This is an interesting story about Raphael Correa, the relatively recently elected President of Ecuador. I was first impressed with him when I heard him say or the US base in Ecuador the following:
“If they want,” Correa has said ironically, “we won’t close the base in 2009, but the United States would have to allow us to have an Ecuadoran base in Miami in return.”
Now Greg Palast has written a very nice article of an interview with Correa and an analysis of the situation in Ecuador from which Correa arose:
[Quito] I don’t know what the hell seized me. In the middle of an hour-long interview with the President of Ecuador, I asked him about his father. I’m not Barbara Walters. It’s not the kind of question I ask.
He hesitated. Then said, “My father was unemployed.”
He paused. Then added, “He took a little drugs to the States… This is called in Spanish a mula [mule]. He passed four years in the states- in a jail.”
He continued. “I’d never talked about my father before.”
Apparently he hadn’t. His staff stood stone silent, eyes widened.
Correa’s dad took that frightening chance in the 1960s, a time when his family, like almost all families in Ecuador, was destitute. Ecuador was the original “banana republic” – and the price of bananas had hit the floor. A million desperate Ecuadorans, probably a tenth of the entire adult population, fled to the USA anyway they could.
“My mother told us he was working in the States.”
His father, released from prison, was deported back to Ecuador. Humiliated, poor, broken, his father, I learned later, committed suicide.
Read the rest of this interesting story here: