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Ecuadorian president refutes Washington Post accusation

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa Wednesday refuted an editorial published in Washington Post criticizing his government's position on the case of Edward Snowden, former National Security Agency agent who leaked the U.S. PRISM surveillance program.

Correa made his comments via his Twitter account in response to the June 24 editorial that referred to him as "the autocratic leader of tiny, impoverished Ecuador" and censured him for "double standard" as he may embrace the whistleblower while passing a controversial communication law at home this month.

"Washington Post accused Ecuador of double standard. Do you realize the power of the international press?" Correa asked.

"They've managed to focus attention on Snowden and on the 'evil ' countries that 'support' him, making us forget the terrible things against the American people and the whole world that he denounced," added the president.

"The world order isn't only unjust, it's immoral," Correa continued, referring to the Snowden case.

In the editorial entitled "Snowden Case highlights Ecuador's double standards", the newspaper said the Snowden case has supposedly allowed Correa to replace the deceased Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as "the hemisphere's preeminent anti-U.S. demagogue".

The article also questioned the Correa government's newly- passed media law, which came into effect on June 14 with a huge majority approval.

"For years, Mr. Correa has been known for his prosecutions of his own country's journalists and his attempts to destroy the Organization of American States' office on press freedom. But this month he outdid himself: The country's rubber-stamp legislature passed a new media law, widely known as the 'gag law', that was aptly described by the Inter-American Press Association as the most serious setback for freedom of the press and of expression in the recent history of Latin America," said the article.

In this regard, the editorial argued that "had Mr. Snowden done his leaking in Ecuador, not just he but also any journalist who received his information would be subject to immediate financial sanction, followed by prosecution."

Correa said earlier that his government will analyze the Snowden asylum request very responsibly, adding "we will make our decision with absolute sovereignty as we believe most fit."

[Source: Xinhua, Quito, 26Jun13]

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