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QUITO, Ecuador (Reuters) - Brazil granted asylum to Ecuador's ousted president Lucio Gutierrez on Thursday as his successor named a new Cabinet in an attempt to restore political stability after a week of violent protests.
Gutierrez, the third president of the Andean nation toppled amid popular unrest in eight years, was still holed up in Brazil's embassy residence in Quito, where he fled on Wednesday after angry crowds stopped him from leaving the country.
Still, U.S. officials were cautious when asked about recognizing the new government, but said they were working with Quito authorities to help ensure a constitutional solution.
"There needs now to be a constitutional process to get to elections, if that is what is in the future," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Fox News.
Ecuador is South America's fifth-largest oil producer and the region's No. 2 exporter of crude to the United States behind Venezuela, but state oil firm Petroecuador said production and shipments were unaffected by the turmoil.
The "Republic of the Equator" was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Colombia and Venezuela). Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 25 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period has been marred by political instability. Nine presidents have governed Ecuador since 1996.
Gutierrez had said earlier he would not resign and insisted the protests were financed by business tycoons.
Originally posted by marg6043
Muaddib do you think that is all about the control of the oil in that country? taking in consideration that as now we have been worry so much about oil resources been depleted.
I feel that in countries like south America is going to be struggle more than ever for control of the oil.
Several exceptional factors affect oil production in Ecuador. First, many private companies have clashed with the government over contract and tax issues, especially dealing with rebates of the value-added tax (VAT) paid by oil exporters. Both Occidental Petroleum and EnCana have taken legal action against the Ecuadorian government over VAT rebates.