POLITICS
01/15/2017 06:13 pm ET

Ecuador Has ‘Hope’ For Good Relationship With Trump Despite ‘Concerns’

“A lot of people in Latin America, a lot of my colleagues, are nervous about it,” the country’s minister of foreign affairs said.

WASHINGTON ― The election of Donald Trump sent shock waves throughout the world, most notably in countries like Mexico and China that the president-elect made whipping posts during his campaign.

But scores of other countries are also closely watching the new administration, including nations like Ecuador that have a sizable number of citizens living in the United States.

“Concerns, of course we have, because we’re not deaf and we listened to the campaign and we heard a lot of things that are troublesome, particularly when those things affect our Ecuadorian citizens in the United States,” Guillaume Long, Ecuador’s minister of foreign affairs and human mobility, told The Huffington Post in an interview last Thursday.

Long emphasized, however, that Ecuador respects the results of the U.S.’s democratic elections.

“We’re gonna have the best of attitudes. After the 20th of January, we’re going to have the best predisposition to work with the new administration,” he said.

Long was visiting the United States to promote Ecuador’s plans to crack down on tax shelters and mark the start of Ecuador’s term as leader of the G-77 bloc of developing nations at the United Nations. On Friday, Long traveled to Connecticut to meet with members of the Ecuadorian-American community.

Some 1 million of the 3 million Ecuadorians living abroad live in the U.S., Long said. And between 20 and 25 percent of these Ecuadorians are undocumented immigrants, he estimated.

Ecuador not only grants its citizens living in foreign countries the right to vote in elections, it also sets aside six seats in its national assembly for these emigrants.

In addition, remittances from these Ecuadorians are a significant source of cash for the country’s economy. In 2015, Ecuadorians living abroad sent $2.4 billion back to Ecuador ― and more than $1 billion from the United States alone.

That makes Trump’s promise to ramp up deportations of undocumented immigrants both a political and economic worry for the Ecuadorian government. 

As a result, the Trump administration’s immigration policy is among the biggest of the Ecuadorian government’s “concerns.”

Long alluded to Trump’s plans to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep out immigrants.

“I think a lot of people in the world have concerns ― a lot of people in Latin America, a lot of my colleagues, are nervous about it,” he said. “We’ve been talking about less walls and more bridges.”

HuffPost

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