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Aug 24 2012

Machiavellian or Not: UK Issuing a Travel Advisory for Ecuador

U.K. issuing a travel advisory for Ecuador

Travel advisory text directly from FCO website

“In view of recent demonstrations (August) outside the British Embassy Quito, and the British Honorary Consulate, Guayaquil related to the Assange case, British Nationals should exercise caution, avoid gatherings and carry ID at all times. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent.  Large crowds should be avoided. Foreigners participating in political demonstrations or protests of any kind may be subject to arrest and deportation under Ecuadorian law.”

I live in Quito and am a British citizen.  I do not feel in the slightest bit threatened or in danger (and  am a cautious person when it comes to safety) here in Quito or Ecuador as a result of current events surrounding the Ecuador-U.K. stand off over Julian Assange.  This current stand off, by the way, is not between Ecuadorians and British citizens – but between the Foreign Relations departments of Ecuador and the U.K. It would be like saying that because U.K. requires Ecuadorians to have a visa to enter the U.K. that Ecuadorians might take it out on British citizens!?

While we’re at it, I have seen more protests turn violent in the U.K., France, Spain, Greece etc than I have here in Ecuador.  It generally amounts to small crowds waving banners, chanting, and possibly clanging pots and pans.  Violent?!

In fact, I only heard about the protests via some Twitter comments about the article recently appearing in the FCO website. I haven’t even noticed or heard about anything unusual occurring here in Quito regarding the Julian Assange situation.

In local news, apparently 25 people gathered in protest outside the British Embassy in Quito (see local news article in Spanish: http://www.elcomercio.com/politica/personas-realizan-planton-embajada-britanica_0_756524503.html).

No significant incidents have been reported.  As one Canadian friend comically commented on my Facebook posting, “Are you sure they were protesting … 25 people in Guayaquil or Quito could simply be street vendors LOL!

Is this just simple precaution on the FCO’s part or is there a Machiavellian tactic to try and hurt one of Ecuador’s major trade links with the UK … tourism?

Only a similar note, should the world issue a travel advisory for UK in regards to disabled persons for reasons like disability hate crime increase??(http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/aug/14/disability-hate-crime-increase-reported-incidents-data)

#travel   #UK   #Ecuador   #advisory

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