Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Correa - My Hands are Clean and Bloodless, Something Uribe Can’t Say

Via Machetera

"My Hands are Clean and Bloodless, Something Uribe Can’t Say" - Interview with Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador

Gorka Castillo - Público
Translation: Machetera

In an interview with Público, the Ecuadoran head of state accuses the Colombian government of lying, and its president, Álvaro Uribe, of links with paramilitaries.

Ecuador’s president doesn’t mince words. Over an hour’s interview he analyzed the Latin American political situation and didn’t hide the wound opened by Colombia that will take some time to heal.

The British writer Richard Gott considers Colombia to be the main element in the region’s instability. Do you share his view?

This is nothing new, rather something that goes way back. Colombia is the only country that has paramilitaries, guerrillas, drug traffickers, extensive coca cultivation and extensive zones of the country uncontrolled by the state. Paramilitarism and narco-politics doesn’t exist in Ecuador. Nor do we cultivate coca. Those are exclusively Colombian terms. I say this regretfully because [the Colombians] are our brothers, but Colombia today is the focus of the greatest instability that exists in Latin America and this hurts all of us.

Do you wish to say that the Colombian government’s image in Latin America is not a good one?

Uribe’s government is completely discredited. We’ve already pointed out his lies; now no-one believes him.

In Europe it’s not seen that way.

It’s true that in the European Union as much as the United States, the backing of his lies by some powerful media has harmed us and for that reason, very soon, I will undertake a tour of Europe to let people know about Ecuador and show that we are a decent government and a peaceful land. What’s problematic is on the other side of the border. We’re victims of the Colombian conflict. We’re not perpetrators nor are we accomplices.

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