Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa says he loves the United States. He says he has a problem, though, with what he calls Washington's "clumsy" foreign policy toward Latin American governments it considers hostile.

Correa acknowledged in comments to international reporters Wednesday that there is considerable distrust between his leftist government and that of the United States, where he earned two degrees.

Correa's government recently announced it was asking the U.S. Agency for International Development to leave, accusing it of backing the opposition.

His government renounced eligibility for U.S. trade preferences last year when Washington was trying to pressure it into rejecting asylum for Edward Snowden, the U.S. leaker living in exile in Russia.

Correa is popular at home for his poverty-fighting programs but widely criticized for stifling civil liberties.