Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa is not the first anti-western radical to apologize for terrorism and verbally attack Israel, but he may be the most shameless. In a recent interview with C5N Television in Argentina, Correa delivered fresh proof of his hypocrisy.
Buenos Aires has been victimized by two Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah bombings (against the Israeli embassy in Argentina in 1992 and the Jewish community center in 1994). Asked by an Argentine interviewer about the implications of the warm bilateral relationship between Iran and Ecuador in light of Tehran’s role in terrorism and its nuclear proliferation program, Correa responded that he respects president Ahmadinejad and defended Iran’s nuclear program as peaceful in nature. He also called Iran the “most democratic” country in the region, and stated incongruously that Israel, not Iran, is the country that deserves to be sanctioned.
When the journalist mentioned how sensitive the issue is for the Argentine people–the bloody 1990’s bombings were abetted by terrorists who work for Ahmadinejad–Correa lamely stated that he felt sorry for those attacks but that the world should take note of bombings like those NATO conducted in Libya.
At the epicenter of Hezbollah’s first attack in our hemisphere, Correa could not muster the slightest sensitivity about attacks that traumatized a nation. Instead, Correa equated military operations that helped the Libyan people oust a brutal dictator with terrorist bombings that murdered diplomats and innocents. Of course, Argentina’s Jewish community has demanded an apology for these insensitive remarks.
Could this shameless apologia have anything to do with the fact that the terrorists who committed these bombings were sponsored by Correa’s new chums in Iran, which whom he is seeking close diplomatic, commercial, and military relations?
In his own country, Correa has systematically destroyed checks and balances, and now has a hegemonic control over the courts and the congress. Furthermore, his attacks on freedom of the press and media outlets have cost many Ecuadoreans their property and/or freedom and forced them in to exile. The arrogance and insensitivity of Correa is well known in Ecuador, and the Argentine people have seen what he’s made of.
Copying from the Hugo Chávez playbook, Correa has adopted authoritarianism and oppression at home and buffoonery abroad.