Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on Thursday questioned Colombia’s
ability to control the U.S. military operating from bases on its
“When have the North Americans ever let themselves being controlled?”, Correa said during a stopover in Lima on his way to the UNASUR meeting to be held in Bariloche, Argentina, on Friday.
Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe repeatedly said the U.S. military will only use Colombian bases for anti-narcotic and anti-terrorism operations within the country. However, the Ecuadorean President thinks “these U.S. bases have enough capacity for actions in whole South America. They complement this with the reactivation of the Fourth Fleet. These are things that concern.”
Correa recalled that his country also had U.S. bases for a decade and although it was under Ecuadorean control “we have serious allegations of a series of events that are being investigated which were impossible to control.”
Furthermore, Correa questioned the anti-drug fight of the United States by stating that the U.S. ambassador in Bogota, William Brownfield, defined the FARC as drug dealers and in the future they might say that “since Correa is a drug dealer, we bomb Ecuador.”
Looking at the UNASUR meeting, Correa said Latin America “is a land of peace, free from foreign bases.” The Ecuadorean President trusts that the meeting in Bariloche will solve “doubts and uncertainty through dialogue.”
Bogota and Washington are close to signing an agreement that allows the
U.S. to use Colombian bases for their fight against drug trafficking
and terrorism. Ecuador, together with Venezuela and Bolivia, is one of
the biggest opponents of the military agreement.