The doctors who attended Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa while he was in the hospital during the “coup” last Thursday have made a public statement saying that Correa was not kidnapped (link in Spanish) while in the hospital, contradicting Correa’s claim that he was kidnapped.
Doctors Gilberto Calle y Fernando Vargas asked him twice to leave, but Correa refused. While in the hospital, Correa was in constant telephone contact with people outside the hospital, he received his supporters, and there was no one preventing him from leaving.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have been one of the people Correa was calling over the phone; The Tehran Times reports that Correa and Ahmadinejad talked on Thursday. The question remains at what time of day or night did the call take place.
It all amounts to Crying Wolf in Quito:
The protestors he argued with were cops who’d just had their voluntary, dollar-denominated pensions slashed and their severances replaced by bonds in a nonexistent currency to be issued by a state famous for its serial defaults.
Of course it was a tinderbox situation. Based on Correa’s budgetary mismanagement and overspending, the protests swiftly spread to other cities, giving the appearance of an uprising. As for Correa himself, he took refuge in a police hospital, then yelled he’d been kidnapped in a coup d’etat.
It was ridiculous. Though the president was blocked by protestors, nobody bothered him inside, and Correa continued to bark commands from his cell phone and stand on the hospital balcony, hardly the sort of thing real Latin American kidnappers permit.
“If you want to kill me, kill me,” he said, dramatically ripping off his necktie and opening his shirt. He was hauled back to the palace by the military by bedtime.
Sorry as this banana-republic spectacle was, it smacked more of a protest gone bad than a real coup. The problem, though, is that the U.S. and the international community swiftly stepped forward in Correa’s defense as a “democratic” leader, despite the fact that he’s done more to damage democracy and lay the groundwork for protests and coups than anyone before him.
“The United States deplores violence and lawlessness, and we express our full support for President Rafael Correa and the institutions of democratic government in that country,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said while Latin leaders held an emergency meeting in Buenos Aires.
It followed the template of Correa’s patron, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, who declared a “coup” even before Correa did.
Tyrants like Chavez and Correa not only provoke rebellions by damaging democracy. They also demand that the world rally behind them as “democrats” when the inevitable trouble rolls in.
Correa has had plans to dissolve Congress and rule by decree for some time and has a clear path to act. With the U.S. behind him under the false flag of democracy, he now may succeed.
That’s exactly what Correa will do:
Failed coup strengthens Ecuador President’s hand (emphasis added)
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa may use last week’s failed police uprising to consolidate his power and deepen planned changes that will expand his control over South America’s seventh-biggest economy.
The government, which wants to change at least 31 laws, including industrial, financial, labour, water and land regulations, had been emboldened by public support for the President during the chaos that swept the nation, central bank chief Diego Borja said.
“This gives us much more energy to deepen changes,” Mr Borja said in an interview on state television. “Now we can really move the citizens’ revolution forward on all fronts.”