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Failed Washington-Sponsored Ecuadorean Coup Attempt

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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-- achieve real grassroots economic growth to improve the lives of ordinary people and reduce poverty.

ALBA membership, however, signals opposition to US hegemony, especially its neoliberal model, dominance, dismissiveness, and one-way trade deals for the Global North over the South, the curse Latin states have endured for decades, besides earlier US-sponsored coups and belligerency.

Fast Moving Developments

Before his rescue, police spokesman Richard Ramirez told AP that "the chief of the national police, Gen. Freddy Martinez, presented Correa with his irrevocable resignation because of Thursday's events."

On October 1, the Russian Information Agency, Novosti headlined, "Ecuador in chaos as police put president in hospital," saying:

Correa remained hospitalized....one person was killed and dozens injured during (street) riots." After Ecuadorean military and special police forces rescued him, Correa told the national radio in a phone interview:

"This is a coup d'etat attempt by opposition forces. They resorted to (violence) because they will not win the election. I call on the citizens to stay calm."

After being attacked by tear gas, he was hospitalized, then prevented from leaving when rebel police and coup supporters surrounded the building. Inside he said, "It seems that the hospital is under siege....(The) conspiracy (was) planned long ago," and he knows where. He added, "I will leave (the hospital) as president, or they will have to carry my corpse out of here."

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His government declared a state of emergency. Flights from Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport were suspended, then resumed early October 1. In addition, scattered violence and looting was reported in several Ecuadorean cities, including the capital.

Freed by soldiers, a visibly angry Correa addressed a huge crowd of supporters from the presidential palace, saying:

"Ecuadorean blood, the blood of our brothers has been needlessly spilled. You have mobilized to support the national government....the citizens' revolution, democracy in our fatherland. When we realized we couldn't talk and wanted to leave, they attacked the president. They threw tear gas at us, straight at our faces. They had to take me to the police hospital where they held me hostage. They wouldn't let me leave. They shamed the institution (the police). They will need to leave the ranks."

While still captive, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino urged supporters to "walk peacefully to the hospital, where the president is blocked by (rebel) police officers." On arriving, they shouted, "This is not Honduras. Correa is president. Down with the coup, down with the enemies of the people."

Ecuador remains in flux. As a result, new developments need close monitoring. Writing for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Andres Ochoa said:

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Before the coup attempt, "Correa seemed an untouchable figure in Ecuadorian politics. However, his presidency might very well be defined by the outcome of this day, and his political projects may rest on the results."

A Final Comment

On October 1, AFP writer Alexander Martinez headlined, "Ecuador president rescued from police uprising," saying:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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