Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ecuador expels US official for 'bribery'

Ecuador expels US official for 'bribery'

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Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has expelled a United States embassy official for interfering in the country's domestic affairs.

"I am giving this gentleman 48 hours ... to grab his suitcase and get out of the country," Correa said during his weekly radio and television program on Saturday without mentioning the official's name.

The Ecuadorian president said the US official had sought to link economic aid to allowing Washington to choose the head of Ecuador's anti-contraband police.

"We are not going to accept anyone treating us like a colony," the president was quoted as saying by AFP.

Correa, an outspoken critic of Washington who enjoys a 70% popularity rating, is running for a second four-year term as president in April elections.

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