WikiLeaks’ Quito cables show how USAID undermined sovereignty

Posted on October 14, 2014 • Filed under: Conflicts, Ecuador, Politics, United States Pearson reported…As US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks show, USAID has worked in conjunction with other arms of the US government to further US foreign policy goals in Ecuador.

USAID programs were used to garner support for Plan Colombia, the US-supported militarisation of drug interdiction efforts in Colombia. The agency’s “democracy promotion” activities were a key element of the US Embassy’s strategies to prevent Ecuador joining Latin America’s “pink tide”. These programs aimed to generate consensus in Ecuadorian civil society around the US’s favoured neoliberal economic model, and foster a network of elites who would adhere to those principles. After Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa survived a coup attempt in 2010, he accused USAID of interfering “in Latin American nations like Ecuador under the pretext of strengthening democracy but really with the intention of destabilizing governments through funding of certain citizens and groups”. More generally, the agency’s “warm and fuzzy” programs have been part of efforts to win Ecuadorian hearts and minds by trying to show the US government in a benevolent light.

A cable reported that the Ecuadorian government had told the Embassy that it wanted USAID to explore “host country contracting” for development projects. This would mean donor funds would be transferred to the Ecuadorian government which would contract directly with suppliers of goods and services, rather than USAID. Read Article

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