Publishers Notes: This report is from 30 September. Looking at the timeline, events leading up to Kerry's threats to bomb Ecuador were already in the works when he said it.
BOGOTA, Colombia — Under pressure from Ecuador’s left-wing government, the United States Agency for International Development is shutting down its operations in the South American nation after 53 years.
In a telephone interview with GlobalPost, Adam Namm, the US ambassador to Ecuador, called the decision “very disappointing.”
But it was no surprise. The government in Quito had refused to allow Washington's aid agency to renew its programs or start any new activity in the country.
President Rafael Correa is a fierce US critic who has already pulled the plug on US counter-narcotics operations at a Pacific coast base and expelled Namm’s predecessor as well as 14 US military advisers, whom he claimed were infiltrating Ecuador’s security forces.
Analysts say that the closure of the Agency for International Development, the US government foreign aid wing known as USAID, is part of a broader effort by Correa to stifle criticism of his administration and to halt what he views as outside meddling in Ecuador.