Ecuador: Collapse of Right Wing! Moreno flies to US seeking Polls delay or Coup.

Adding to worries that a Bolivia-style coup might be imminent in Ecuador, Lenín Moreno will spend his final days in office in Washington, DC, where he’s been meeting with members of the Biden administration.

by Alan Macleod Feb 01st, at MintPress News shared with thanks


Ecuador. Convulsión social obliga a Lenin Moreno retirarse .

With Anti-IMF Candidate Surging in Polls, Ecuador’s Moreno Flies To DC Amid Talk of Suspending Election

Polls show socialist, anti-imperialist candidate Andrés Arauz to be the clear frontrunner in Ecuador’s presidential elections slated to take place this Sunday, February, 7. Some even suggest the 35-year-old might receive double the votes of his nearest competitor in the first round of voting. .

Yet it now appears that the greatest danger to Arauz is not his rival candidates, but the threat of authorities canceling the election to prevent his victory.

Ecuador Elections Feature photo

International groups are flying in to monitor the contest, scheduled for February 7, with some calling for increased involvement of regional bodies like the Organization of American States (OAS).

However, given its role in the far-right military coup in Bolivia in 2019, it is far from clear whether they would improve or hinder the process.

Formed in 1948 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the body has consistently allied itself with U.S. foreign policy directives, permanently suspending Cuba from its members in 1962. Since then, it has often been used to legitimate American intervention in the region.

Only adding to the worries that a Bolivia-style coup might be imminent in Ecuador is current president Lenín Moreno’s decision to spend his final few days in office not in his homeland, but in Washington, D.C., where he has been meeting with senior members of the new Biden administration, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and OAS chief Luis Almagro, who is currently under investigation for his part in Bolivia’s coup.

Confederación indígena de Ecuador rechazó diálogo con Moreno…

Rafael Correa, president of the country between 2007 and 2017, raised the alarm on social media, warning that the National Electoral Council of Ecuador is meeting to discuss suspending the elections because of Arauz’s imminent victory, while Moreno’s trip to Washington is an attempt to get official approval for the plan.

“The OAS and Ecuador’s neoliberal president are looking to suspend elections so as to cling on to power and stop the coming victory of the Correa left. In Bolivia, a similar plan failed after the August general strike proved that the coup regime could not withstand an uprising,” wrote MintPress’ Ollie Vargas from Bolivia.

With Likely Victory of Andrés Arauz, Ecuador Will Join Latin America’s Anti-Imperialist Surge Ecuador is on the verge of becoming the latest Latin American nation to move away from the IMF elect a progressive, anti-imperialist gov’t. MintPress News | Alan Macleod | Jan 25

Correa, still a popular figure inside the country, reduced poverty by 38% and extreme poverty by 47%, while doubling social spending, particularly in education, health, and housing. He was able to do this by defaulting on odious debt, ignoring mainstream economists’ advice to keep taxes on the wealthy low and increasing the government’s share of the country’s oil revenues from 13% to 87% — much to the chagrin of foreign energy corporations.

Correa was also part of a continent-wide move to the left, a wave of progressive, anti-imperialist presidents elected in the time frame, a movement that included Lula da Silva in Brazil, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, and Néstor Kirchner in Argentina. Under Correa’s leadership, Ecuador expelled the United States military from the country, insisting they could only return if they granted his country a base in Florida. He also offered asylum to Western dissidents like Julian Assange.

His vice-president, Lenín Moreno was elected in 2017 on a promise to carry on his legacy. Almost immediately, however, Moreno performed a 180-degree turn on policy, pulling Ecuador out of a number of regional alliances with other progressive anti-imperialist countries and renewing close ties to the U.S. It wasn’t long before poverty and inequality in Ecuador began to rise and Moreno was agreeing to substantial loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), reversing Correa’s oil policy and opening the country to foreign exploitation once more. At the same time as this was happening, the left appeared to be waning across the region. In 2016, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party was impeached, a chain of events that eventually led to Bolsonaro’s rise. Meanwhile, conservative billionaire Sebastian Piñera won Chile’s 2017 presidential election. 

Arauz has promised to reverse Moreno’s spending cuts and cease business with the IMF. “We don’t see any sense in continuing with the current programme the IMF has with the Moreno government,” he told the Financial Times.

Se agrava la crisis política y social en Ecuador

“Firstly because the quantity of resources is too small and secondly because the conditionality associated with it is absolutely counter-productive for Ecuador’s growth and development needs.” Instead, he will increase public spending to counter the negative effects of the pandemic, raise taxes on the wealthy and increase capital controls on rich individuals taking their money out of the country. If foreign capital is necessary, he has stated he will negotiate with development banks in China. 

Bodies in the Streets: IMF Imposed Measures Have Left Ecuador Unable to Cope with Coronavirus Ecuador is near collapse under the strain of coronavirus after the gov’t stripped state services nearly bare at the behest of the IMF. MintPress News | Alan Macleod | Apr 13, 2020

Ecuador was hit extremely hard by the coronavirus, in part because of Moreno’s decision (encouraged by Washington) to expel around 400 Cuban doctors on the eve of the pandemic. Some opinion polls have found the current president’s popularity to lie in the single digits.

Economic issues are the primary concern for voters in this election, with 32% identifying poverty and 25% unemployment as their key concerns. Ecuador’s poverty rate jumped from 25.7% in December 2019 to 58.2% in June 2020, with extreme poverty quadrupling over the same period.

Most polls identify Arauz’s closest challenger as Guillermo Lasso, a 65-year-old banker, and former Coca-Cola executive popular with the country’s wealthier class. An anti-communist, he was a member of the right-wing Christian group Opus Dei and came second in the 2017 presidential election, running on a neoliberal platform. .

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However, in recent weeks, Lasso has been fading, and some polls show 51-year-old indigenous leader Yaku Pérez in second. Pérez came to prominence in the nationwide protests against Moreno’s austerity measures in 2019 but has also distanced himself from Correa and socialism.

“Arauz will win unless they steal it from him,” wrote Professor Steve Ellner, managing editor of the journal Latin American Perspectives. “After all, Correa had a 60% favorable rating when he left office. Moreno is completely discredited, and Lasso has been around too long to be considered a new face for business in politics — and in addition is associated with global capital.”

However, the left has been under considerable pressure during the campaign, not least the banning of Correa from holding office. 10,000 Ecuadorians who live in Venezuela, generally considered to be a progressive group, are in the dark about whether they will be allowed to participate, despite the fact that voting is mandatory for all citizens.

The 2010s were a dark decade for the continent’s left-wing groups. However, a victory in Ecuador would underscore the dawning of a new era in the region the United States calls its “backyard.”

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.orgThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams. Republish our stories! MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

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