By John Otis
BOGOTA, Colombia — Under pressure from Ecuador’s left-wing government, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is shutting down its operations in the South American nation after 53 years.
In a telephone interview with GlobalPost, Adam Namm, the US ambassador to Ecuador, called the decision “very disappointing.”
But it was no surprise. The government in Quito had refused to allow Washington’s aid agency to renew its programs or start any new activity in the country.
President Rafael Correa is a fierce US critic who has already pulled the plug on US counter-narcotics operations at a Pacific coast base and expelled Namm’s predecessor as well as 14 US military advisers, whom he claimed were infiltrating Ecuador’s security forces.