Leaders from around the world have come to New York during the UN General Assembly this month and the presence of some of these figures can be controversial. Such is the case with the anticipated protests today against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the UN as well as the head of one Latin American country.
As part of his agenda in New York Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was scheduled to attend and possibly speak at a cultural event in Union City, New Jersey tomorrow evening. That led to an uproar from members of the local Latino community, especially those with ties to Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador. “As a Cuban-American I think it is not appropriate for (Correa) to come here,” said Union City Commissioner Lucio Fernandez to NJ.com after local politicos were reportedly “taken…by surprise” by such an angry reaction to a possible Correa visit.
Ultimately the pressure from the community led Union City Mayor Brian Stack to issue a simple message to Correa: don’t show up.
As seen in the above video, Stack deplored Correa’s “association with Fidel and Raul Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chaves of Venezuela” as well as Ahmadinejad. Though Stack claimed that Correa “is not a communist” the mayor also declared that he would “never support…dictators”.
It remains to be seen if the event to be held in Union City High School will go on without Correa. Meanwhile the Ecuadorian president will reportedly attend other gatherings in the New York City area.
Video Source – Hudson County TV via YouTube
Online Sources- NJ.com, La Hora, Hudson Reporter, CBS New York