Fingerprints on Ecuador coup attempt

Coups against unaccommodating Latin American leaders would appear to be back in style. After Honduran President Zalaya’s overthrow in June 2009, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa was the latest target. An outspoken member of ALBA and Hugo Chávez close ally, Correa had been giving Washington a tough time. Behind the abortive coup, Wayne Madsen’s investigation not only unveils the modus operandi of the CIA, but also lays bare Mossad’s murky activities inside Ecuador.

Using the standard CIA playbook on toppling democratically-elected governments in Latin America, the Obama administration, which was not happy with Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s moves to increase state control over oil companies in the nation and his decision to oust the United States military from its airbase at Manta, appears to have suffered a major defeat in the failed coup attempt in Ecuador by police officers and Air Force personnel who were backed by rightist elements in the National Assembly and business community. Correa was re-elected with an overwhelming majority last year after he gave the U.S. military its walking papers from the Manta airbase. The Pentagon and CIA have been working to topple Correa ever since by pumping money into opposition political parties and other groups through NGOs funded by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy.

In a statement from Correa after his rescue from the Police Hospital in Quito by a military special operations team, the president warned of a larger conspiracy launched against him by his political opposition, saying the “attempt at destabilization is the result of a strategy that has been brewing for quite some time. A barrage of messages and misinformation have been given to the National Police, which today has been realized through violent actions from a conspiracy attempt.”

Correa’s predecessor, the pro-U.S. Lucio Gutierrez, who is wedded to foreign oil company interests in the country, was accused by the government of covertly supporting the police and Air Force mutineers.

Although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a weak statement saying the United States backed Correa, it came one day after Clinton heaped praise on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the person who helped to craft the September 11, 1973 coup in Chile and the assassination of its progressive president Salvador Allende. In fact, Clinton and Obama had given military and political support to the right-wing junta that ousted democratically-elected progressive President Manuel Zelaya in Honduras in June 2009 and has fought against allowing the ousted democratically-elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, to return to his country from exile in South Africa after the CIA-engineered coup against him in 2004.

Clinton’s tepid response to the attempted coup against Correa was in marked contrast to the strong denunciations of the attempted coup and messages of support for Correa that came from Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Bolivia, Cuba, and Spain.

The uprising among Ecuadorian Air Force ranks, with Air Force personnel taking over and shutting down Quito’s international airport, will have Ecuadorian counter-intellligence personnel looking closely at the possible role of Israeli technicians and trainers who support the Air Force’s 26 Israeli-made Kfir combat planes. Israel also reportedly sold Python-3 air-to-air missiles to the Ecuadorian Air Force in 1997.

Mossad also has its hooks into the Ecuadorian National Police, where the main coup plotters received support. Mossad is chiefly tasked with spying on Ecuador’s large Ecuadorian-Arab community. The activities of the Mossad station at the Israeli embassy in Quito before and during the coup attempt will also draw the attention of counter-intelligence officers. Last year, Tel Aviv-based On Track Innovations received a contract to provide an electronic biometric-based electronic identification card system to Ecuador’s Central Registry Office.

Wayne Madsen

See: voltairenet.org/article167155.html

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