...Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa said the Ecuadorean military base in Miami is vital for counter-narcotics surveillance operations on east coast drug-running routes.
In spite of Ecuador's new base in Miami, Correa has refused to renew Washington's lease on the Manta air base in Ecuador, set to expire in 2009.
Correa, a popular leftist economist and President of Ecuador, had promised to cut off his arm before extending the lease on the Manta air base in Ecuador that ends in 2009 and has called U.S. President George W. Bush a "dimwit".
But Correa, an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, told Reuters he believed relations with the United States were "excellent" despite the base closing.
There is a possibility that an additional auxiliary base will be placed in the vicinity of Naples, FL and will be used to monitor well known ex-CIA drug smuggling operations.
Florida's Governor expressed excitment about opportunities that will open up for real estate development and for young female entrepreneurs in the area.