The Ecuadorian Government has just delivered the biggest blow ever received by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA): more than 20 of its agents were exposed on June 6 in Ecuador, in a documentary by the Chavista station Telesur. The Ecuadorian Government mobilised its entire propaganda machine to promote this revelation. The President himself hailed Telesur’s work via his Twitter account and two days later raised the subject at a press conference with foreign correspondents based in Ecuador.
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With such a stir, it was expected that the Ecuadorian Government would protest vehemently against Washington, recall its ambassador, expel her US counterpart and imprison the agents working for a foreign power. It could also have been predicted that Correa would use the event, so serious for the stability of the Government, as the focus for the 4-hour intervention he delivers every Saturday in his weekly public address. In fact, none of this happened. Correa did not even mention the issue in the broadcast.
The reason is simple: the Government’s revelation caused hilarity on social networks and not even the regime’s congressmembers, usually so keen to amplify official campaigns, echoed the Chavista channel’s scurrilous claims. The alleged complaint involves digital media outlets that are not covered by the Communications Law. It is no coincidence: these media outlets (4pelagatos, Plan V, Focus, Mil Hojas), have published allegations of corruption and blatant wastefulness by a Government that has been in power for a decade. The list includes civil society organizations such as Fundamedios and Participación Ciudadana (Citizen Participation) that the Government has previously sought to dissolve: Fundamedios for its work in favor of freedom of speech and press in Ecuador; Participación Ciudadana for its monitoring of Government advertising, its oversight activities and quick counts in electoral processes.
Telesur created alleged links between these digital media outlets, civil society organizations, activists, certain politicians and former bankers living in the United States (those implicated during the banking crisis nearly 20 years ago), accusing them of destabilizing the Government. All motivated by the CIA. The story of Telesur’s supposed investigation is told in the worst Cold War style. 4pelagatos journalist Martin Pallares travels to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Washington to give testimony in his dismissal case (he was fired from a Quito daily newspaper for a comment he made on his personal Twitter account). He goes to the Senate and the US Congress. Telesur’s conclusion: 4pelagatos is now funded by US agencies related to the CIA.
Journalist and political activist Martha Roldós, daughter of a former Ecuadorian president, is accused of having had contacts in Washington at the Open Society Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to fund a website. She also is a spy because these foundations and organizations (including USAID) are part of the mechanism used by Washington to knock down ‘progressive regimes’ in Latin America.
In this documentary one could not miss, of course, the connection between Fundamedios, Participación Ciudadana, digital media outlets and certain politicians. Gustavo Larrea, former minister of the current Government, eats lunch in a Quito restaurant with two US embassy officials. The cameras of the Government media keep vigil outside, ask what they talked about. In his response, the official mentions the 2017 political campaign. There’s the proof: they are destabilizing the Government.
The Mayor of Quito, Mauricio Rodas, is part of a political alliance with the Mayor of Guayaquil, Jaime Nebot, and the Prefect of the province of Azuay, Paúl Carrasco. Rodas and his brother met with Victor Rojas, a Peruvian citizen unknown in Ecuador, who works for the US National Democratic Institute. The suggestion is sufficient evidence. This is the documentary’s format: assumptions, insinuations, allusions, fictitious connections, blatant lies, half-truths, clear examples of slander. This is the proof touted by President Rafael Correa himself regarding the CIA’s activities against his Government.
In Ecuador there is no doubt that this propaganda piece by Telesur was made with scraps provided by the Ecuadorian Government. Scraps that, yes, prove that government agencies are monitoring, spying and photographing citizens for simply criticizing, denouncing or expressing opinions contrary to the official line. César Ricaurte, head of Fundamedios, and Martin Pallares were photographed leaving government offices in Washington; Martha Roldós in a bar in Ecuador. This alleged evidence had already been used, months ago, by government trolls in their work to harass and vilify Ricaurte, Pallares, Fernando Villavicencio and other digital media journalists.
The documentary also demonstrates the lengths that the Correa Government will go to to discredit and defame social organizations or digital media NGOs that receive support from abroad; facts contained in their own documents. Some senior Correa-ist officials have benefited in the past from the same aid. Today these democratic and citizen control activities are defined by the regime as CIA attacks against it.
Telesur’s report proves that, in its war against society, Correa-ism is not afraid to walk the sewers. The monstrosity was so obvious that, in just four days and after having caused laughter in social networks, the Government proceeded as if this spy story had never existed.