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Ecuador

Ecuador president compares US to Nazi Germany

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said that American exceptionalism is reminiscent of Nazism “before and during World War II.”

“Does not this remind you of the Nazis’ rhetoric before and during World War II? They considered themselves the chosen race, the superior race, etc. Such words and ideas pose extreme danger,” Correa told RT Spanish.

Correa referred to President Barack Obama’s statement that “America is exceptional” because it stands up for the world’s interests not just its own. However, Correa said that the U.S. has and will continue to violate international law.

“What Plato wrote in his [Socratic] dialogues more than 2,000 years ago is true. Justice is nothing other than the advantage of the stronger. They are strong, that’s why they will continue lying, violating other states’ sovereignty, and breaching international law. But one day this unjust world will have to change,” Correa said, adding that the United Nation’s headquarters should eventually be moved from New York City.

“The headquarters of the organization is in the U.S. and they finance their activities,” Correa said. “This is outrageous and an example of a relationship the US established with developing countries in the form of subordination.”

Correa has been criticized by international groups for cruelly silencing journalists and critics of his administration. The South American leader also supported former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and has been actively strengthening his relationship with Iran and Syria.

RT also asked Correa about the country’s pending $19 billion case against the oil giant Chevron. Ecuador and a coalition of trial lawyers have been battling Chevron for decades for alleged damages by Texaco, now a Chevron subsidiary, while they were drilling in the country during.

“Chevron has caused irreparable damage to the Ecuadorian jungle,” Correa said. “Texaco did nothing to clear the area. … At the time, there were cleaner technologies available, but they wanted to save a few bucks, and they destroyed the environment and did not even bother to pay for the damages.”

However, the case has been plagued with allegations of corruption, and key witnesses and case experts have switched sides and admitted to manipulating data to favor a judgment against Chevron.

In April, Stratus Consulting and the company’s managing scientist Ann Maest admitted to providing false statements in the $19 billion lawsuit against Chevron. Maest and Stratus claimed that they had been misled by a plaintiffs’ lawyer and disavowed an environmental impact report as “tainted.”

“I now believe that the damages assessment in the Cabrera Report and Cabrera Response is tainted. Therefore, I disavow any and all findings and conclusions in all of my reports and testimony on the Ecuador Project,” said Ann Maest, managing scientist for Stratus, in a court declaration.

Stratus was hired by trial lawyer Steven Donziger, who is representing Ecuadorian villagers against Chevron. The environmental impact report was ordered to be written by an independent expert, but was instead written by Stratus.

The company said that Donziger ordered that portions of the report detailing the environmental damages be drafted in the first person to appear as if it were written by the court-appointed independent expert.

“Donziger stressed to me and Ann Maest the importance of Stratus ensuring that no one learn of Stratus’ involvement in any aspect of the Cabrera Report or Responses,” said the consulting firm’s executive vice president.

Chevron has filed a countersuit against Donziger and his fellow plaintiffs, accusing them of fraud and racketeering. That case will be heard in the coming weeks.

Last December, Ecuadorian author and engineer Fernando Reyes switched sides in the case against Chevron, handing over a sworn statement to Chevron that accused the lawyers suing the company of trying to manipulate and control the outcome of supposedly “independent” court reports on oil field contamination in Ecuador.

Reyes was asked by Donziger to review environmental tests by court-appointed experts, but was instructed not to tell the court that he was being paid by the plaintiffs. Reyes said in his sworn statement that three of the lawyers “acknowledged that the judicial inspection process had not yielded data to support their claims of contamination.”

“During our discussions, Mr. Dozinger (sic) told us that our report should establish that the findings of the settling experts’ report … were wrong, that they lacked objectivity and were biased toward Chevron, and therefore the report should be discounted,” said Reyes. “However, in my professional opinion the evidence did not support Mr. Donziger’s position and I could not twist my professional assessments to make them fit the plaintiffs’ interests.”

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