The fallout from the acrimonious political dispute between President Lenín Moreno and his predecessor Rafael Correa (2007-2017) is no longer confined to Ecuador. After Ecuador’s top court ordered the arrest of Correa to face trial for masterminding the 2012 kidnapping of a political opponent, Presidents Nicolás Maduro and Evo Morales, of Venezuela and Bolivia respectively, denounced the decision as political persecution. The Moreno administration promptly issued formal notes of protest to ambassadors of both countries. Moreno then declared the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), the integration movement championed by Maduro, Morales, and Correa, to be an abject failure and that it would be evicted from its swanky headquarters outside Quito. Watching from the wings, the US government, whose vice president Mike Pence had just visited Ecuador, will be thrilled at the prospect of counting the country as an ally against Maduro.

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