U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding Ecuador's decision to cancel the renewal of its trade pact with the United States and its offer of $23 million to provide human rights training to the U.S. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Due to the fact that Congress has strongly signaled its reluctance to renew the trade preferences with Ecuador, Rafael Correa saw the writing on the wall and has decided to cancel our trade deal. This unilateral act is further proof that Ecuadorian leader does not want close ties with the United States and only wishes to sabotage our bilateral relationship in order to save face following pressure from our government for Correa to refuse asylum to Edward Snowden.
"Then as if to add insult to injury, Correa has also reportedly offered the U.S. $23 million for "human rights training.' This is perhaps the most laughable move by Correa to date, as it is he and his government who are in need of training in the protection and respect of fundamental basic human rights and democratic freedoms. This, after all, comes from the mini-Chavez who earlier this year launched an international campaign to weaken the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and who has consistently attempted to silence free speech and the independent media. I urge the Obama Administration to send a clear message to Correa that his ill-considered actions will not go without consequences and reexamine all foreign aid that goes directly to this reckless government."