U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding reports that National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden may also be headed for Ecuador. Earlier reports indicated he was on his way to Cuba or Venezuela from Russia. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"New reports indicate that NSA leaker Snowden may be headed to Ecuador. If true, then Snowden will be in a nation where press freedoms are trampled upon. In the Ecuador of Rafael Correa, editors and journalists pay huge fines and are sent to jail for articles or reports that supposedly injure Correa's character. It's pathetic that whistleblower looks to press oppressor nations for transit and refuge.
Correa is a well known friend of those who wish to bring harm to America. Last year, he offered Wiki Leaks founder Julian Assange asylum. Correa has also led the effort to try to weaken and undermine the Inter-American Human Rights Commission at the OAS. The Obama Administration must let Correa know that his actions will have consequences and the Administration must not renew the trade preferences with Ecuador that expire next month.
The reality is that Correa is Chavez-lite with nicer suits but an oppressor of an independent press and an advocate for the weakening of democracy protecting institutions in our Hemisphere. "