Sunday, April 11, 2010

Obama State Department and University of Illinois fete Ecuador's Chavez

In case you still doubt that big government universities have become indoctrination centers for a statist ideology, take a look at this jaw-dropping expose from John Bambenek at Big Government:
The University of Illinois Alumni Association recently awarded it’s “International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement” to the current President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa Delgado. Since the University of Illinois is the premier university for the state of Illinois, let’s see the list of accomplishments President Correa can boast of while claiming this prestigious award:

•Transparency International listed Ecuador as one of the world’s most corrupt countries under Correa.

•He has seized numerous TV and Radio outlets in his country.

•He has jailed reporters critical of his government.

•Organzied [sic] crime has had a magnificient [sic] rise during his reign.

•He has rammed through constitutional changes to increase his power and extend his term of office.

•He was found to have FARC terrorists fund his campaigns.

•Documents found by Colombia show that he has actively worked with FARC terrorists. FARC has also been involved with kindnapping Americans.

•Ecuador has provided a safe haven for FARC terrorists to launch attacks on Columbia, an ally of the United States.

•Ecuador has ties to both Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and has increased ties to Iran.

You could see awarding an individual responsible for the above antics (and more) at, say, Berkeley, but in the midwest? Then again, this is the same university system that employs and granted tenure to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.

An interesting connection is that Loren Tayler, the President of the University of Illinois Alumni Association is the son-in-law of Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MA), the Democratic House Majority Leader.

It’s not a stretch to suggest that there is liberal bias in academia. However, to award the leader of one of the world’s most corrupt countries, one that is waging an open war on the free press in his country, who is allied with Iran and openly aiding attacks against an American ally, who is sponsoring a terrorist group that has kidnapped Americans, defies logic.

At a time when the University of Illinois is facing severe budget cutbacks, perhaps its time Illinois taxpayers consider whether or not they wish to fund a University that honors people who are involved in attacking Americans. This award is the kind of mind-boggling lunacy only possible at a big government university.
The Rafael Correa Delgado story actually gets worse....much worse.  From The Wall Street Journal:
After taking office in 2007, Mr. Correa decided that his popularity put him above Congress and the law. A solid majority of Ecuadorians wanted a new constitution. But he decreed that the constituent assembly, which would write the new document, should also have broad powers, including the power to dissolve Congress. That set off a constitutional crisis that was resolved in Mr. Correa's favor when he used the power of the state and his supporters used mob violence. Had the Ecuadorian military responded with the courage and patriotism displayed by its Honduran counterpart, the nation might still have a fighting chance for democracy.

Now that Mr. Correa has consolidated his power, he is employing state intimidation to destroy his opponents. The press is under constant threat, critics are being driven into exile, the economy is in shambles, and it has come out that Colombia's FARC rebels consider Mr. Correa's government an ally. Iran is a good friend.

Consider how things got to this point. When the Ecuadorian Congress told Mr. Correa it would not grant the constituent assembly the powers he wanted it to have, the electoral court, which he controls, fired the opposition congressmen. They were replaced with more compliant members.

The constitutional court then stepped in to say that the fired congressmen had to be reinstated. In response, according to Gabriela Calderón de Burgos, a columnist for the Guayaquil daily El Universo, "Mr. Correa went on radio and TV to say that despite the court's decision, the fired congressmen would not come back."
Oh, did I mention that President Obama sent the State Department's Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo A. Valenzuela to Ecuador last week to meet with President Correa?  You can learn all about his visit on his Twitter account here.  It will help if you can read Spanish.

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