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  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 10:38am
Edward Snowden

Ecuador waives US trade rights after threats made over Snowden case

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 June, 2013, 9:14pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 June, 2013, 4:53pm

Ecuador said on Thursday it was waiving preferential rights under a US trade agreement to demonstrate its principled approach to the asylum request of former American spy agency contractor and whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

US Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the foreign relations panel, had warned in a statement on Wednesday that accepting Snowden “would severely jeopardise” preferential trade access the United States provides to Ecuador under two programmes that expire next month.

Our government will not reward countries for bad behaviour
US Senator Robert Menendez

“Our government will not reward countries for bad behaviour,” Menendez said.

Snowden is still believed to be hiding at an airport in Moscow, where he flew to from Hong Kong on Sunday, awaiting a ruling on his request for asylum from the South American country. The United States wants him extradited to face charges that he stole and leaked details of secret US government surveillance programmes.

Menendez also called on Russia to stop sheltering Snowden and turn him over to the United States.

Officials on Thursday in Quito also said that Snowden’s case had still not been processed because he had not reached any of its diplomatic premises.

“The petitioner is not in Ecuadorean territory as the law requires,” government official Betty Tola said at an early morning news conference in Ecuador.

Ecuador gives up, unilaterally and irrevocably, the said customs benefits
Fernando Alvarado, Equadorian official

Bristling at suggestions Quito was weighing the pros and cons of Snowden’s case in terms of its own interests, officials also said Ecuador would not base its decision on its desire to renew the Andean Trade Preferences Act with Washington.

“Ecuador gives up, unilaterally and irrevocably, the said customs benefits,” said another official, Fernando Alvarado.

In a deliberately cheeky touch from the government of President Rafael Correa, Ecuador also offered a multimillion donation for human rights training in the United States.

“What’s more, Ecuador offers the United States economic aid of US$23 million (HK$178.4 million) annually, similar to what we received with the trade benefits, with the intention of providing education about human rights,” Alvarado added.

“Ecuador does not accept pressure or threats from anyone, nor does it trade with principles or submit them to mercantile interests, however important those may be.”


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This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
as a Hongkong citizen,I fully agree with what you said .Now the world no longer needs so-called a World Cop to maintain the order or issue orders to other nations.We are all living in the Global Village. As internet is so popular and air-travel so common and fast,the world has become smaller and smaller.To live harmoniously together in this Global Village,mutual respect is a must ! Arrogance no longer works so does the power of America---the Big Brother in George Orwell's novel,'1984' !
Harold Cameron
Well done Equador in taking a principled stand against this bully. No doubt the US of A thinks that Equador needs them more than they need Equador - I know which country I'd rather have on my side &. It isn't the self titled superpower.
“Our government will not reward countries for bad behaviour,” Menendez said.
As time goes by, I just realize how great our undemocratic HK politicians are compared to those democratic US & UK politicians.
Ecuador 2 - USA 0.

I am sure it has its fair share of problems too, but you have to hand it to Ecuador: they have some guts and a real willingness to stand up for principles, which is very rare these days. The rest of the world should follow their lead.

For a start, let Hong Kong also take some action rather than just a engaging in war of words with the US. Let's unilaterally break off negotiations about the Hong Kong-US visa waiver programme (that the US is now threatening to block after we allegedly let Snowden run), and at the same time impose visa requirements for US citizens wanting to visit Hong Kong. Perhaps we can also oblige them to pre-register prior to boarding their flight to Hong Kong, and of course have them take off their shoes at the airport before the obligatory full body search. Let's see who has the last laugh in that one.

Sure, it will hurt us, just like this will hurt Ecuador. But it will hurt the US just as much, if not more (free trade benefits both parties, let's not pretend the US grants these kind of preferential trade rights out of charity!). And what is more: we will put an end to the US bully tactics in what passes for their 'diplomacy.' Let the US begin to negotiate on the basis of mutual respect and dignity. Levelling that playing field is worth every penny of potentially lost trade or visa 'benefits.'
John Adams
Well spoken sir !
Please believe me : we like American people (indeed many of my best friends are Americans) - and I am sure that's true of all HK'ers .
But we just don't like the way America as a nation behaves, especially towards other countries - and I'm sure that's true of the whole of the rest of the world.
hard times !
This small nation in South America has set a good example for other bigger nations to follow---don't bow to the threats of the Big Brother,Uncle Sam.A country's sovereignty is much more important than the so-called import preferential tax. The products of Ecuador can be sent to the rising economic power---China or other nations nearby such as Argentina or Brazil or Venezuela.Right ? America just can't press other smaller nations to oblige to her unreasonable demands or even threats.Even our tiny Hong Kong did not give in to her pressure or demands to provisionally arrest Edward Snowden--------our Commissiiner of Police said that his cops only carried out the duties according to the law of Hong Kong and not any other nations' ! And our Secretary for Justice is courageous enough to reject an extradition of Snowden to the States due to the insufficient information porvided. Just phone calls to order other nations to do so and so is out-dated now ! The age of American hegemony may have gone forever after this Incident, I guess.
the best that the US government can do is to threaten and bully other countries. these people should go to h**l where is suitable for them to live.
cheeky cheeky cheeky!
America had the world's worst disasters forced on her. After great hesitation, she helped create the U.N. and despite the greatest provocations imaginable, a peace at the end of the worst century in history. Now, she can do nothing right? Hypocrites the world over should look to their own glass houses before throwing stones. Of course, there have been and still remain elements here that deserve condemnation ( they exist the world over ) but overall, America has done her best for all and has no interest in hegemony. We could withdraw into our prosperity and all the petty disputes would yet again flare into catastrophe. Be careful what you wish for; ask the Uighur's,the Tibetans and the Koreans while you're flapping your jaws. Oh yeah, how's that Philippine-Vietnam friendship going?



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