Ecuador’s president on Thursday tweeted “Heil Hitler” in response to a critic who called him a fascist.
President Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s leader since 2007 and an ally of former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, made the comment on social media in response to a user on Twitter who said former Ecuadorean president Osvaldo Hurtado called Correa’s government fascist.
It wasn’t clear what Correa meant by the comment.
However, The Hill reported that the Ecuadorean leader “has earned a reputation for trolling foes on Twitter with insults and mockery” since taking office in 2007.
@WKybalion ¡Heil Hitler!
— Rafael Correa (@MashiRafael) April 9, 2015
The slogan he tweeted was the popular salute in Germany under Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
Correa, a left wing populist leader, has been criticized for his authoritarian leadership. According to Human Rights Watch, communication legislation passed in 2013 “undercuts press freedom” and his government’s been accused of using excessive force against peaceful protesters.
Last summer, Correa canceled a planned visit to Israel over the conflict in Gaza.
Correa was scheduled to visit Israel in late 2014, the Prensa Latina newspaper reported.
“Obviously, after these events, we have canceled the visit,” Correa said at the time, referring to Israel’s war against Hamas and other Islamist terror groups in Gaza.
In 2012, Correa compared the 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center which killed 85 people, and which was allegedly ordered by Iran and carried out by Hezbollah, to “NATO bombings of Libya” in a campaign to oust former dictator Muammar Gaddafi.