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Published: Friday 06 September, 2013

michael kors totes michael kors totes Edward Snowden is tempting risk for Ecuadoran leader

Caracas Venezuela: Ecuadors president and foreign minister on Tuesday declared that national sovereignty and universal principles of human rights would govern their decision on granting asylum to Edward Snowden, powerful hints that the former National Security Agency contractor is welcome here despite potential repercussions from Washington.

Snowdens whereabouts remained a mystery and his application for Ecuadoran asylum was formally just under consideration. Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, nonetheless, made little effort to disguise his governments position. He told reporters in Hanoi that the choice Ecuador faced in hosting Snowden was betraying the citizens of the world or betraying certain powerful elites in a specific country.

Analysts said welcoming Snowden would sharply escalate Correas policy of tweaking the United States while maintaining strong economic ties that have maintained healthy growth rates and fueled the presidents wide popularity, over 60 percent in recent polls. It would be a tempting but potentially dangerous play, they said, for a leader who appears to delight in slamming US foreign policy but depends on Washington for nearly half Ecuadors foreign trade.

Correa has given WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange refuge from Swedish sexual assault charges in Ecuadors embassy in London for a year, garnering international headlines and few consequences.

Welcoming Snowden, a man who has acknowledged leaking secret US information, may be a different matter. Analysts said it could jeopardize tarifffree access to US markets for Ecuadoran fruit, seafood and flowers. US trade, which also includes oil, accounts for half of Ecuadors exports and about 400,000 jobs in the nation of 14.6 million.

The US Andean Trade Preference Act requires imminent congressional renewal and hosting Snowden doesnt help Ecuadors efforts to extend it, said Ramiro Crespo, director of the Quitobased financial analysis firm Analytica Securities.

The United States is an important market for us, and treating a big client this way isnt appropriate from a commercial point of view.

At the same time, high oil prices, a growing mining industry and rising ties with China may give Correa a sense of protection from US repercussions. And at home, many of the Ecuadorans who reelected Correa in February with 57 percen michael kors totes t of the vote see flouting the US as a welcome expression of independence, particularly when it comes michael kors totes michael kors totes in the form of granting asylum. michael kors totes