Global Politics

Ecuador wants U.S. military base to go

For nearly ten years, the U.S. has leased a corner of this military base for anti-drug operations. This officer says we're looking for a needle in a haystack and it's hours and hours of boredom and the one will fall in your lap. U.S. officials say this base at Manta has helped seize tons of drugs, mostly cocaine but Ecuador's President, a leftist and ally of Hugo Chavez, has vowed to evict the U.S. troops when their lease runs out next year because the troops violate Ecuador's sovereignty. Many Manta fisherman are also unhappy with the U.S. presence here and say they often abuse their rights in searching boats. This U.S. administrator in Manta says he hopes the people will change their mind. In fact, many locals including the Mayor say the US has made the area safer and boosted the economy and thus should stay. It looks like the lease will be ended in 2009. there have also been recent fears that the US has had a hand in Ecuador's tough relations with Colombia and other regional security concerns. And critics say the U.S. anti-drug operations have done little to stop drugs. One alternative possibility would be for the U.S. to relocate to Colombia, a staunch U.S. ally.

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