The Union of South American Nations, UNASUR is holding an emergency summit in Buenos Aires to discuss the situation in Ecuador and express full support for President Rafael Correa, who was virtually kidnapped for hours by protesting members of the police force until freed by Army troops.
All South American presidents with the exception of Lula da Silva from Brazil, on the closing hours of Sunday’s presidential campaign, and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo, under chemotherapy treatment, turned up for the meeting. At midnight Thursday, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez had yet to land in Buenos Aires.
Argentine president Cristina Kirchner convened the summit, precisely in the absence of Ecuador’s Rafael Correa who is the pro tempore Unasur president. The meeting is taking place behind closed doors at the Palacio San Martín.
Few minutes after the meeting begun, news of the liberation of Correa arrived and later Mrs Kirchner spoke with his peer.
“We can celebrate the fact that our peer, the president of Ecuador has been liberated and is in good health”, said the Argentine president.
One of the initiatives under consideration was for all leaders to fly Friday to Ecuador in a strong message of support for Correa. “From Unasur we are going to defend democracy in Ecuador, this is a provocation for the whole of South America”, said Bolivian president Evo Morales.
“Latinamerican democracies will not allow a repeat in Ecuador of the coup in Honduras”, pointed out Argentine Foreign Affaire minister Hector Timerman.