Tiny Ecuador demonstrates world's stupidest idea: Dumping America to become China's running dog
If there was ever an example for nations worldwide of What Not To Do, take a look at what socialist Ecuador has done to itself in dumping the U.S. and turning to align its interests to China. The New York Times has a superb (albeit stomach-churning) report about how Ecuador sold itself out as a vassal of China, getting for itself a junk dam that is already collapsing, and turning over 80% of its oil production to the communist behemoth in order to pay its massive, massive debts from it. That, in exchange for scrapping its military ties to the U.S. and skipping out on its tab with western banks.
According to the Times report:
“The Chinese put the hook in,” said Steve Hanke, a Johns Hopkins economist. “At the end of the day, what do these countries have? A pig in a poke.”
Self-colonization, anyone? Let's take a look at what kind of government would mortgage its future so completely to the loving arms of the Chicoms: It was a socialist one. And not just a socialist one, a Chavista socialist one, led by a sneering buffoon of a president, Rafael Correa, who was well-shown in all his sleaziness in Oliver Stone's attempted hagiographic documentary, "South of the Border." The guy hated America, and not only did he hate America, unlike some of the Latin socialist boobs out there who hate America in part because they don't know anything about it (I'm looking at you, Pope Francis, and Hugo Chavez can go on that list, too) Correa did know America - as the son of an illegal alien, who got deported from the U.S. because he was literally a drug dealer. The socialist Correa wrote his doctoral thesis at Bill Ayers' University of Illinois, much hailed in the press when he got elected, about how much he hated the country's dollarization (which in fact has kept the country from absolute bankruptcy actually) and then as president, he used the country's oil earnings to increase state power in the same socialist manner Chavez did. He loudly kicked the U.S. out of its tiny air base in Manta by 2009, and at the same time embraced China, which got it on the hook for billions in loans for junk infrastructure projects, in exchange for pretty much all of Ecuador's oil. As for the oil-is-king strategy, well, we all know how that worked out for Venezuela.
How they danced and celebrated when the deeds were done. Here's a photo from one of the China-Ecuador treaty signings, in 2015:
Here are some of the celebratory headlines from the Chicom, state Ecuadorean, Chavista and other adoring presses from the time, seeking to throw it in Uncle Sam's face:
They sure taught gringo a lesson, didn't they?
Now like Venezuela, the oil-is-king strategy is a disaster for Ecuador, too, yet for a different reason. The Times reports that the country took out $19 billion in Chinese loans just to pay for the Coca Codo Sinclair dam, which already is cracking apart with 6,000 fissures and bound to go down eventually as the local nearby volcano goes off. When it does, that will leave the country with nothing (except debt). Meanwhile, Ecuador's citizens are now paying something like $60 a month for the new electricity from China, an abnormally high amount for a developing country. In the Obamacare tradition, they were, of course, promised that rates would go down. In a way, it's comparable to the economic ruin left in Venezuela, except that Ecuador wears a very specific leash to China, willingly slipped on, greased by very big Chinese bribes taken by Ecuador's socialists, most of whom are now on the run from the long arm of the law if not in jail.
It's sad, because there are those of us who love Ecuador, a beautiful jewel of a country with wonderful people who deserve a prosperous and hopeful future. Yoked to the Chinese, they don't.
And the Times notes that Ecuador is not the only country out there with this kind of strangling embrace from China. According to the Times:
China, now South America’s top trading partner, has seeded the region with infrastructure and a staggering trail of loans. It has reaped political benefits, too, getting Latin American nations to sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Pakistan is reportedly in similar straits over Chinese debt, and so is much of Africa, again, another case of the capture of the resources. There are likely other places, too.
What's likely needed now is for these nations to return to the embrace of the U.S., where they will always be treated fairly, and perhaps approach President Trump with a debtor's cartel idea, to get China to dismantle these unequal treaties (a big buzzword from Chinese history that's sure to sting) in interests that align together with Trump's aims. Together, there might be some bending and cracking from the China side. Ecuador, frankly, deserves a refund - and a lesson in the stupidity of embracing anti-American socialism.