Mayor Felix Roque of West New York and Mayor Richard Turner of Weehawken were also present at the press conference.
A press released by Mark Albiez, Mayor Stack’s spokesman, said the following: “Last week my office was notified that President Rafael Correa would be visiting Union City High School to attend an arts and culture show on Friday, Sep. 23. As always I was supportive of any organization wishing to utilize a public facility. However, many local organizations contacted my office to express their strong opposition to President Correa’s visit, as a result of his association with other heads of state whose ideologies promote violence and oppression. Specifically, it is evident that President Correa has associated with Fidel and Raul Castro of Cuba and Hugo Chaves of Venezuela. Pictures of their meeting are easily accessible in publications on the internet. Local residents are justifiably alarmed at this association, as many local residents have fled both Cuba and Venezuela to escape the oppressive conditions that were posited by Castro and Chavez… While I’m fully supportive of free speech, I cannot welcome any sentiment that runs counter to the ideals of freedom and liberty that are both taught and celebrated at the very institution that was suggested as the host site.”
During the press conference Mayor Stack mentioned that he spoke with the Ambassador and Consul of Ecuador and that they understood his concerns. Mayor Stack said he didn’t expect President Correa to show up at the event.
“We’ll deal with it when it comes, should he decide to show up,” he said.