Ecuador government flees angry anti-IMF protests

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Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, and the rest of the government has fled the capital of Quito to the coastal city of Guayaquil.

The president said that allies of his predecessor Rafael Correa had infiltrated protests against increases in fuel prices in a bid to topple his government.

“They are the ones behind this coup attempt,” Moreno said, without providing evidence. “The looting, vandalism and the violence show that here there is an organized political intention to destabilize the government and break the democratic order.”

Correa, who is currently living in exile, said that the accusations are laughable.
Also laughable are accusations against Venezuela.

In a tweet, Juan Guiadó, Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim leader, accused a “group financed by [Nicolás] Maduro’s accomplices” of fuelling unrest, echoing conspiracy accusations against Guiadó’s socialist rival for the Venezuelan presidency made by Moreno.

The reasons for the angry protests are extremely simple - the people are rebelling against the IMF takeover of their government that Moreno agreed to without any popular input.

The IMF agreement requires the government to make sweeping cuts the federal budget – equivalent to about 6 percent of GDP over the next three years, and that's just the start.

The resulting IMF loan agreement not only structurally undermines labour protections for the most vulnerable workers in Ecuador (see Observer Spring 2017), but also side-lines our democratic and participatory institutions constitutionally mandated to deal with these crises.

Cuts in public spending were also announced, with mass public-sector lay-offs planned. Did they really think the people of Ecuador would take this lying down?
As a stooge of the IMF, Moreno has responded with an iron-fist.

Faced with a backlash to these elite-friendly measures, Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno decreed a state of emergency that suspends the constitution for 60 days, removes the right to free assembly, allows for the censoring of the media and employs the armed forces to maintain order.
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Then, neoliberal assaults on living standards created such political volatility that seven presidents came and went in just 10 years. A number were forced from office by powerful street protests.

Stability only returned to Ecuador when socialist Rafael Correa became president in 2007. His progressive alternative not only ended the economic crisis and achieved incredible reductions in poverty and inequality but secured 14 consecutive election victories.

That success was achieved by ripping up the IMF rule book. A regular theme in Correa’s speeches was that “people must prevail over capital and society must prevail over the market.”

This was Ecuador just two years ago.

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First Moreno invented a bunch of bogus charges against Correa.
Then came the IMF loan.
This was followed almost immediately by betraying Assange.
Then came the drastic austerity.
Now the people are saying that they've had enough.

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The results for the decade of left government in Ecuador (2007-16) include a 38 percent reduction in poverty and a 47 percent reduction in extreme poverty. Social spending as a percentage of GDP doubled, including large increases in spending on education and healthcare. Educational enrollment increased sharply for ages 17 and under, and spending on higher education as a percent of GDP became the highest in Latin America. Average annual growth of income per capita was much higher than in the prior 26 years (1.5 versus 0.6 percent), and inequality was considerably reduced.

Public investment as a percent of GDP more than doubled, and the results were widely appreciated in new roads, hospitals, schools, and access to electricity.

Edit:
BTW, doesn't the police car/tank in the picture look exactly like it came out of a Mad Max movie?

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gjohnsit

Well, we can't have that.

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

edg's picture

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno decreed a state of emergency that suspends the constitution for 60 days, removes the right to free assembly, allows for the censoring of the media and employs the armed forces to maintain order.

Can you imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth that would ensue if the bolded part was replaced by United States President Donald Trump or Russia's President Vladimir Putin?

Heads would explode.

But since it's Ecuador and because Moreno sold out Assange, we'll probably send US Special Forces with pallets of money to help him crush the "terrorists".

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the transportation strike that started shortly before I began my trip to the US. I was delayed a day in Quito partially due to the strike. Delta partly blamed their inability to obtain a replacement passenger oxygen for one depleted on the inbound flight on the strike anyway. I heard that much of Cuenca traffic had been shutdown too but heard no other news.

There is a strong revolutionary spirit and tradition in the people of Ecuador. They won’t quietly suffer like we do in the US. Still I didn’t know if much would happen. This was quietly organized. The raise of gas prices received scattered protests from taxi and bus drivers but didn’t seem to indicate a stronger response when the IMF demanded actions would be announced. I’m proud of the people for their pushback on the attempt to steal public resources and property on the backs of poor and middle class people for fun and profit of the rich. I’m sorry I won’t get home until the 29th.

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@vtcc73 last month, and again today.
Hope you are ok, and that you can lend support, live with the inconveniences, and be there when democracy, fairness, and progress return to the people.

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@on the cusp I had to make a trip for docs needed for our permanent residency visas and to see my sister who caught a nasty diagnosis about three months ago. Timing sucked but there’s nothing I can do about that. My wife and son have help if needed from friends and neighbors. One friend went through the nastiness of the late ‘90s in Ecuador. We’ll take life a day at a time.

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@on the cusp @on the cusp that you were in Ecuador last month and today. It registered at the time but by the time I wrote a reply the thought had flown the coop. Where were you? Any particular reason for the visit?

This trip has been too long already. The day late arrival further compressed a tight timeline for gathering docs and having them Apostilled plus a 600 mile drive each way visit my sister. I could use a little down time. I should get it if the state SOS office does the Apostilles tomorrow without a lot of drama. It doesn’t help that I really, really didn’t want to leave home. I guess it says a lot that I’d rather be there with the unrest instead of in the US with the idiocy.

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@vtcc73 to Quito, La Punta Resort alongside the Napo River, Papallacta, then off to Peru.
Nevertheless, as touristy as it appears, we got to spend time with indigenous people all along the way, a very good immersion into local culture and history.
I honestly think the intense planning to show tourists all that in 4 days was a better culture immersion than the trip I made years ago that lasted 8 or 9 days. On that first trip, we were doing lots of free time and shopping. The short trip was intensely educational, and if tourists were interested, they could come back, shop later. That is why I prefer these short trips. You like it? Then go back, see what ever it is you think you missed. At least you know what to expect.
I know at least 8 people on the tour were considering expat to Cuenca, and their reason for just looking around the country generally, was to make a commitment.
The sole reason I returned was that chance to be with travel pals that I only see when we travel somewhere in the world. I am so glad they double-dog dared me to go a second time.
Hope you get your docs, and do that family thing, and that it will be a long time before you again drive and drive and drive...
Wonderful to hear from you!

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@on the cusp We did 15 days on our exploratory trip. Quito-Otavalo-Cotacachi in 4 days then Cuenca-Loja-Vilcabamna for the rest. We were pretty sure we wanted to focus on Cuenca which turned out to be spot on. 21 months in neither of us want to live anywhere else. What we’ve learned in that time is that the people of Cuenca are the best reason to live there. Everything else is pretty amazing but people were the reason we chose to move and are the best reason to stay. It’s really hard seeing what is happening to them with this IMF and Moreno BS.

PM me if any of your people have questions or want to talk to expats about living in Cuenca. I can trade contact info that way.

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@vtcc73 I am glad you and Cuenca are such a good fit.
Safe travels.

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wendy davis's picture

remember as well, moreno sold julian assange not just for the IMF loan, but for a memo of understanding with nato/amerikkka. this is bruce cockburn's brilliant ode to the money lenders:

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

stay strong against moreno!

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There’s nothing much happening on the edge of Cuenca where we live. The supermarkets though are mostly picked clean. She didn’t go to any of the mercados so I don’t know if they have much or not. The things sold there don’t rely on commercial transport but are essentially farmer’s markets.

The encouraging things are that friends and neighbors are helping each other. Expat or local doesn’t make any difference for now at least. This is the people that I’m used to.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem