The national secretary of Communication of Ecuador, Andrés Michelena, warned today that it would be “catastrophic” for relations with Venezuela that his predecessor Fernando Alvarado, fugitive from justice, had found refuge in the Bolivarian Republic.
“I could not say based on rumors, it would be good to certify that there are real facts, but if it were, it would be catastrophic,” he said in an interview with Efe in which he spoke of the case of his predecessor during the government of the previous president, Rafael Correa.
The authorities informed on Saturday that Alvarado, suspected in eleven cases of corruption and prosecuted for embezzlement (misappropriation of public funds) is missing after being stripped of the shackle of surveillance that the Ecuadorian Justice had placed in August as a precautionary measure.
The weekend reported that he was escaping in search of refuge in some other country, and the possibility is being considered that he has left Ecuador for Venezuela, perhaps even in a plane chartered by Caracas with emigrants who returned to the country.
Ambassador Carol Delgado was traveling on that same plane, having been expelled by the Ecuadorian government following statements by Venezuelan Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez, in which she called President Lenin Moreno “a liar” for allegedly inflating the figures of migrants
Michelena, who acknowledged that his whereabouts are still unknown (“we are doing a process of investigation”), insisted on the possibility that “that would be terrible for the country’s relations” with Venezuela.
“We cannot have a relationship with a country that gives asylum to people who are not rendering accounts in (their) country, and (this is) a person who has eleven processes of evidence of criminal responsibility,” he added.
On Monday, Moreno announced the dismissal of the entire chain of people in charge of the penitentiary system and citizen surveillance who guarded Alvarado from a distance through the electronic device he carried.
“Here is a chain of command of 25-28 people who have to review the processes of the shackle,” explained the Ecuadorian Secretary of Communication on a circumstance that has perplexed the country.
Alvarado, former secretary of Communication, was one of the strong men of the correísta regime and symbol of Correa’s confrontation with the press and journalists of the country.
Relations between Venezuela and Ecuador began to deteriorate since the humanitarian situation and the exodus of Venezuelans began to worsen, being now, as Michelena acknowledged, “at the most minimal level”, following the mutual expulsion of heads of mission last week.
“And if it is found that the rumors that today Mr. Alvarado fled to Venezuela, that would be another message and another blow to the Ecuadorian Government, because a man who has to surrender to justice and is a fugitive, cannot be hosted in no country that respects the sovereignty of Ecuador, “said the secretary, who has the rank of minister.
On the latest crisis with Caracas, gestated at his discretion by “totally unreasonable” statements by a “spoiled” minister of Communications of Venezuela, Michelena said that his words were an offense “to the Ecuadorian people”.
People, he added, that “despite being in economic recovery” has known to be “supportive” with Venezuelan emigrants.
“Because the transition (the passage) of one million Venezuelans through the country is real; that in Ecuador there are 300,000 Venezuelans is real; that only in Quito 60,000 Venezuelans work is real; that 10,000 students are Venezuelans is real; that there have been 800,000 medical care for Venezuelans who have emigrated is real “, he enumerated.
In that sense, he argues that Venezuela should apologize “to the entire Ecuadorian people and its president,” because “those of us who have worked on that are Ecuadorians” and “we have opened the doors” of Ecuador to Venezuelans. (I)