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Response to railsback (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:44 AM

6. They're threatening to prosecute a leaker

"The trick is to give the impression of being a populist and anti-Western to keep your popularity up while not slitting your own throat - or Ecuador's throat - by doing something completely stupid."

...while doing so. The situation is dripping with irony.


The stakes are high for the Latin American country: The United States is Ecuador’s biggest trading partner, and any weakening of their relationship could deal a blow to its economy.

With the United States as “our principal commercial partner, (Ecuadorian President Rafael) Correa is playing with fire,” said Blasco Peñaherrera, a businessman and president of Ecuador’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce.

Ecuador now sends about 40 percent of its exports to the United States, including crude oil, seafood, fruit and nuts, cocoa and cut flowers. The nation’s total exports to the United States tallied up to $9.6 billion in 2011, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

But that could all change if some programs that favor the South American nation are terminated — an outcome experts say is much more likely if Ecuador harbors Snowden — and it’s looking almost certain given the government’s new position.

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Ecuador has been lobbying for continuation of reduced tariffs on hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of trade in products such as cut flowers, artichokes and broccoli. Nearly half Ecuador's foreign trade depends on the U.S.

With the deal already struggling in Congress, Ecuador's announcement it is considering asylum for Snowden threatened to kill its access to the Generalized System of Preferences, which benefits 127 countries.

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whatchamacallit Jun 2013 #1
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