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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ecuador Rules Out Tension with USA

Quito, Apr 15 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian Defense Minister Javier Ponce ruled out on Tuesday problems with the United States, due to a decision to review military cooperation and collaboration with that northern country.

I can not believe Ecuador's position about this issue motivates a break off of relations with Washington, said Ponce in statements to a local television station.

"It has caused no tension so far, and I believe that the government's decision, over a year ago, of not renewing the agreement of the Manta base did not generate it either," he said, referring to the agreement about the presence of US troops in that base, which expires in 2009.

The minister highlighted that Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was brave enough to denounce the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)'s infiltration in the national intelligence services, something that was already known.

They have spoken behind the scenes for several years, about the CIA presence in the military security and police corpses, in the political circles, and the economic upper echelons, he asserted.
Ponce said the US intelligence influence is not just from two or three officers that could be related to that agency.

That influence entails courses, seminars, agreements, and other forms of training that generate in the end a strategy that does not exactly respond to national interests."

The Ecuadorian minister was in favor of reviewing military trainings in the United States and "it will be suspended or limited if necessary," because subjugation of the Ecuadorian society, and political and military circles, concerning Washington's security, is evident.

"Other training sources will be found if necessary," with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, because Latin America is rich in that regard, he said.

The minister highlighted this government's interest in looking "to the South and not only to the North," where there are great possibilities of development.

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