Ecuador, Honduras support Bolivia, Venezuela in expulsion of U.S. envoys
Ecuador and Honduras on Friday voiced support for Bolivia and Venezuela’s decision to expel U.S. ambassadors in their countries in protest of Washington’s intervention in their domestic affairs.
“The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales and the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, have enough reasons to label (as “persona non gratas”) the U.S. ambassador in La Paz, Philip Goldberg, and that in Caracas, Patrick Duddy. I respect those countries’ decisions and I am sure that they had their concrete and verified reasons,” Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said during his visit to Peru.
“Ecuador will make its resolutions in a sovereign way,” Correa noted.
“I have to acknowledge that former U.S. ambassador to Ecuador always respected my country,” the president said, adding that “if any U.S. ambassador or of any place attempts to interfere in our internal affairs or affect the country’s security, he will be immediately expelled.”
Correa made the remarks at a press conference at the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) that groups Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
The Ecuadorian president had previously met with his Peruvian counterpart Alan Garcia.
Meanwhile, reports monitored here said that Hondurian President Manuel Zelaya also voiced support for Bolivia’s decision to expel the U.S. ambassador, saying he will not receive the new U.S. ambassador to Honduras for the moment, though he does not want to have problems with Washington.
In another development of the day, the Venezuelan government said it formalized the expulsion of U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, Patrick Duddy, after President Hugo Chavez announced the decision on Thursday to show solidarity with Bolivia.
The U.S. ambassador was asked to leave the country within 72 hours starting from 19:15 local time (2345 GMT) on Thursday.
In a communique, the government declared Duddy as “persona non grata” , saying it subjects the ties with the United States to an intense evaluation “to guarantee the respect to our homeland.”
Bolivian Ambassador to Venezuela Jorge Alvarado said on Friday that he appreciates Venezuela’s sympathy with La Paz, describing the words of President Chavez as a honor and an incentive for the Bolivian people.
“The Bolivians, Venezuelans and the Latin Americans should feel proud because our governments are dignifying us,” Alvarado said.
Alvarado said Latin American nations could not react to the U.S. intervention before, because they lived with alleged help from it. “But we are now showing that we can expel a U.S. ambassador,” Alvarado told local VTV channel.
Bolivian President Evo Morales on Wednesday requested U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia Philip Goldberg to leave the country immediately, accusing him of “heading the division” inside Bolivia by encouraging, together with the opposition, the protests agains this government.