Ecuador’s anti-American government has seized on its most popular export to the United States to warn President Obama not to retaliate if the Latin American nation grants asylum to secrets leaker Edward Snowden: roses.
The administration of Rafael Correa has considered providing a safe haven for Snowden, and the administration and Republican critics on Capitol Hill are considering ways to strike back, including killing a trade deal between the nations. Just Monday, Correa again did not rule out helping Snowden. In an interview with Al Jazeera, he said if Snowden got to an Ecuadoran facility, asylum would be considered.
Facing threats from the U.S., though, Ecuador thinks it has a trump card: rose exports. About 30 percent of roses sold in the United States come from Ecuador and the country’s ambassador to the U.S., Nathalie Cely Suarez is suggesting they might be cut off if the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act is killed or allowed to expire this summer.
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