Ahead of the Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s arrival in New Jersey to speak at Union City High School, Union City’s Mayor Brian Stack has asked him not to come.
A press release from, Mayor Stack’s spokesman said, “Last week my office was notified that President Rafael Correa would be visiting Union City High School to attend an arts and culture show on Friday, Sep. 23. As always I was supportive of any organization wishing to utilize a public facility. However, many local organizations contacted my office to express their strong opposition to President Correa’s visit, as a result of his association with other heads of state whose ideologies promote violence and oppression. Specifically, it is evident that President Correa has associated with Fidel and Raul Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chaves of Venezuela. Pictures of their meeting are easily accessible in publications on the internet. Local residents are justifiably alarmed at this association, as many local residents have fled both Cuba and Venezuela to escape the oppressive conditions that were posited by Castro and Chavez… While I’m fully supportive of free speech, I cannot welcome any sentiment that runs counter to the ideals of freedom and liberty that are both taught and celebrated at the very institution that was suggested as the host site.”
President Correa was scheduled to arrive at the school, which is in an area of New Jersey with a large Ecuadorian population, to visit and possibly speak at a cultural event while he’s in the New York/New Jersey area for the UN General Assembly.