Cable 192700

Hodges indicó que tenía en su poder la aceptación de Washington con
respecto al pedido de remover a Mark Sullivan, funcionario de la
Embajada de EE.UU, acusado de ser agente de la CIA y que podría estar
vinculado en un complot contra Correa.

id:

192700

date:

2/19/2009 0:39

refid:

09QUITO126

origin:

Embassy Quito

classification:

CONFIDENTIAL

destination:

09QUITO100|09QUITO103|09QUITO113|09QUITO122

header:

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB
 
DE RUEHQT #0126/01 0500039
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 190039Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0065
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 7977
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 4092
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3400
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ FEB LIMA 3043
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 4112
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC 2264
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

 
----------------- header ends ----------------
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 000126 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: TWENTY YEARS 
TAGS: PREL, PTER, SNAR, EC 
SUBJECT: MFA CONVERSATIONS WITH AMBASSADOR ON PNG DECISION 
 
REF: A. QUITO 100 
     B. QUITO 113 
     C. QUITO 122 
     D. QUITO 103 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Heather Hodges for reason 1.4 (D) 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  The Ambassador, in February 18 
conversations with FM Falconi and Vice Minister Pozo, 
stressed the harm the expulsion of an Embassy officer would 
do to our relationship and her regret that she had not had an 
opportunity to try to address GOE concerns through diplomatic 
channels.  Falconi defended President Correa's decision and 
obstinately insisted the Ambassador had had adequate 
opportunity for diplomatic discussions.  He suggested that a 
relationship could be reconstructed, like Phoenix rising from 
the ashes.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (C) Foreign Ministry Vice Minister Lautaro Pozo called 
the Ambassador on February 18 at approximately noon to inform 
her that the GOE's security council, in a meeting that 
morning, had decided to declare Embassy officer Mark Sullivan 
persona non grata.  He said the GOE would soon hold a press 
conference to announce the decision.  Pozo sounded 
uncomfortable and apologetic.  The conversation abruptly 
ended when the phone line was cut off. 
 
3.  (C) Pozo called the Ambassador back to continue the 
conversation about an hour later.  He soon put Foreign 
Minister Fander Falconi on the line with the Ambassador.  The 
Ambassador expressed regret that she did not have the 
opportunity to express our views through diplomatic channels 
and to discuss how we might address GOE concerns.  She said 
she had a response from Washington to the February 13 request 
of the GOE that Mark Sullivan be removed, but had not had a 
chance to deliver it. 
 
4.  (C) Falconi insisted that the Ambassador had enjoyed that 
opportunity, claiming she had engaged in many conversations. 
When she disagreed, he pointed to her meeting with him the 
previous Sunday evening (February 8, reported in Ref A; this 
preceded any mention of Sullivan's departure) and her phone 
conversations with Under Secretary for Bilateral Affairs 
Jorge Orbe on February 13 and 16 (Ref B).  The Ambassador 
pointed out that she had primarily been in a listening mode 
during the Orbe conversations and had explained that she 
would have to take the issue of Sullivan's departure back to 
Washington, which would not be able to respond immediately 
due to the February 16 holiday.  Falconi refused to listen, 
and at one point termed diplomatic discussions as "mere 
formalities." 
 
5.  (C) The Ambassador pointed out that once again the GOE 
was using the media to communicate.  Falconi disagreed, 
noting that Pozo and he were even then talking to her and 
that she would imminently get a diplomatic note informing the 
Embassy that Sullivan was being PNGed.  (Note:  The Embassy 
protocol office received the morning of February 18 one 
diplomatic note, dated February 16, requesting the Embassy 
expel Sullivan.  It received the second diplomatic note 
PNGing Sullivan by fax soon after this conversation.  See Ref 
C for text.)  Falconi then asserted that the Embassy should 
have sent Sullivan home by now.  The Ambassador retorted that 
U/S Orbe did not present the request to her in that manner on 
February 13 and that she reiterated to him on February 16 
that it was a U.S. holiday. 
 
6.  (C) The Ambassador emphasized the damaging effect the 
GOE's action would have on the U.S.-Ecuador relationship. 
Falconi responded that the GOE security council had 
considered the harm to bilateral ties when it made the 
decision, which reflected President Correa's express wishes. 
Falconi suggested the relationship could be reconstructed, 
using the metaphor of a Phoenix rising from the ashes. 
 
7.  (C) At the end of the conversation, the Ambassador termed 
the GOE action regrettable.  Falconi snapped back that she 
should not use adjectives as it would "rub salt in the wound." 
 
8.  (C) COMMENT: President Correa is doubtless under pressure 
to resolve Ecuador's economic problems and distract attention 
from what the media is now calling the narco-political 
scandal (connecting GOE officials with the FARC and its 
narco-trafficking; see Ref D).  This pressure, combined with 
Correa's emotional immaturity and obsession with protecting 
Ecuador's sovereignty from any perceived infringements, 
likely led him to react rashly without concern for the 
consequences. 
 
HODGES 
 
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