Ecuador’s “Bolivarian threat”

The Miami Herald, an unabashed free trade/right wing newspaper, especially when concerning Latin American affairs, recently published two articles that echo U.S. government claims that Venezuela is a threat to the region.

In "Report: Diplomat met with rebels," the Herald trumpets a dubious claim that the Alfarist Liberation Army (ELA), an alleged guerilla group, has been receiving training in Venezuela. And of course the article includes an unfounded suggestion that Cuba may also be involved.

Ecuadorian President Alfredo Palacio has downplayed the report and other Ecuadorian officials question whether the ELA even exists as a guerrilla group, with speculation that the report was a "plant" to sour relations between the two countries.

The same day, the Herald also ran a story exposing the rise of Bolivarian groups in Ecuador, which juxtaposed with the other article, creates the impression that Ecuador is falling victim to Chavez’ "dangerous popularity and influence" in the region.

The real "threat" that the Herald (and the U.S. government) recognize is that the Ecuadorian government could continue to move in a direction that puts its citizens interests over the interests of transnational capital and U.S. foreign policy. So creating the impression that Ecuador is falling victim to subversive "socialist" influence from Chavez lays the groundwork for potential U.S. meddling in Ecuadorian affairs in the near future, to deal with this "threat".