February 12, 2016
by Stansfield Smith
Wealthy nations refused President Correa’s request that they help cover the cost of foregoing economic development in the Amazon. [Photo Source]
Amazon Watch has waged a continual disinformation campaign against President Rafael Correa’s Citizens Revolution in Ecuador.
In 2013, the West snubbed Ecuador’s Yasuni Initiative, a proposal to keep Yasuni rainforest oil untouched in a revolutionary anti-global warming initiative if the Western countries reimbursed Ecuador for half the value of the oil.
Amazon Watch used the Initiative’s failure not to expose Western government indifference to real action on global warming, but instead declared, “Correa’s own contradictory policies and mismanagement of the initiative may have been its ultimate undoing.”
Perhaps Amazon Watch’s most outrageous article was one in support of the right-wing backed anti-Correa protests in August 2015:
“While police massacre indigenous protesters and citizens, the Government of Rafael Correa dances in the Presidential plaza … All of the rights won by the indigenous nationalities have been repealed, just as the system of bilingual intercultural education, indigenous health services, economic funds, and political organization … Violent confrontations with citizens ensued and resulted in numerous people disappeared, imprisoned, tortured, and dead across the country.”
That this is deliberate disinformation can be seen from a film of the protesters that day attacking the police in an attempt to seize the presidential palace.
It may not be clear why Amazon Watch engages in this disinformation against this target of the U.S. government, President Correa, but it is clear this nongovernmental organization relies on corporate funding, and markets to corporate elite clientele tours to the “pristine” Amazon and its “natives.”
It is also clear that U.S. rulers are preoccupied with combating China as the only world power it sees directly threatening its global domination, a central reason for the anti-Chinese Trans-Pacific Partnership.
In fact, China provides loans at low interest rates, does not intervene in the internal affairs of other countries, respects other countries’ paths of economic and political development, and encourages South-South cooperation as a counter to Western hegemony. It cannot be a coincidence that Amazon Watch portrays China as the new colonizer, as the global power responsible for the concocted environmental and human rights abuses they attribute to Correa.
[Stansfield Smith, Chicago ALBA Solidarity Committee, co-administrator of Facebook page, Friends of Ecuador –North America, leader of former Chicago Committee to Free the Cuban 5, has been on delegations to Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia in 2015.]
Further reading: Fundación Pachamama Investigative Report Series: