Another coup to write about.
Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa was just rescued from the hospital by the leaders of the military. I heard the news first on Eva Golinger's Twitter account (pro-Chavez journalist in Caracas) but the first paper to report it in English is the Wall Street Journal. The American corporate press editors are in a quandary now about how to spin this because all day they've been reporting that the coup was a mere allegation by Correa and Hugo Chavez, that Correa was taken into the police hospital merely for treatment and didn't confirm that he was being held against his will, but for some reason the military decided they needed to shoot their way in and out, perhaps because the nurses were taking too long to fill out the forms. And of course, even if there was a coup, the coup would be, according to the US corporate press, Correa's fault for telling the IMF to shove off.
The day of the Honduras coup Obama and UN Ambassador Susan Rice denounced it, calling it a coup, but afterward they were told to shut up by whomever it is that tells the president to shut up, and there were no further US statements calling it a coup. This time the US State Department, Obama, and the UN staff has been more disciplined about not saying it was a coup and saying they were merely "monitoring the situation closely."
What set this off was Correa's austerity proposal to reduce increases in pay for the police and other government workers, which was announced yesterday. However, Golinger goes on to say that the Ecuadoran government reported in October 2008 that the US was infiltrating the Ecuadoran police and military and that $38 million of US taxpayer money has been allocated to USAID in Ecuador. Most of the military, including its leadership, has remained loyal to Correa today, although it was a faction of the military that closed down the airport for a few hours. There has been a wide range of reports about who and how many are demonstrating for what from different sources, but as we pro-democracy folks know they have these crazy things called elections that Correa keeps winning.
Hey! AP has fussed up to the fact that Correa "has been trapped by police."
There is some footage of Correa being confronted by the police.. supposedly Correa said "Kill me if you are brave enough. There will be more Correas." He was then hit with stones and somehow got into the hospital where he was held by the "rebel police" by force. This narrative is sketchy now because the press has been denying his being held by the police. It will be interesting to hear the story told properly.