Ecuador: The Third US-Sponsored Latin American Coup of the 21st Century

October 1st, 2010 - by admin

Eva Golinger / Global Research & ChavezCode – 2010-10-01 23:11:00

Ecuador: A Third US-sponsored Coup d’etat against a Member State of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA)
Eva Golinger / Global Research

(October 1, 2010) UPDATE: 4:30pm — Police forces involved in coup in Ecuador against President Rafael Correa are violently repressing the people in the streets of Quito attempting to rescue President Correa, who remains sequestered by coup forces. Governments throughout Latin America have condemned the coup in Ecuador, but the US State Department merely said Washington was “monitoring the situation in Ecuador.”

A third coup d’etat is underway against a nation member of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA), a Latin American bloc of nations that opposes US hegemony in the region and has created new mechanisms for trade and integration based on principles of solidarity and independence from imperial powers.

In 2002, a coup d’etat by opposition forces backed by Washington briefly ousted Hugo Chavez from power in Venezuela. The coup was defeated by the people of Venezuela during a popular uprising rejecting the attempt to destroy democracy. Chavez returned to power two days later. Since then, Venezuela has suffered numerous destabilization attempts, economic sabotages, psychological warfare — both nationally and internationally — electoral intervention, assassination attempts against President Chavez, and a vicious international campaign to portray Venezuela as a dictatorship.

This past weekend, opposition forces, funded and supported by US agencies, regained key seats in the nation’s legislature; a platform from where they can intensify their efforts to provoke regime change.

In June 2009, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was overthrown in a coup d’etat backed by the Obama Administration and promoted by military and right wing forces in Honduras. Since then, Honduras has never recovered its democracy. Zelaya remains in exile.

Now, Ecuador is victim of a coup against President Rafael Correa, an outspoken, solid revolutionary who ousted the US military base from his nation last year and has taken a firm stance against the US capitalist economic model imposed in his nation years ago. Security forces have risen up against his government, backed by political organizations funded by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy.

An emergency meeting has been convened by ALBA and UNASUR nations in Argentina late Thursday night. President Correa’s life was in danger Thursday, as he remained sequestered by coup forces.

Another coup against ALBA attempts to impede Latin American liberation and integration, but the people remain defiant, with dignity.

Coup Attempt in Ecuador
Eva Golinger / Chavez Code

(UPDATE: 4pm EST) — Several US-funded organizations have made calls to demand Correa’s resignation. The police forces behind the coup are maintaining President Rafael Correa sequestered in a military hospital. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez warned minutes ago that Correa’s life is in “severe danger.”

Chávez also criticized the US State Department’s failure to condemn the coup underway in Ecuador this afternoon during their daily press briefing. State spokesman Phillip Crowley said the US is “monitoring the situation” in Ecuador, but failed to condemn the developments.

There is mass police repression in Quito against pro-Correa forces in the street. Telesur news team was detained by coup forces and prevented from broadcasting earlier this afternoon.

President Chávez left this afternoon for an emergency UNASUR meeting in Argentina. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Bolivian President Evo Morales and Peruvian President Alan Garcia have confirmed their presence.

A coup attempt is underway against the government of President Rafael Correa. On Thursday morning, groups of police forces rebelled and took over key strategic sites in Quito, Ecuador’s capital. President Correa immediately went to the military base occupied by the police leading the protest to work out a solution to the situation. The police protesting claimed a new law passed on Wednesday regarding public officials would reduce their benefits.

Nonetheless, President Correa affirmed that his government has actually doubled police wages over the past four years. The law would not cut benefits but rather restructure them. The law was used as an excuse to justify the police protest.

But other forces are behind the chaos, attempting to provoke a coup led by former president Lucio Guitierrez, who was impeached by popular revolt in Ecuador in 2005. “This is a coup attempt led by Lucio Guitierrez,” denounced Correa on Thursday afternoon via telephone. Correa was attacked by the police forces with tear gas.

“Kill me if you need to. There will be other Correa’s,” said the President, addressing the police rebellion. He was hospitalized shortly after at a military hospital, which has now been taking over by coup forces.

As of 1pm Thursday, police forces were attempting to access his hospital room to possibly assassinate him.

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño called on supporters to go to the hospital to defend Correa and prevent his assassination. Military forces took over an air base in Quito to prevent air transit and took over nearby streets to prevent Correa’s supporters from mobilizing towards the hospital. Other security forces took over the parliament, preventing legislators from accessing the state institution and causing severe chaos and violence.

Thousands of supporters filled Quito’s streets, gathering around the presidential palace, backing Correa and rejecting the coup attempt. At 2pm EST, the Ecuadorian government declared an emergency state. Countries throughout the region expressed support for Correa and condemned the destabilization.

The Organization of American States in Washington called an emergency meeting at 2:30pm EST. ALBA nations and UNASUR are also convening.

Ecuador is a member of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) and a close ally of Venezuela. Last June, Honduras, a prior ALBA member, was victim of a coup d’etat that forced President Manuel Zelaya from power. The coup was backed by Washington.

In 2002, Venezuela was also subject to a Washington-backed coup d’etat that briefly ousted President Chavez from power. He was returned to office within 48 hours after millions of Venezuelans protested and defeated the US-backed coup leaders.

Ecuador is the newest victim of destabilization in South America. USAID channels millions annually into political groups against Correa that could be behind the coup attempt.

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