Quito, Apr 4 (EFE) .- Former Foreign Minister Guillaume Long believes that Ecuador should have a “very good relationship” with the United States but at the same time “exclusive bilateralism” and, above all, to bet on a regional integration project from which to better defend their national interests.

Close to the candidate of Correismo, Andrés Arauz, in the April 11 ballot, and a frequent companion of the same in his contacts with the international community, Long is convinced that Ecuador’s foreign policy must be “diametrically opposite” to that of the current president Lenín Moreno.

NO DELIVERIES

“It seems essential to me to take a very important turn towards a much (…) more diverse policy (because) with Moreno we have seen a return to exclusive bilateralism with the United States. Moreno was fully aligned with the administration of Donald Trump”Said in an interview with Efe who was Rafael Correa’s last chancellor between March 2016 and May 2017.

Arauz will go to multilateralism and integration, says former Ecuadorian foreign minister

EFE Agency

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FOLLOWING

This is how he interprets decisions like “leave Unasur despite being its headquarters, hand over Julian Assange (he was a refugee in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London), hand over an airstrip in Galapagos or end the negotiations between Colombia and ELN” on Ecuadorian soil.

Fulfilled the “cheklist without blinking” and the “great powers do not respect carpet countries”, affirms when urging a diplomacy to “defend sovereignty without falling into this kind of surrender”.

Of Franco-British origin and nationalized Ecuadorian, Long has returned to Ecuador to support Arauz, whom he knows from the time when both were ministers in the Correa governments (2007-2017).

Both academics, nevertheless defends “a very good relationship with the US” and go on Biden’s arrival “a great opportunity” for “a respectful relationship”.

WHO WAS IDEOLOGIZED?

After the distancing during the Correa years, the rapprochement with Washington has been one of the pillars of Moreno’s foreign policy, which obtained massive support for obtaining credits from the multilaterals when the Andean country needed it most.

But Long believes that “the only thing he got out of this absolute and shameful submission was more indebtedness” and that “foreign policy in the 21st century is “much more than this kind of hyper-ideologized foreign policy, of black and white, of good and bad”.

And he assures that, despite the belief that Correa’s foreign policy was “ideologized”It was then that Ecuador diversified its diplomacy with the European Union, Russia, China, and also with Peru and Colombia, where there were governments of another ideology.

A diplomacy to which he says his country will return if Arauz wins the elections, because the center-right Guillermo Lasso “is in that line of continuity”, in a “anachronistic view of the Cold War”.

“The Arauz government would be much more ecumenical in that sense”, highlights.

REGIONAL INTEGRATION

At 44 years old, and after having lived in the United States for a year since he left the Foreign Ministry in 2017, Long sees regional integration as the only way out of “this peripheral situation that Latin America plays in the international system”.

“It is the main goal. United we are much stronger”, abounds on Arauz’s statements about restoring the project of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

Because only in this way, he affirms, will Latin America be able to face problems from a position of greater strength, precisely in conditions of a pandemic where the difference between North and South is more appreciated.

Abandoned by most of its members, Unasur had its headquarters in Quito, and succumbed between 2018 and 2019 due, among others, to the discrepancies around the Venezuelan crisis and the changes of government on the continent to the right.

But it is “Obviously we will not be able to recover Unasur if it is only a left wing platform. It has to be a platform of regionalism that accommodates all expressions of the governments of the region”Long cautions.

THE SITUATION HAS CHANGED

It will also serve to better position itself against organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where there are certain changes and they begin to understand that behind the obsession with the “fiscal deficit” there are “human lives”.

“The problem with the IMF is the conditions. We will have to work closely with him and reach agreements”, insists the former minister who, however, recognizes that the debt that Moreno leaves will be “manageable” for the first four years.

In February, after the first round, Long accompanied Arauz to Washington for meetings with that body, which has granted Ecuador some 6.5 billion dollars.

“We will not return to the austerity of the 1990s that led to greater poverty and inequality”, he assures when explaining that, “consequence” of it, was also the emergence of “the wave of the left in Latin America at the dawn of the 21st century”.

And even though he perceives “a sensitive movement to the left”, sees it highly unlikely that Latin America will return to the situation of a decade ago.

“It’s another time. It is clear that you are not going to return to the same policies of ten years ago, but I do believe that we must put Latin American integration back at the center, and try to bring the right there, and return to the vision of a world multipolar. Andrés is on that wave”, he concluded.

(c) EFE Agency

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