Celebrating Correa’s Re-election 94


I am going to an election party in the Ecuador Embassy on Sunday. I shall do so with no sense of guilt. Since Correa gave political asylum to Assange, many with no record of concern for human rights in Ecuador – and who still show absolutely no concern for human rights in Bahrain or Uzbekistan – are suddenly immensely critical of Correa’s human rights record. Many of the same people are suddenly concerned for the appalling plight of rape victims, despite no track record whatsoever of concern for women’s rights.

No country in the world has a perfect human rights record. I am sitting in a country which recently incarcerated people in Belmarsh jail in solitary confinement for six years without informing them what the accusations were against them. Which shot dead a Brazilian electrician on the tube for looking a bit like an Arab. Where police beat one of Babar Ahmad’s eyes to blindness. Where a woman was jailed for reading out the names of Iraqi war dead at the cenotaph.

Ecuador is not perfect either, and the use of (pre-existing) criminal defamation laws against journalists is unequivocally wrong. But some of the criticisms are a bit rich, for example that the government appoints judges. Who on earth do you think appoints them in the UK? And the study of the political complexion of the Supremem Court as vacancies occur under different Presidents is an industry itself in the United States. If Assange goes to Sweden, he will be tried without a jury by a panel of three, two of whom are straight and unqualified appointees by political parties.

Of course all human rights abuse, and particularly in Ecuador free speech restraint, should be, must be, eliminated. But I am very impressed indeed by Correa’s achievement in forcing the multinationals to pay up a fair share to the nation for their exploitation of mineral resources, and then in applying that money to the benefit of ordinary Ecuadoreans.

I see the opposite in Ghana, and its devastating effect on ordinary people. Ghana is the fastest growing economy in the world, at an annual rate of over 20%. But tragically little of that benefits ordinary Ghanaians. Newmont Mining of the USA make income of over 1.5 billion dollars a year from gold mining in Ghana, wreaking huge environmental destruction, and pay not one cent in corporation tax, and indeed very little tax of any kind. The total amount of the income from the huge Jubilee Field oil discovery which in any way will actually benefit Ghanaians will be a maximum of 15% – the rest is entirely offshore.

I hope that, throughout the developing world, peoples will force their governments to follow the Ecuadorean path. It has the potential fundamentally to change the world for billions of people. I shall be at the Ecuadorean Embassy on Sunday.

Without shame.


94 thoughts on “Celebrating Correa’s Re-election

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  • Clark

    Correction:

    “When I was moderating here, I could see the operating system type and version, the browser type and version, and the screen resolution of every visitor (ie readers, not just people who post comments), except one.”

    And it’s the same for all other sites; there’s nothing special about this site in this respect.

  • Clark

    Kempe, thanks, I wondered how much discrediting Assange was costing. You surely don’t believe they’d spend that much to enforce the use of condoms, do you? They don’t even like supplying the things for free.

    Ever seen the film THX1138?

    “The police pursue THX up an escape ladder, but are ordered by central command to cease pursuit, mere steps away from capturing him, as the expense of his capture exceeds their pre-determined budget.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THX1138#Plot

  • Frazer

    Monitored by the security services ?? Hell, that’s why I never got that job at MI 6 last year !

  • Jemand

    Ok Clark, I’ll brush off my crumpled application and send it in, fingers crossed. I’m sure you’re right regarding the income sourcing of Gravatar. It looks like the net has closed so tight now that there is little chance of completely avoiding surveillance. Even if they don’t have specific information, they can draw a line between two data points and extrapolate a reasonable probability for another.

  • Kempe

    “I wondered how much discrediting Assange was costing. ”

    I don’t think that’s costing the taxpayer anything; he’s doing it himself for free.

  • Arbed

    Mary, 9.38 am

    Thanks for that link. I think I’m falling a tiny bit in love with Nozomi Hayase. Here’s another superb analysis she’s written recently. It references Julian Assange’s Conspiracy as Governance essay, among much other good stuff:

    The Inner Ring and the Moral Question of Our Time:
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/01/the-inner-ring-and-the-moral-question-of-our-time/

    Clark – you’ll like this one too, I think, for what it has to say on corporatism.

    Jemand – Nah, you were right first time. Toss the application. As Groucho Marx might point out, do you really what to belong to a club like that? Viva Outsiders, I say. A friend of mine was involved in setting up the original Outsiders Club (Google it, but don’t be fooled by its website’s rather bland front page – you’ll notice Tuppy Owen’s name at the bottom, who went on to found the annual Sex Maniac’s Ball.)

  • Arbed

    While Craig is busy partying over Correa’s likely election success tomorrow, others are less than thrilled. Here’s Reuters’ efforts to put the worst possible slant they could on the facts of Correa’s achievements to date:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/14/us-ecuador-election-idUSBRE91D0NR20130214

    And here’s the New York Times’ attempt to do the same, lapdog style:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/world/americas/ecuadoreans-are-apprehensive-over-likely-re-election-of-president-correa.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • John Goss

    “Of course all human rights abuse, and particularly in Ecuador free speech restraint, should be, must be, eliminated. But I am very impressed indeed by Correa’s achievement in forcing the multinationals to pay up a fair share to the nation for their exploitation of mineral resources, and then in applying that money to the benefit of ordinary Ecuadoreans.”

    Like you, Craig Murray, I am a supporter, in general, of the reforms Correa has introduced in Ecuador. He is the best president in my lifetime. And he has offered more support to Julian Assange than the Australian government. However economic development should not be exploited at the expense of ecological preservation.

    https://dub002.mail.live.com/default.aspx?id=64855#n=131914307&fid=&st=ecuador&mid=b4354179-595d-11e2-996f-00215ad7ab6a&fv=1

  • Arbed

    Troops at the ready – Goran Rudling’s back!

    Is former Ambassador Craig Murray a media seeking liar or just a pathetic researcher?
    http://samtycke.nu/eng/2013/02/is-former-ambassador-craig-murray-a-media-seeking-liar-or-just-a-pathetic-researcher/#more-1661

    Most, if not all, of Goran Rudling’s 14 supposed ‘mistakes’ in Craig’s research can be knocked out of the skies. And they deserve to be, given the sheer nastiness of the personal smears against Craig which Rudling prints here. Goran’s comment moderation policy seems to be that he holds the first comment of each new poster for moderation but thereafter lets everything through. So, ammunition:

    Most of the correct facts can be found somewhere on here:

    Extraditing Assange: Why David Allen Green is Wrong:
    http://justice4assange.com/extraditing-assange.html#CONTENTS

    And I believe these were a tempering influence on Goran Rudling’s libellous misbehaviour for quite a while…

    Brain Garbage’s leak of the infamous Penisemails:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/112662612/Samtycke-Leaks

  • Arbed

    John Goss, 12.22pm

    Thanks for that link. Yes, an important issue and surprising, if true, that Correa is running roughshod over environmental concerns in his bid to open up new oil and mining contracts. In the new Constitution written after Correa’s government came to power and instituted after a referendum on it (as all new major laws are in Ecuador now), Ecuador became the first country in the world to formally recognise Nature itself as having ‘rights’ and incorporate such in all its laws. Surely whatever he’s proposing has to take the effects on the Amazon environment into account to fall within those laws?

  • John Goss

    Arbed, Rudling seems to be trotting out the same old stuff. I once tried to respond on his blog but the Captcha code did not work. I’ve never tried since. He is better ignored, or sued. Professor Marcello Ferrada de Noli, when Rudling made similar defamatory comments about de Noli’s “The Professor” blog, threatened to take him to court. Rudling soon shut up.

  • John Goss

    Sorry Arbed, cross posting. At 12.58 yes agreed. The environment especially in South America is of major concern not just to South America but to the whole world. The forests as well as being a habitat for so many rare and endangered species are a primary mainland producer of oxygen, and it is said act as wind-breaks. Deforestation, some claim, is a major cause of hurricanes.

  • Mary

    I always like to see the face behind the name. This is the cold hearted stooge Goran Rudling.
    http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0f0Cf6s1qL9IT/x350.jpg

    Nasty stuff on his latest inc a photoshopped picture of Craig as Pinocchio.

    Ben has got in a riposte.

    Ben on February 15, 2013 at 11:09 am said:

    ‘This article is simply horrible because it descends into the most childish form of personal insults. You don’t have to look beyond doctored pictures to see that; and it is a shame because some of your points are (probably, because I don’t know) factual corrections of oft-repeated details of the case.

    Getting facts right is important. But everybody also makes inferences based on facts, and providing that process is made explicit, it is perfectly justified and necessary. Thus Murray is quite correct to write: “Wilén had had long term relationships with men. It is improbable she found semen on the bedsheets unusual, yet alone disgusting.”

    Finally, I don’t think even Craig Murray’s political opponents in Britain regard him as dishonest. His unusual honesty about his sexual feelings should be to his credit, and not trigger a string of abuse.

    You would be better off arguing your points, rather than penning poisoned diatribes against those who get things wrong or with whom you disagree.’

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Mary,

    ” Thanks very much for your response Courtenay and for the link.”

    You are welcome.

    Big problem in these small islands:-

    1. Former Premier Michael Misick arrested in Brazil and imprisoned for 2 months, now on bail from an Interpol International Warrant.
    2. If returned to Turks and Caicos Islands to face trial on corruption charges, big names will be called and some explanations will have to be given relative to dealings with Lord Michael Ashcroft ( main doner and former Treasurer of the Tory party).

    We will see if Helen Garlick ( same prosecutor in the BAE scandal case – that was stopped) – will in TCI end up with a replay in this intended trial. Sometimes things do go too high to the top and have to stopped from court hearing and public exposure “in the national interest” – or – should that have been “contrary to the national interest”?

  • Venceremos

    I laughed when I read this about one of the no hope presidential candidates in the Ecuador elections:

    Former President Lucio Gutierrez; Alberto Acosta, an ex-Correa ally; and Alvaro Noboa, a banana magnate who is running for the presidency for the fifth time and who has come under fire for giving away food, mattresses and even a motor-bike to woo potential voters, are among the other opposition candidates.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/08/us-ecuador-election-idUSBRE91700Q20130208

  • Herbie

    “Banana magnate”

    Love it!

    It’s worth considering how we got from subsistence upon the bounty around us, to someone owning it and selling it to us. And it was only ever small numbers of people owning what was once “held in common”, against the great great many who had to work for the owners to pay them for what previously they had harvested themselves. Many of them even came to work for the owners, in the further suppression of the many, indeed that’s the primary mechanism that the owners use to control the many.

    How else would they do it, so few against so many.

    So I suppose you could say that the few use the many against themselves, and the funny thing is that it always seems to work.

    The rationalist thinks this shouldn’t work. The conservative just sees that it does work and runs with it.

  • Mary

    Noboa reminds me of Straw treating his Blackburn voters.

    Jack Straw Plans More Criminal Treating
    by craig on May 3, 2010 11:55 am in The Election

    Having been caught red-handed indulging in the crime of treating – supplying free food and drink to voters to influence their vote – Jack Straw is planning to do it again this evening.

    Treating is a criminal offence for which the maximum sentence is a year in prison. As a corrupt electoral practice, it also carries disbarment for life from both the House of Commons and House of Lords.

    Straw has already flagrantly broken this law in an election rally at Jan’s Conference Centre on 25 April. Several hundred Blackburn Muslims were given free meals at a vote Jack Straw rally.

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/04/jack_straw_face.html#comments

    Blackburn police have told me this morning that they now have dealt with this by merely issuing a formal warning to Jack Straw’s election agent not to do it again. That is completely insufficient when Straw did exactly the same thing, at the same venue, with the same main speakers and the same food, five years ago, and was then given an official warning not to do it again.

    /..
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2010/05/jack_straw_plan/

  • Mary

    I have been looking at BBC News just now. Sue Thearle, a relief presenter, has just been acting as Theresa May’s mouthpiece in the ‘deport criminal immigrants’ row which has been created to time nicely with the Eastleigh by election. There the female Con and the UKIP candidates are resorting to the same tactics that May is using.

    Thearle was interviewing Geoffrey Robertson QC and was getting quite cross when he would not say what she wanted to hear.

    She has finished her stint by replaying another piece where Carole Walker was doing much the same thing earlier with Helena Kennedy QC.

    ~~~
    Should have stuck to the sports reporting!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_Thearle

  • resident dissident

    Courtenay

    I don’t disagree with your A, B and C – I think I would also add that as well as the world not being a perfect place there are very few politicians, or individuals or political systems, for that matter who are wholly perfect or imperfect for that matter. So it is important that their weaknesses and foibles are subject to challenge.

  • Mary

    Who produced this nuanced report on the elections in Ecuador?

    ‘Voters in Ecuador are going to the polls in an election that is expected to see incumbent President Rafael Correa returned to office.

    Opinion polls suggest Mr Correa has a comfortable lead ahead of his nearest rival, banker Guillermo Lasso.

    First elected in 2007, the socialist leader is widely credited with bringing political stability to a nation that suffered decades of protests and coups.

    But critics accuse him of being a dictator in the making.

    The 49-year-old US-trained economist has been accused of implementing policies that have served to strengthen his hold on power and erode the influence of political opponents and private media.

    Ecuador’s Correa eyes re-election

    But his so-called “citizens’ revolution” has made him popular with many ordinary Ecuadoreans and has won him friends with other Latin American left-wing leaders.’

    /….

    Why, the BBC of course.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-21492470

  • Herbie

    That’s very poor propaganda, Mary, from the BBC. It’s almost as if their hearts are no longer in it.

    Look at this:

    “But critics accuse him of being a dictator in the making.”

    “citizens’ revolution” has made him popular with many ordinary Ecuadoreans

    That just reinforces in the reader’s mind that these unnamed “critics” are not ordinary Ecuadoreans. You don’t do that. I mean that’s a major blooper in even GCSE Propaganda Studies!!

    Unnamed critics don’t exist as individuals. This is just corpohack speak for whatever position the powers that be are taking at the time.

    It just gets worse and worse.

    I mean, even our trolls do better than that!

    Maybe we could lease them to the BBC and make a few bob to fund Craig’s blog.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Resident dissident,

    “Courtenay

    I don’t disagree with your A, B and C – I think I would also add that as well as the world not being a perfect place there are very few politicians, or individuals or political systems, for that matter who are wholly perfect or imperfect for that matter. So it is important that their weaknesses and foibles are subject to challenge.”

    Yes – we have the ECHR – Article 10 provision – “Freedom of Expression”. Yet – a man like myself. I think – yes – my studies – my professional work – let me use my skills. But -wait – death threats – threat of arson on my home? What is going on here?

    I know who was behind it. But – better yet, I don’t want to be dead like Diana or Dr. Kelly -so just fuck off with your corruption and threats. Thank you very much!

  • N_

    Where a woman was jailed for reading out the names of Iraqi war dead at the cenotaph.

    You may mean Maya Evans, who was grabbed by more than a dozen policemen and convicted under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act for reading aloud the names of 97 British soldiers killed in Iraq, for which ‘crime’ she was fined. She has also acted against acts such as torture and the murder of civilians by British forces in Afghanistan.

    John Catt, an 80-year-old WW2 RAF veteran, was arrested in 2005 under the Terrorism Act for wearing a T-shirt calling for Bush and Blair to be tried for war crimes.

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