Ecuador is playing "hardball" with the US and it's hard to watch:
"Ecuador said Thursday it is renouncing tariff benefits on hundreds of millions of dollars in trade that are up for renewal by the U.S. Congress.
The announcement by Communications Minister Fernando Alvarez comes at a moment when Ecuador faces U.S. pressure to avoid granting asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. Alvarez told a news conference that the trade deal had become "a new instrument of blackmail.
"In consequence, Ecuador unilaterally and irrevocably renounces said preferences."
Ecuador is a very nice, beautiful and small country under the very misguided leadership of a Chavez disciple Pres Correa. The key is that ".....nearly half Ecuador's foreign trade depends on the U.S."
Let me translate: They need the US a lot more than we need them.
Furthermore, there is no country that will "bail out" Ecuador, as the USSR did with Cuba after the 1962 Missile Crisis. The USSR subsidized Cuba for 30 years allowing that economic basket case south of Florida to survive. The USSR got paid back by having Castro turn into a leftist mouthpiece and sending Cuban troops to fight "the wars of liberation" in Africa.
Correa is not so lucky.
His disciple Chavez is dead, Worse than that, Venezuela is broke. Brazil has protests to worry about. Argentina is worse off than Venezuela. Cuba is on the verge of economic collapse.
The bottom line is that there is no one on the phone offering to replace the US as a trade partner.
So let's play "hardball". Let's deliver this message: Grant Snowden asylum and you will have a lot of "flowers, artichokes and broccoli" staying in Ecuador rather than getting consumed in the US.
Let's give President Correa a little broccoli for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Let's see if he can handle the economic distortions that come with it!
Again, it's sad to watch the US getting pushed around like this on the world scene. I hate it!