Ecuador President Promises Venezuela Support Against U.S.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said that the government of Venezuela can count on Ecuador’s help to facilitate a solution and to reduce the current tension between the United States and Venezuela.

“If we can serve as mediators to resolve by peaceful means, through dialogue, Venezuela knows it can count on us. We will be where we need,” Correa said Friday during a television interview. The Venezuelan government has asked Ecuador to lead a group of facilitators to initiate dialogue with the US, as decided at a meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) on Tuesday in Caracas.

Ecuador has accepted the Caracas approach, but also stressed its position that Washington’s executive order, which declares the internal situation in Venezuela as an “extraordinary threat” to U.S. safety, is an interference in Venezuelan politics.

Correa was asked during the interview whether Ecuador should suggest possible concessions to the parties during the mediation process, if a mediation does materialize. Ecuador’s president asked in return: “What concession has Venezuela to make to the U.S.? The United States is practicing a blatant interference that violates American law, against international law that prohibits a country to interfere in each other’s internal problems. The problems of Venezuela are for Venezuelans to solve,” and after ensuring that, there must be “zero tolerance for such interference.”

Correa went on further to say that an Executive Order from Washington, “was always the prelude to invasions. Latin America has a very sad story about it,” he recalled. “Who could believe such nonsense? [contained in the Executive Order]” Rather, it’s that Executive Order that proves Washington is “a serious threat” against the Venezuelan government.

However, Correa forecasted a “very difficult military intervention” since “boots and bombings are a thing of the past” but that now it is “more effective to destabilize a country and maybe that is what the U.S. is looking to accomplish in this situation with the Venezuelan government.” The “isolation, these sanctions, economic, media manipulation, etc.,” are part of these subtle ways to destabilize governments,” he added. The Ecuadorian president said that Venezuela has “endured intense political, economic and media harassment for several years” and emphasized that the Executive Order issued by the U.S. Government has only added to that situation.

However, Correa stressed that the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) had passed a resolution in its meeting last week asking the U.S. to repeal the Executive Order against Venezuela. “Just the fact that UNASUR has formed a unanimous decision, means that something has changed irreversibly in Latin America,” a region which “will no longer accept impositions from anyone,” said Correa.

Originally published in el Mercurio as “Correa dice que Venezuela puede contar con Ecuador en tensión actual con EEUU”  on March 20, 2015;
translated and reprinted here with express permission.