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  • Foreign Minister Guillaume Long addresses the media in this file photo from July 15, 2016, Quito, Ecuador.

    Foreign Minister Guillaume Long addresses the media in this file photo from July 15, 2016, Quito, Ecuador. | Photo: Andes

The U.S. Department of State included Ecuador in an “arbitrary” list of countries apparently lacking in fiscal transparency.

The Ecuadorean government struck back at criticism from the United States, saying Friday that they do not have the right nor the mandate to criticize the internal policies of foreign countries.

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"The United States has no international or multilateral mandate … to go around judging countries, to play the role of judge of the world,  no country has that right, there are international bodies for that," said Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Guillaume Long.

The latest spat between Quito and Washington comes as the result of a report by the U.S. Department of State that included Ecuador in a list of 57 countries that apparently do not meet some fiscal transparency levels established by the government of the United States.

The Foreign Ministry said these standards were “arbitrary.”

“The Ecuadorean Foreign Ministry expresses its serious concern about the creation of unilateral and biased reports that unfairly harm our country’s international image,” read an earlier statement issued by the ministry.

Long said it was “ironic” that a country that is “home to many tax havens” would think it appropriate to criticize other governments regarding their transparency.

Ecuador has recently set out to tackle tax havens, leading an international campaign to address the issue and taking measures domestically to rein in their use.

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President Rafael Correa is seeking a mandate from the Ecuadorean people that would prevent politicians and public servants who store their money in offshore tax havens from holding public office.

Meanwhile, Long was recently at the Vatican to propose measures to eliminate tax havens throughout the world.

Long suggested that it was perhaps this campaign that was motivating efforts to disparage Ecuador.

“It is no coincidence that, now that we are in a global crusade for ethical pact, some badly intentioned countries want to take away our credibility,” said Long.

During the Correa administration, the country has taken a number of steps to increase transparency, including the passage of Organic Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information and the Organic Law on Citizen Participation and Social Control, which set out strict standards for public fiscal transparency.

Quito and Washington have had tense relations since the arrival of President Correa to power due to his anti-imperialist policies.

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