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Ecuador Mural Insults U.S.

Oklahoman Published: June 13, 1989

RECIPIENTS of U.S. foreign aid too often treat Uncle Sam as if he had a "kick me" sign pinned to his back.

A current example is Ecuador. This South American country has been the beneficiary of more than $800 million in American aid. The United States has welcomed 76,000 of its immigrants and is its largest trading partner.

Yet the Ecuadorian Parliament insults us every day by displaying in its building in Quito a massive anti-American mural painted by a communist artist who is a close friend of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

The mural depicts the United States as a skull in a Nazi helmet with the letters "CIA" on it. It also shows a mailed fist that the artist called "the brutal hand of the American government."

Rep. James Inhofe, R-Tulsa, with some difficulty obtained a photograph of the offensive art while attending a recent drug conference of the five-nation Andean Parliament. When he informed the House of the situation, Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y., said the foreign affairs committee will be aware of the insult when it takes up this year's foreign aid bill.

Last year the United States gave Ecuador $33 million and the pending request is for a 10 percent increase to $37 million.

Inhofe and Solomon plan to sponsor amendments to cut the figure, perhaps to zero. That ought to get the attention of the ingrates in Ecuador and send a signal of displeasure to other countries that tend to bite the hand that feeds them. BIOG: NAME:

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