto Cobo, former director of the Ecuadorean army’s Escuela de Guerra (war collage), had told IPS that "Manta, for the purposes of Plan Colombia," is a "U.S. aircraft carrier, on land."
By April 2001, when work began on the expansion of the Manta air strip, an average of 100 troops were taking part in up to three missions a day in F-3 reconnaissance planes.
A diplomatic source from the United States told Britain’s Financial Times at the time that by October the number would go up by 200, and by 200 more within the following few months.
After the expansion of the air strip, bigger, more sophisticated aircraft began to be used for reconnaissance missions.
Justice now for our fellow students who were murdered by CIA
Imperialist Murderer
Manta is one of the four "forward operating locations" (FOLs), along with Curaçao, Aruba and El Salvador, that make up the U.S. network of counter-narcotics bases in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In August 2006, the Expreso de Guayaquil newspaper reported that Colombian pilots were operating alongside Ecuadorean pilots on flights out of the Manta air base.
The commander of an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) squadron based out of Manta, Rich Boyd, told the Guayaquil newspaper that one of the AWACS aircraft was operated by a Colombian air force officer.
But Boyd said that each country's sensitive and confidential information is protected, because the Colombian officer exits the cockpit when the plane is in Ecuadorean air space, and the Ecuadorean pilot leaves when the plane overflies Colombia.
According to Boyd, three of the U.S. military’s 27 AWACS were at the Manta base.
Each one has a price tag of one billion dollars — nearly double the entire 2005 budget of the Ecuadorean air force.
Copyright © 2008 IPS-Inter Press Service. All rights reserved.
While CIA planes loaded with cocaine from Uribe's Columbia crash periodically, the last we know of just months past, there is this horror:
Did U.S. Mercenaries Bomb the FARC Encampment in Ecuador?
As diplomatic and military fallout from the March 1 Colombian raid into Ecuador escalate regional tensions, allegations from Ecuadorean sources link the unprovoked attack to the U.S. Manta airbase and charge the American mercenary firm DynCorp with piloting the planes that killed FARC commander Raúl Reyes and 24 others.
Parents of two students killed by US
by Tom Burghardt
Global Research, March 23, 2008
... As a key "private partner" of Plan Colombia, DynCorp's aerial spraying of herbicides over portions of the Colombian countryside has caused wide-spread ecological damage with no discernible diminution of the flow of narcotics into Europe and the United States.
Indeed, according to a February 2008 report published by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), "intensive aerial herbicide spraying of coca crops in Colombia has backfired badly, contributing to the spread of coca cultivation and cocaine production to new areas of the country and threatening human health and the environment."
The WOLA report, citing UN figures, goes on to describe how cocaine production in Colombia has risen from 617 metric tons in 2001 to 640 metric tons in 2005, a wretched failure considering the inestimable cost in human lives and habitat destruction.
Since 2002, congressional authorization for the program has permitted "counternarcotics" funds to be siphoned-off into scorched-earth counterinsurgency operations by the Colombian Army and their paramilitary allies.
Some 300 U.S. Special Forces "advisors" serve as "mentors" to elite Army units in what has become another front in the U.S.-led "war on terror."
Parents of many students killed by US
Analyst Doug Stokes describes how Plan Colombia has morphed into an all-out war against Colombia's left-wing opposition:
In the case of Colombia, civil society organizations, especially those that seek to challenge prevailing socio-economic conditions, are construed by the U.S. government as potentially subversive to the social and political order, and in the context of counter-insurgency, legitimate targets for "paramilitary, sabotage and/or terrorist" attack.
The 1991 post-Cold War U.S. reorganization of Colombian military and paramilitary networks and the massive levels of post-Cold War U.S. funding of the Colombian military serves to underline the continued relevance of counterinsurgency for destroying movements that may threaten a stability geared towards U.S. interests.
("The U.S. War of Terror in Colombia, Colombia Journal, December 2, 2002)
The controversial mercenary outfit, like its better-known cousin, Blackwater, has a dodgy history and has been fingered by investigators in human rights and other abuses in countries where it operates.
According to a CorpWatch profile:
DynCorp began in 1946 as a project of a small group of returning World War II pilots seeking to use their military contacts to make a living in the air cargo business.
Named California Eastern Airways the original company was soon airlifting supplies to Asia used in the Korean War.
By 2002 Dyncorp, headquartered in Reston, Virginia, was the nation's 13th largest military contractor with $2.3 billion in revenue until it merged with Computer Sciences Corporation, an El Segundo, California-based technology services company, in an acquisition worth nearly $1 billion.
The company is not short on controversy.
Under the Plan Colombia contract, the company has 88 aircraft and 307 employees — 139 of them American — flying missions to eradicate coca fields in Colombia.
Soldier of Fortune magazine once ran a cover story on DynCorp, proclaiming it "Colombia's Coke-Bustin' Broncos."
("CSC/DynCorp," Company Profiles, CorpWatch, no date)
Bodies of people killed by US cowardly air strike
Telling judge lawsuit posed 'grave risk to US national security and foreign policy objectives
While attempting to fly below the public radar, DynCorp's questionable Plan Colombia operations surfaced when a group of Ecuadorean peasants filed a class action lawsuit against the outfit in 2001.
The suit alleges that herbicides spread by DynCorp aircraft in Colombia drifted across the border, killing their crops and causing widespread livestock and human illnesses; in several cases, aerial fumigation led to the death of several children.
Washington responded by attempting to have the suit squashed.
According to CorpWatch, "Assistant Secretary of State Rand Beers intervened in the case right away telling the judge the lawsuit posed 'a grave risk to US national security and foreign policy objectives.'"
In a 2001 article profiling DynCorp's Latin American operations, investigative reporter Jeremy Bigwood wrote:
DynCorp's day to day operations are overseen by a secretive clique of officials in the State Department's Narcotic Affairs Section (NAS) and the State Department's Air Wing, a group that includes unreformed cold warriors and leftovers from the Central American wars of the 1980's.
Working hand-in-hand with U.S. military officials, Narcotic Affairs is supposed to be part of the drug war only, running the fumigation operations against drug crops.
But there are indications that it is also involved in the counter-insurgency.
In areas that are targeted for fumigation by Narcotic Affairs, Colombian right-wing paramilitaries arrive, sometimes by military helicopter, according to a human rights worker living in the Putumayo who asked for anonymity.
Members of these paramilitaries "clear the ground" so that the planes spraying herbicides, often piloted by Americans, are not shot at by angry farmers or insurgents.
("DynCorp in Colombia: Outsourcing the Drug War," CorpWatch, May 23, 2001)
Whether or not DynCorp pilots bombed Ecuador on behalf of America's ally, the paramilitary-linked regime of Colombian president Álvaro Uribe, it is clear the United States will not willingly relinquish the Manta airbase when its lease expires in November 2009.
In 2001, a retired Ecuadorean army colonel, Fausto Cobo, told IPS that "Manta, for the purposes of Plan Colombia is a U.S. aircraft carrier, on land."
Bodies of people killed by US cowardly air strike
Launching pad for an attack on Venezuela
As one of four "forward operating locations (FOLs), along with Curaçao, Aruba and El Salvador, Manta is a critical strategic base for U.S. "counternarcotics" and "counterinsurgency" operations in Latin America — and as a possible launching pad for an attack on Venezuela.
While the furor surrounding Colombia's allegations against Ecuador and Venezuela may have fallen off the media's radar, congressional efforts to have Venezuela declared "a state sponsor of terrorism," have not.
In Latin America, the "public-private partnership" in repression with well-paid mercenary outfits like DynCorp taking the lead, it is a near certainty that incidents like the March 1 raid will continue as Washington seeks to shore-up the periphery of its shrinking imperialist empire.
Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly, Love & Rage and Antifa Forum, he is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press.
Global Research Article by Tom Burghardt
US cowardly air strike
The E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft that provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications needed by commanders of U.S. and NATO air defense forces. As proven in Desert Storm, it is the premier air battle command and control aircraft in the world today.

Primary Function Airborne surveillance, command, control and communications.

Contractors Prime: Boeing Aerospace Co.

Radar: Northrop Grumman.

Power Plant Four Pratt and Whitney TF33-PW-100A turbofan engines.

Crew Flight crew of four plus mission crew of 13-19 specialists (attack crew size varies according to attack)

Primary Function Airborne surveillance, command, control and communications.
Contractors Prime: Boeing Aerospace Co.
Radar: Northrop Grumman.
Power Plant Four Pratt and Whitney TF33-PW-100A turbofan engines
Crew Flight crew of four plus mission crew of 13-19 specialists (attack crew size varies according to attack)
Meanwhile the CIA aircraft loaded with cocaine from Uribe's Columbia continue to crash, and will do so until people decide to save the West from the
now controlling, demons now visibly destroying everything, yes, everything in our Western Countries, and attempting to destroy as much as they are able of the rest of the world
The lie is different at every level
9-11 for a certain section of the upper echelon
Kerry Cassidy:    Ok!   We are talking about the Viktor Bout 9/11 frameup.   So you are saying Viktor Bout never sold any weapons, but his planes in Africa were used to transport troops and cargo.
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Sure!   Sure!   He used to transport weapons because in Africa there are countries that are always at war.   But these were weapons of his customers not his own.
Kerry Cassidy:    Does Victor know who actually did sell the missile that was used to fire into the Pentagon?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    The problem is Victor never sold weapons. He only provided the airline services...
Kerry Cassidy:    Do you know anything yourself about 9/11?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    I can assure you that there is a certain group in America that did the 9 11 operation but these were in cooperation with a certain foreign secret service, yes.
Kerry Cassidy:    Who are these people?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    The first of all, there is a certain group which did try to promote the globalization agenda.   They want to have like one world government, the international judicial system and international police force.   These people they are behind the September 11 attack.
Kerry Cassidy:    Do you know what specifically were the groups involved?   You know the kind of missile that was used to attack the Pentagon.
Dimitri Khalezvo:    The missile that was used in the attack was a Soviet made missile stolen from the a Soviet submarine. You remember the Kursk that was sunk in 2000.   This submarine was armed with the supersonic cruise missiles that had a nuclear warhead.   Missiles were stolen at that time and one of them was used to hit the Pentagon.   These missiles were only used in the Soviet Northern Fleet and the Pacific Fleet.
Kerry Cassidy:    How to you know that?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Because I am a military officer.   I have a good education about this.   I used also to server in the special nuclear technical service.   I know what was available and where.
Kerry Cassidy:    So where did the missile come from?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    The missile was stolen from Kursk submarine. After that it was kept somewhere, waiting for its time.   At 9-11 it was de-detonated to make sure the nuclear warhead did not explode.   Then it was fired into the Pentagon.
It was fired from the ocean, fired from Atlantic ocean.   It entered the United States, fired from some innocent looking ship.   The problem is you cannot fire the missile from a submarine unless the submarine is specially engineered for that reason.   It is very complicated.   It is much easier to fire it from a surface ship, just any ship.   To make some temporary arrangement to fire this missile is not difficult.
Kerry Cassidy:    Have you had any contact with the people who actually did this?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Yes, I used to know one guy from the Israel secret service who did this.
Kerry Cassidy:    From Israel?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Yes!
Kerry Cassidy:    So you are saying Israel was involved?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Not Israel as a state, and not Mossad as an organization.   But certain individuals from Mossad, yes.
Kerry Cassidy:    How many miles off shore would this ship have to be.
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Should be about two hundred miles, because this missile can fly maximum of 625 kilometers.   They should make some safety margin so there should not be more than two hundred miles from the American shore to make sure the missile will hit the target.
Kerry Cassidy:    : What about the uranium that they tried to plant on being associated with Viktor Bout in some way?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    The current case of Victor, the open part of the current case, has nothing with to with his alleged trading of weapons in Africa in the 90's.   It has to do with his alleged attempt to sell portable anti-aircraft missiles to FARC.   This is the setup that has nothing to do with reality because Victor Bout has never had any missiles in his possession.   It is just merely a pretext to arrest him only.
Kerry Cassidy:    There is an issue with uranium to do with the Columbians, right?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Yes, but at the time Victor was arrested, 6th of March 2008, on 1st of March 2008, just a few days before Victor Bout was lured to Bangkok to be arrested, a joint operation between the Americans and Israel [the Israeli secret services - the Mossad and Sayaret Matkal] and Columbians, they attacked one of the FARC camps in the Ecuadorian jungle.   I think it was a group under the command of Raul Reyes, the number 2 in the FARC commanders.
So they murdered Reyes in the nighttime and they planted about fifty kilograms of enriched uranium of weapon grade, around his camp.   And also they planted some bogus computer files into his notebook claiming that Reyes allegedly was responsible for the nuclear bombing in Bogotá a few years ago, in the El Negal nightclub and also that he was seeking enriched uranium in order to make another atomic bomb.   In the same file were allegedt connections with Victor Bout.   The problem is that the alleged missiles that he has been accused are not mentioned in that file, only the uranium is mentioned.
Kerry Cassidy:    An effort to frame Victor Bout for this missile into the Pentagon.   I don't know if this had to do with building 7, this uranium?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    OK!   I will explain to you.   In America there is actually two so-called 'truths' regarding September 11.   The public truth is, you know it, the report of the September 11 commission, where it is claimed that the buildings allegedly collapsed because of kerosene in the World Trade Center 1 and World Trade Center 2.   World Trade Center 7 is not even mentioned.
But the American officials are clever enough to realize that the ranking officials, and the mid-ranking security officials are not going to believe this kind of public truth, so they produce some higher levels of the 'truth.'
Kerry Cassidy:    I just want to say that is a very important point that people miss.   I don't even know if you put that in your report.   I would encourage you to spell that out for people because we have a witness who says the lie is different at every level.   That is a saying.   That is what you are talking about.   You are talking about a lie that needed to prepare for the higher levels.
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Yes, of course.   The higher rankings, US officials, like the... and the Congressmen will not accept the report of the 9-11 commission because it is too much plebian [of the common people] for them.   You have to have some more plausible version of the truth.
Kerry Cassidy:    Yes, exactly.   So this is where Victor Bout comes in as a fall guy.
Dimitri Khalezvo:    According to the intermediate level of the truth, the American officials secretly claim that the three towers collapsed by the portable so-called mini-nukes, nuclear suitcase, stolen from the Soviet Union.   ...The Soviet Union no longer exists, so it cannot defend itself any more.   You can blame anything on the Soviet Union.
The claim is like this:   the claim is the portable device, which can be carried by hand — they are not so big, about 50 or 60 kilogram — and if you are strong you can carry them.
Kerry Cassidy:    This is where the uranium comes in, and also they are pinning the suitcase nukes on Victor.
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Yes, but it is not as easy as it might appear because the mini-nukes are not made out of uranium.   They are made out of plutonium.   That is the problem.
Kerry Cassidy:    That was an interesting point.   They are not made out of uranium.
Dimitri Khalezvo:    No!   Absolutely not!
Kerry Cassidy:    They are making a mistake?   What are they doing?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    The Americans just count on the ignorance of the security officials and the politicians.   Not many people know about the design of the nuclear weapons.   So when certain unscrupulous people use confidential reports to the high-ranking officials and politicians, that the so-called terrorists produce mini-nukes out of uranium…
Kerry Cassidy:    So they figure they are too dumb to do their research and are going to fall for it.
What we are talking about is using Viktor Bout as a fall guy for 9-11 for a certain section of the upper level echelon who are not going to buy the silly story that the American public is buying from the 9-11 truth commission supposedly — an oxymoron if I've ever heard of one.
It's very clever that they are having different level lies that they are substantiating.   How do you think Viktor is going to be able to fight this.   He is now in custody.   Is he going to have any kind of a fair trial?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Difficult to say.   I know that initially, for the beginning of this setup, they were going to make a secret trial, behind closed doors.   The same similar to the trial of [cannot understand name].
In this secret trial they were hoping to produce some fake, but secret evidence, Viktor will not be able to defend himself because there is no public attention.   It is very difficult to verify when something is secret.
In this case I think he has no chance for any further trial because behind closed doors you cannot expect anything.
But, because now this kind of story becomes publicly known, now people are talking about it, I don't think the American judicial officials would dare to make the trial behind closed doors.
In an open trial I think that he will be vindicated.   The problem is they cannot accuse him in the open trial of anything except the alleged portable anti-aircraft missile, which is the core of the case.
And because he has no missile, he should be righted.
Kerry Cassidy:    What kind of representation?   Does he have a good lawyer?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    I don't think so.   The problem is Viktor is very poor.   He fought his case in Bangkok for two and a half years and it cost him a lot of money and he is broke.   I don't think he can afford any expensive lawyer.
If anyone wishes to help him….
Kerry Cassidy:    Well you cannot get a higher profile case than this.
John Negroponte was involved in some of this, what appears to be a frame-up?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Ummm!   Difficult to say because the affair was classified and documents are secret, so I cannot be sure of anything.   I only know from reading the court documents and accidentally slips of tongue, leakages like this.
Kerry Cassidy:    They talk on a certain website about Viktor have thirty different passports?
Dimitri Khalezvo:    Not true!   Viktor only had the Soviet Union passport, and then the Russian passport in his own name.   He has never used any passport except these.
There is sometimes a different spelling of his name because his family name in the Russian language it is three letters, B and U and T.   It was translated later to be used in the international passport where they used the French alliteration - Bout.
Now they switched to direct translation and it becomes — 'But'.   That is why there is a difference in the spelling of his family name, and also is first name is Viktor.   In Russia they translate this as a K.   But now he prefers to use C.
Footnote from Dimitri Khalezvo:
Raul Reyes and "his" weapon-grade Uranium that was planted by "someone" around his camp in the Ecuadorian jungle.
Don't miss this point — Raul Reyes was murdered on March 1, 2008, while Victor Bout was scheduled to be lured to Bangkok on March 4, 2008, in direct connection with the FARC and the uranium affair.
All legal paperwork that requested the Thais to arrest him has been submitted to the Thai side by the Americans in the last day of February - that is BEFORE the murder of Raul Reyes.
And, please, note that it was the Israeli Sayaret Matkal (a highly tailored organization that deals exclusively with nuclear weapons of enemies and nothing else) that was involved in the actual murder of Reyes and in the "discovery" of "his" [planted] Uranium.
Haiti and the US — a classic game of the criminal blaming the victim
Aristide, through two terms in office — both of which he was deposed in the middle of — was sabotaged at every step by the U.S. CIA, USAID, the European Union, the Canadian government, the IMF, and the World Bank.
After perpetrating a reign of superpower terrorism that includes 33 coups d’etat, financing right wing paramilitarism, the terrorizing, abduction and murder of human rights activists, the hijacking of loans meant to establish sources of clean, potable water, hospitals, and clinics, dismantling the democratic election process, forbidding the existence of the largest political party in the country, Fanmi Lavalas, and fomenting the spreading of disease, starvation, mass murder and U.S. hegemony via the Monroe Doctrine, many Haitians believe that the U.S. State Department is now in firm control of the monster it has created.
     UN soldiers shoot at Haitian mourners       
     Pictures and images of Haiti     
       Haiti victim of US imperialism    
       Mexico From Protest to Rebellion      
       Yellow for clean elections — amarillo for democracy      
       Unlike John Kerry, Obrador — the mayor of Mexico City — did not disappoint      
They initially asked for 300 pesos, or $20.00 USD
San Quintín Valley — You come here and sell everything because you haven’t got a cent and here is definitely worse, because you come with promises, illusions, and nothing happens.
Grassroots mobilizations and work stoppages, caravans and tours through different towns and cities in Baja California and the country to publicize their fight and make alliances.
Complicity between the State and business owners not only promotes this state of affairs, but also assumes that the economically and politically powerful can act above the law.
The money that the workers should, but do not, receive is therefore redirected to employers.
Haiti poor
verses the one percent that owns the world
A daughter arrives at her parents’ house high in the hills of Port-au-Prince, her father is home, lying in the yard, under a tree, vomiting
Also in Meille was a battalion of Nepalese UN military working for MINUSTAH, the United Nations Controlling The Poor Mission in Haiti
This same strain of cholera had broken out in Kathmandu on 23 September 2010, shortly before the UN military forces left for Haiti to control the poor and preserve the status of those who have money
In Haiti, which means the poor have nothing, the rich have everything
Unspeakable grief and horror
                        ...and the circus of deception continues...
— 2018
— 2017
— 2016
— 2015
— 2014
— 2013
— 2012
— 2011
— 2010
— 2009
— 2008
— 2007
— 2006
— 2005
— 2004
— 2003
Circus of Torture   2003 — now
He says, "You are quite mad, Kewe"
And of course I am.
Why, I don't believe any of it — not the bloody body, not the bloody mind, not even the bloody Universe, or is it bloody multiverse.
"It's all illusion," I say.   "Don't you know, my lad, my lassie.   The game!   The game, me girl, me boy!   Takes on interest, don't you know.   T'is me sport, till doest find a better!"
Pssssst — but all this stuff is happening down here
Let's change it!
For Kewe's spiritual and metaphysical pages — click here
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