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Ecuador's president says he loves US, distrusts its government

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    Ecuador's President Rafael Correa gestures at the end of a meeting with the foreign press at the government palace in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Correa, who was elected in January 2007, said the U.S. government and his are going through a tense relationship, clarifying that he personally likes the U.S. where he earned two university degrees. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)The Associated Press

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    Ecuador's President Rafael Correa speaks to members of the foreign press at the government palace in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Correa, who was first elected in January 2007, said the relationship between his government and the U.S. government are tense and there is mutual distrust, clarifying that he is not anti-American and personally likes the U.S. where he earned two university degrees. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)The Associated Press

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    Ecuador's President Rafael Correa gestures as he meets with the foreign press at the government palace in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. Correa, who was first elected in January 2007, said the U.S. government and his are going through tension and mutual distrust, clarifying that he personally likes the U.S. where he earned two university degrees. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)The Associated Press

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.