Wednesday, May 17, 2006

out with a bang... sort of

Bus prices aside, the vast majority of proteststing in Ecuador during my stay here (and stretching back into the distant past) has consisted of "fuera Oxy" and "No TLC." (for those unaquainted with ecuadorian politics, Oxy is the American petroluem company with a highly questionable government contract to drill the largest oil reserve in ecuador. And the Tratado de Libre Comercial is the free trade agreement Ecuador has been negotiating with the US, similiar to the ones recently signed by columbia and peru.) So I did a doubletake last night after absentimindly flipping on the news. It seems that yes, in a sudden move yesterday the ecuadorian government kicked out oxy and in response the US decisively broke off trade negotiations! How anticlimactic. I keep expecting to see pigs flying or at least town criers ringing out the momentous occasion. At leat the volcano Tungarahua is starting to erupt. fortunately far enough south to not effect quito at all. To be fair there has been quite a political firestorm in the aftermath... businesses denouncing the government as anti-commercial interests, politicians screaming that Palacio didn't have a balls to break off the TLC himself and used oxy as a pretext, the US screaming that ecuador is ungarteful for foreign business and doesn't deserve a trade agreement, etc etc... so now that the people of ecuador have supposedly gotten what they wanted, we will see if things get better or if it will be a case of "be careful what you wish for..." Also what can we protest next!! With elections coming up in the fall and no tlc, things could get really intersting...

No comments:

Post a Comment