Commander of the U.S. Southern Command Visits Ecuador

Commander of the U.S. Southern Command Visits Ecuador

By Dialogo
February 16, 2011

The commander of the U.S. Southern Command, Gen. Douglas Fraser, the top officer responsible for his country’s military affairs in Latin America and the Caribbean, visited Ecuador, where he met with Defense Minister Javier Ponce and other Ecuadorean military authorities.

The visit, the first by the American officer to Ecuador, had the objective of “strengthening the military relationship between the two countries,” as Marta Costanzo Youth, a press attaché at the U.S. embassy in Quito, explained.

Sources at the Ecuadorean Defense Ministry explained that Ponce met with Fraser and with the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador, Heather Hodges, in a session “at which issues relating to cooperation were discussed and that served to consolidate the ties of friendship between the two nations.”

Fraser, who is a pilot and who previously commanded his country’s forces in Alaska, has led U.S. military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean since June 2009. Following the meeting, the general toured the Temple of the Fatherland Museum, located on Liberty Peak (Cima de la Libertad) overlooking the city of Quito, where he received an explanation of the Battle of Pichincha, which sealed Ecuador’s independence in 1822.