2019-07-30 Meeting with Ecuador CG
(l to r) Jack Fine; The Honorable Ivonne Guzman, Consul General of Ecuador; Holly Huffnagle, AJC LA Assistant Director of International Relations; Priscilla Halper

AJC Los Angeles met with Consul General of Ecuador Ivonne Guzman to discuss AJC’s priorities and learn more about her work in Los Angeles and the six U.S. states under her jurisdiction, as well as the priorities of her government in Ecuador.

Consul General Guzman is a political appointee of President Moreno. She is a (print media) journalist specializing in arts and culture and describes herself as someone “devoted to the people.”

She noted that the Jewish community in Ecuador is a very accomplished one, although it is not politically involved. She said, “to my knowledge, there isn’t antisemtisim in Ecuador,” and the Jewish community is seen in a positive light—as “people of business,” “very successful,” “very quiet,” and who “give work to people.”

Consul General Guzman explained that the economic situation in Ecuador is very difficult because of past government corruption. The current government is fighting to keep political stability because the current state of affairs “is very fragile.” Because of the urgent need to strengthen Ecuador’s economy and find new partners and investments, the new president is “trying to get along with everybody.” This is, in some ways, “a new direction for Ecuadorian international affairs.” She noted that even Ecuador’s relationship with Israel is changing. Following Julian Assange’s recent disputes with the Ecuadorian government and his subsequent arrest in London, the Ecuadorian government faced extreme cyber attacks from Assange’s followers and the Israeli government has been helping them thwart the attacks. She “sees the relationship [between Ecuador and Israel] growing in the years ahead.”

And while the former President Carrea’s government was close with Iran, Ecuador “is not as close anymore.” (On a related note, she was not aware of the Iranian military attaché in Ecuador, nor was she aware of any Hezbollah related activities.) Right now, Ecuador’s main priority is “trying really hard to be friends with the U.S.”

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