The link to former President Rafael Correa’s investigations into a case of attempted kidnapping of an Ecuadorian politician in 2012 has opened a breach in Ecuador’s relations with its formerly close allies Venezuela and Bolivia.
Follower of the so-called Socialism of the 21st Century, Correa maintained during his decade of government (2007-2017) a very close relationship with the presidents of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, and Bolivia, Evo Morales, of the same ideological line, and who this week came to his defense before the judicial process in Ecuador.
Maduro and Morales criticized the request of the National Court of Justice for the arrest and detention of Correa in the context of investigations into the attempted kidnapping of ex-legislator Fernando Balda in Colombia.
In an immediate response, the Government of Lenin Moreno sent “formal protest notes” to La Paz and Caracas, from where a supposed politicization of justice was denounced, the alleged interference of the United States in the legal action and an apparent persecution against “progressive leaders” of the region.
For the anthropologist Andrés Abad, the reactions of Maduro and Morales are “understandable” because of the friendship with Correa, for which he sees in them a “sense of loyalty”, and believes that both “are unaware” that the current government “guarantees the independence of powers, independence of justice and freedom of the press and expression “.
To the claim of Quito, it was followed by a protest from Venezuela through a diplomatic note about its supposed “interventionist positions” in the internal politics and sovereign decisions of the Caribbean country, a reaction that does not miss Abad, because, in his opinion, the Venezuelan ruler ” does not admit any criticism. ”
Dean of the Center for Government and Public Administration of the Institute of Higher National Studies of Ecuador (IAEN), Abad assures Efe that “we should not be surprised” by a “completely belligerent” attitude of Maduro with the Ecuadorian Government after the impasse of this week.
Although he acknowledges that many do not justify it, he believes it “acceptable” that the Executive headed by Moreno has maintained since its beginnings in May 2017 a position of “extreme prudence” over Venezuela, based on the constitutional principle of non-interference.
But, after the May presidential elections in Venezuela, Moreno publicly expressed his concern for the situation in Venezuela for the first time and formulated an initiative to hold a referendum in Venezuela under international supervision to endorse Maduro’s re-election. .
Abad, doctor in administration from the Andean University Simón Bolívar, believes that the letters of protest are clear evidence that Moreno’s “prudent” stance “will very likely change” because the accusation of alleged political persecution against Correa “is a direct affront to President Lenin Moreno. ”
For Abad, mixing at a general political level and justice is a strategy of those “who are involved in irregularities with justice” to “present themselves as victims, when in reality they must respond to their actions in an absolutely independent and just process,” he says.
Stresses that if handled from the diplomatic point of view and not political, the matter could be in an impasse, but by the allegations about the alleged political persecution, “the most likely is that a governmental distancing comes,” without reaching a rupture, speculate.
But, the doctor in political and constitutional studies by the University of Alicante (Spain) Napoleón Saltos, assesses for Efe that the current situation with Bolivia and Venezuela will be decreasing because “as the days go by, the Correa issue will take on its true dimension”
After the decade of Correa’s government, Saltos supports “a much more rigorous international policy that can guarantee the coexistence” of different ideologies.
And, as a general line, he argues that countries should apply an international policy based on non-interference in internal issues and respect for human rights, aspects that require reciprocity among States, he stresses. (I)