Ecuador's president blasts US media on criticism for Snowden asylum offer
Iran Press TV
Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:43AM GMT
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has blasted mainstream US media outlets for their harsh criticism of his country for possible granting of asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“They’ve managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the ‘wicked’ countries that ‘support’ him, making us forget the terrible things against the US people and the whole world that he denounced,” Correa stated in online remarks Wednesday in response to a Tuesday editorial to liberal US-based daily Washington Post.
“The world order isn’t only unjust, it’s immoral,” Correa is further quoted as adding in a Thursday report by RT.
The Post alleged that Correa was adhering to double standards in the case of NSA leaker, since Ecuador is considering harboring Snowden from prosecution over criminal espionage charges leveled against him by the US government.
It further descried the Ecuadoran president as “the autocratic leader of a tiny, impoverished” country with an ambition to replace the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez as “the hemisphere’s preeminent anti-US demagogue.”
The Washington Post also slammed a bill recently adopted by Ecuador, claiming that it ‘diminishes freedom of press.’
It further added that Ecuador was profiting from duty-free trade with the US while criticizing Washington’s policies.
This is while American lawmakers are also exerting pressure on Ecuador over its position on the NSA whistleblower.
Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee in the US Senate, emphasized that such a move would hurt Ecuador’s international trade, which is highly dependent on export to the US.
"Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior," said the lawmaker as he was warning that he would target two trade programs with Ecuador for granting asylum to the NSA leaker.
Menendez said he would lead the effort to prevent the renewal of Ecuador's duty-free access to US markets under the Generalized System of Preferences program, which expires at the end of next month.
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