As part of my catching-up process, I’ve just read a pretty impressive segment from the latest edition of Radio MUFN. In it, Correa lavished, heaped and piled on the love, touchyfeelyness and general goodwill to Canada (of all places).
Bigtime special mention was made to Canada’s mining industry and how Canadian companies could benefit Ecuador. There’s no link to this transcript made of Studmuffin’s Saturday radio address, unfortunately, but I personally vouch for the source as rock-solid. Here comes the transcript of Correa’s words as passed through the Ottotrans™.
“….At 2pm or 2:15 we had lunch with Mr. Christian Lapointe, the Canadian ambassador. Canada is one of the big countries, the big markets that we haven’t paid the least attention to, and it’s impressive all the things we could achieve with Canada. Also, Canada is a country that has a history of peace and development. Many times it has outstripped the UN Index of Human Development, it’s one of the three largest countries in the world (or even the largest), it’s the country with the largest quantity of natural resources, the largest amount of fresh water, the biggest area of forest and (despite all this) we haven’t taken advantage of our relationship with Canada.
Well, now we’re going to take advantage. There are important perspectives in mining investment. They are very happy with the new mining law and many of the mining companies are Canadian. But be careful! There are some companies that try to pass themselves off as Canadian because they trade on the Canadian stock market, but they’re not Canadian. Canada has strict, but very strict, environmental requirements. Mining must be 10% or 12% of the total GDP of Canada, which is an immense GDP in itself. A large part of Canada’s development is due to mining development, but at the same time it has the largest reserves of fresh water and has understood how to respect and benefit its ancestral peoples.
I have asked the Canadian Ambassador to bring members of these ancestral peoples (to Ecuador) so that they can testify for themselves, because here some of the leaders of our ancestors have taken up the flag of anti-mining. Not all, as a large part of the Shuar and Quichuas agree with mining. That’s because mining is one of the inca and pre-inca activities in the region we now know as Ecuador. In any case, some indigenous leaders have taken up the anti-mining struggle in defence of the Pachamama (Ottonote: ‘Mother Earth’ is a fair translation but with far greater spiritual and religious connections). All this is false. They are just radical indigenous leaders. Take for example Evo Morales, the first indigenous President in Latin America. The most important (industry) in Bolivia is mining; you tell them that all the mines are to be closed and see how they answer you!
Secondly, due to the experience Canada has with responsible mining, the first to have benefitted are the ancestral peoples which is why I ask their ambassador to bring representatives of those ancient peoples to give their testimony and show the fallacy of those who lead certain radical groups that (try to) speak for all but do not represent anybody.
But this isn’t the only field (of business with Canada) where there is much to build. One of the main sources of tourism for Cuba (and The Dominican Republic) is Canada. Ten years ago 22,000 Canadian tourists visited Cuba, and now 700,000 go there. But only 60,000 come here to Ecuador.”