Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio issued the following statement regarding yesterday’s expulsion of Heather Hodges, the U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador, by President Rafael Correa:
“I am deeply alarmed by Ecuador’s unjustified expulsion of Ambassador Hodges, a talented diplomat who has served our country with distinction. In speaking out about the corrupt elements within President Correa’s government, his embrace of authoritarian tactics to strengthen his grip on power, Ambassador Hodges was a credible voice that clearly rattled the Ecuadorean leadership.
“In light of this action, I urge President Obama and Secretary Clinton to recalibrate U.S. policy in Ecuador and take strong measures to address President Correa’s authoritarian impulses. The U.S. should cancel visas to any Ecuadorians implicated in the corrupt and illicit activities that Ambassador Hodges shined a light on. The U.S. should also not renew tariff-free treatment for Ecuadorian exports to the U.S. when Congress renews the now-lapsed Andean Trade Preferences (ATPDEA).”