Ecuador wants military base in Miami
By Phil Stewart
NAPLES (Reuters) - Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa
said Washington must let him open a military base in Miami if
the United States wants to keep using an air base on Ecuador's
Correa has refused to renew Washington's lease on the Manta air
base, set to expire in 2009. U.S. officials say it is vital for
counter-narcotics surveillance operations on Pacific
"We'll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a
base in Miami -- an Ecuadorean base," Correa said in an
interview during a trip to Italy.
"If there's no problem having foreign soldiers on a country's
soil, surely they'll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the
The U.S. embassy to Ecuador says on its Web site that
anti-narcotics flights from Manta gathered information behind
more than 60 percent of illegal drug seizures on the high seas
of the Eastern Pacific last year.
It offers a fact-sheet on the base at: http://ecuador.usembassy.gov/topics_of_interest/manta-fol.html
Correa, a popular leftist economist, had promised to cut off his
arm before extending the lease that ends in 2009 and has called
U.S. President George W. Bush a "dimwit".
But Correa, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, told
Reuters he believed relations with the United States were
"excellent" despite the base closing.
He rejected the idea that the episode reflected on U.S. ties at
"This is the only North American military base in South
America," he said.
"So, then the other South American countries don't have good
relations with the United States because they don't have
military bases? That doesn't make any sense."
© Reuters2007All rights reserved.
Click on "comments" below to read or post comments
Be succinct, constructive and
relevant to the story.
We encourage engaging, diverse
and meaningful commentary. Do not include
personal information such as names, addresses,
phone numbers and emails. Comments falling
outside our guidelines – those including
personal attacks and profanity – are not
See our complete
use this link to notify us if you have concerns
about a comment.
We’ll promptly review and remove any
Send Page To a Friend
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational
purposes. Information Clearing House has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of
this article nor is Information ClearingHouse
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)