[Marxism] White smoke in Ecuador talks

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at bellsouth.net
Thu Aug 25 20:57:03 MDT 2005

	Reuters and CNN's Spanish language network are reporting from
Quito that an agreement  has been reached between the representatives of
Ecuador's central government and imperialist oil companies.

	The text of the pact, which apparently will be formally signed
later tonight or tomorrow, is not available but it is said to include
about 2/3rds of the taxes paid by oil companies going to develop the
Amazon oil producing provinces, and a commitment by the oil companies to
build 260 kilometers of roads. 

	The agreement was announced by Ramiro Gonzalez, governor of
Pichincha province, who served as mediator of the talks.

	Earlier today the talk apparently had broken down over
imperialist oil company demands that the government not grant amnesty to
those involved in last week's protests. Earlier it had been reported
that it had been the government that had balked at this demand; however
today's events made clear that it was the imperialist oil companies who
were behind the objection.

	"We cannot sponsor anarchy," said Rene Ortiz, president of the
Ecuadorean Hydrocarbons Association, the local organization of the
imperialist oil cartel. 

	This led the mediator in the talks to denounce the companies as
arrogant and antidemocratic. Reporters at the scene said privately that
the mediator was livid at oil company intransigence.

	In what leaders of the protest movement described as an
important positive gesture, the Ecuadorean legislature this morning
lifted the state of emergency that had been decreed by the President
eight days ago in the two provinces involved in the movement. 

	According to Gonzalez, the amnesty issue isn't addressed in the
final accord. Asked whether the government had made a side promise to
the movement leaders, Gonzalez refused to comment.

	Meanwhile, it appears that Venezuela's offer to provide an
emergency loan of petroleum to Ecuador will go through, but in somewhat
different form than originally envisioned. 

	Venezuela will provide Ecuador with distilled petroleum products
to make up for the recent lack of production for the domestic market and
to help Ecuador divert crude to meet its export commitments. Because of
differences in the type of crude the two countries produce, however,
Ecuador won't pay back the loan with the corresponding amount of
petroleum but will instead market that petroleum and give Venezuela the


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