Ecuador Shuns IMF as ‘Arm of Imperialism’
28 Apr 09 | WaPo
Economic crisis forces many countries to turn to once-shunned organization.
Few guests have felt so unwanted in Ecuador as the International Monetary Fund.
The country’s president regularly vilifies the Washington-based multilateral organization as an arm of imperialism, and the fund’s representative here left after being declared persona non grata.
But with Ecuador hit hard by the worldwide economic crisis, the government has quietly resumed talks with IMF officials, mirroring a trend in Latin America as one country after another overlooks the fund’s sometimes ignominious reputation in the region to seek its assistance.
Ecuador still publicly shuns the IMF as President Rafael Correa’s government openly seeks help from China and small multilateral lenders. But for the loans Ecuador needs — economists say as much as $2 billion to alleviate a crushing $3.5 billion trade deficit — the Correa administration may be forced to go to the IMF, which has the ability to make large loans fast. Economic Policy Minister Diego Borja has met with fund representatives in Washington and held videoconference calls with its officials, according to economists in the capital of Quito who are familiar with the country’s efforts to deal with the crisis. >>>