by Paul & Phillip D. Collins ©, May 23, 2007

The Great South American Defection

In April 2007, World Bank representative Eduardo Somensatto was instructed to leave Ecuador immediately (Behar, no pagination). Fox News characterized Ecuador’s actions as a “rejection slip” to the World Bank (no pagination). Evidently, a source within the bank’s headquarters agreed. According to the source, Somensatto’s expulsion prompted the bank to enter into a “crisis mode” (no pagination). Moreover, the source claimed that a “communications strategy for informing the staff” was being hastily developed before any substantial media leaks could occur (no pagination). As abrupt as this expulsion might have seemed, the World Bank source candidly observed that Ecuador “long disliked the bank” (no pagination). In addition, public statements by Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa candidly foreshadowed the removal of Somensatto and the World Bank. Fox News reporter Richard Behar elaborates:

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa had announced on April 21 during his weekly radio program that he planned to expel Somensatto, but it was unclear if he would follow through on the threat.

According to Correa, the World Bank held up a $100 million credit in 2005, when he was economic minister, following concerns the bank had about a new law governing oil funds.

“They punished a sovereign country for modifying a national law,” Correa charged at the time, adding that his government “won’t put up with blackmail from this international bureaucracy.”

“[W]e are nobody’s colony,” he said at the time. (No pagination)