The United States’ relationship with Ecuador “is coming back to life, thanks to some extraordinary leadership on both sides,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said July 20.
His visit to Ecuador marked a renewed friendship following eight years without bilateral discussions.
The secretary commended Ecuador’s embrace of free markets, robust security and democracy. “It’s what the Trump administration hopes from all of our friends, and we see it here every day,” the secretary said.
Delighted to visit #Ecuador. Great talks with President @Lenin Moreno and Foreign Minister Valencia will lead to a stronger bilateral relationship and closer cooperation on our shared goals. pic.twitter.com/IWw8V3PrzB
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 20, 2019
Countering drugs, supporting freedom
Because of the two countries’ recent partnership in maritime aircraft patrol, authorities jointly seized more than 24 tons of drugs in the Eastern Pacific, Pompeo said. “That’s 24 tons that can’t be used to poison our peoples and finance criminal behavior.”
The U.S. and Ecuador also will begin sharing information about illicit shipping containers and strengthen cooperation on border security.
Pompeo thanked Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno for his support of Venezuelan interim President Juan Guaidó. He also thanked Ecuador for hosting more than 350,000 Venezuelans fleeing from the repression of the former Maduro regime.
“Ecuador, like many of its Latin American peers,” he said, is “standing for democracy and unalienable rights in our hemisphere.”
The U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort has visited Ecuador twice in the past nine months to provide medical care to more than 8,000 patients, Ecuadorians and Venezuelans.
“We look forward to a bright future and an enduring partnership,” the secretary said.