Defenders for Sale?

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The Citizens’ Revolution has passionate defenders abroad, but are they supporting it out of conviction or because they have been contracted to? Eva Golinger, Federica Zaccagnini and Íñigo Errejón work as promoters and spokespeople for the Ecuadorian project. These are their stories.

Lea el artículo original de María Belén Arroyo en:
Revista Vistazo

“This isn’t Chevron’s dirty hand, it is Chevron’s hand of death”, the Venezuelan-American lawyer Eva Golinger says in front of the cameras in the Amazon rainforest, her palm totally covered with oil. The lawyer presents the program “Detrás de la Noticia” [Behind the News], which is broadcast by the channel Russia Today, and which issued this report in May of 2014.

In the middle of the same year, the same program broadcast a special report “A Day with President Correa”. Lasting 28 and a half minutes, it shows Eva Golinger’s experiences as she accompanies the Ecuadorian President at the Cabinet session in the canton of San Pedro de Huaca, in the Andean province of Carchi. She also accompanies him at the presidential broadcast no. 373, carried out the following day, May 10, in this locality. In the documentary, she constantly admires the energy of the Ecuadorian President, who holds marathon sessions that last four hours, and who they accompany in helicopter, plane and even on bicycle, as they try to keep up with his working pace.

Correa confesses to Golinger that a program like the one in Huaca involves the collaboration of some 600 people (including ministers’ assistants, representatives of public entities, those responsible for logistics, press). He also tells her that the revolution has advanced a lot, but there is still a long way to go. They both share a cultural day, dancing cumbia to the song “El Ciclón” [The Cyclone]. However, despite the journalist’s insistence, the President refused to sing in English. Correa, who has had 11 operations on his knees, according to the documentary, released his broadcast the following day, highlighting the presence of the Venezuelan correspondent.

In October 2014, the lawyer Eva Golinger signed an employment contract with the representative of the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations, ambassador Xavier Lasso Mendoza, as “Legal Advisor of the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations in New York”, according to the document that Ecuador Review consulted.

Her duties? They involve “Strategic actions like consulting on legal issues and other pertinent matters”, according to the contract, which establishes the obligation to travel to Ecuador at least once a month to report on the progress of her consultancy, with expenses paid.

Good Living Salaries
Remuneration is provided for in the third clause: 5000 dollars a month, with added benefits, like an employer’s Social Security contribution of 6.2%, a contribution of 1.45% to the state health program, Medicaid, as the professional lives in New York, and also health insurance.

According to the contract, this position is permanent and will be subject to renewal, “From the first of each calendar year, with the agreement of the parties and with the express authorization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility”.

The Chancellery did not comment on this matter, even upon receipt of a written request; the lawyer, who was asked to comment via social networks, also declined.

The Ministry of Defense’s journal, “Patria [Homeland] – Political Analysis of Defense”, in the August to November edition of 2014, published a report prepared by Doctor Golinger entitled “A Permanent Aggression: The Soft Coup in Latin America”, which, according to the summary of the report, details attempts from Washington to destabilize progressive governments in the region.

Golinger is not the only foreign professional who provides services to the government, acting as a spokesperson to promote the achievements of the Citizens’ Revolution abroad.

On 1 December of 2014, a contract between the Ecuadorian ambassador in Italy, Juan Holguín Flores, and the academic Federica Zaccagnini was signed for a total of 4,935 euros per month, according to the documentation that the magazine Vistazo [Look] had access to. Among the duties that the academic is contractually obliged to perform, section 5 sets out the duty “To promote the international standing of Ecuador’s public policy with Italian institutions and civil society, and to maintain active relations for the mutual exchange of information with the international support networks for the Citizens’ Revolution process”.

Also, she should assist with the coordination of the School of Continuing Studies on Ecuadorian Buen Vivir [Good Living – which refers to an approach to development based on the well-being of the community as a whole], for which she must travel to Ecuador, journeys which should be covered by equivalency indexes at the level of a third secretary. In June of 2012, the Italian academic was part of the School of Continuing Studies on Ecuadorian Buen Vivir.

Íñigo Errejón and his Consultancy in Ecuador
Íñigo Errejón was in Quito at the end of August 2015 to participate in some academic events, which were organized by The Latin American Social Sciences Institute (Flacso – Spanish acronym) and by the National Institute of Higher Studies (IAEN – Spanish acronym). Speaking from the seminar room of the IAEN, he had no reservations about admitting that he had assisted at the beginning of the Ecuadorian revolutionary process, but he did not mention his consultancy to René Ramírez Gallegos, one of the pillars of the government, and who is currently in charge of the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (Senescyt – Spanish acronym).

Íñigo Errejón is the second-in-command in the Spanish political organization Podemos [We Can], which presents itself as a third electoral option to the worn-out two-party system in Spain. In Quito, he refused to give an interview, despite insistent requests. On 12 June, in Madrid, he participated in the launch of the book “La Virtud de los Comunes” [The Virtue of Communities], written by René Ramírez Gallegos. This event was organized by Kreab, a Spanish company, which has a branch in Quito. Since May of 2014, Kreab Gavin Anderson Iberia has a contract for the amount of 526,000 dollars with the National Secretariat for Public Administration to implement the program “Ecuador to Conquer Europe”. One of their objectives is, word for word, “To promote Ecuador in order to highlight factors which make it be held in high esteem and which demonstrate to other countries that it is a government which is more concerned about social progress than monopolizing authority, contrary to how it is presented in the international media”. The company Kreab is responsible for the publication “Ecuador and the Citizens’ Revolution. A Path Towards Buen Vivir”, which was released in April of 2015.

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