The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The “Ecuadorian Chávez” - Will Correa mobilise the masses to defeat the fraud?

By: Cesar Zelada


This Sunday October 15, the Ecuadorian elections are being celebrated and surveys are favouring the leftist Rafael Correa with 37% of the votes, while the social-democrat Roldós and the right-wing multi-millionaire Noboa have 19% and 18% respectively (according to Cedatos surveys). This ex-Minister of Economy began to monopolize world attention by his declarations of support for Hugo Chavez and his support for a Socialism of the 21st Century, producing hysteria within the forces of the Right and Imperialism.

The international press is discussing ways to prevent a victory for the Ecuadorian Chávez. The IMF has begun legal intimidation of the Palacio administration over the contract renegotiations with OXY. Because of this, Correa, leader of Movimiento Alianza Pais (Country Alliance Movement - MAP), has anounced that there is a pro-Imperialist electoral fraud being organised to prevent his victory.

But why has Correa, and not Macas or Larrea (of the Bolivarian Alfarist Alternative), become the popular alternative? Probably because the indigenous movement was weakened by its involvement in a nationalist-indigenous coalition government with Gutiérrez. But also because Correa, a product of the pressure of the masses, has learnt to unite with the political sentiment of the people.

Ecuador has been undergoing a revolutionary process since 2000 when the nationalist-indigenous insurrection overthrew Mahuad and raised the question of political power. In truth, the power was in the hands of the natives and workers for 7 hours. From then until the present time, several presidents have fallen before the “forajido" ('outlaw') insurrection that finished with Gutiérrez in April of 2005. Vice-president Palacio assumed the mandate to direct the present elections. In Ecuador, political instability is the norm.

It is because of this situation of a deep systemic crisis that the outsider Correa, who is a bourgeois democrat, has radicalized his speech, declaring that he will not sign the Free Trade Agreement with the USA, that he will expel the Yankee base from Manta, place a moratorium of the external debt, etc. In addition, he is running for the presidency without running candidates for Parliament (this institution is rejected by 97% of population), because he argues that his government his will convoke a plenipotentiary Constituent Assembly; that is to say - he will dissolve the Parliament.

In a recent speech, echoing Chávez’ speech in the UN, he said that to call Bush the Devil is an insult to the Devil because the Devil is intelligent. Furthermore, it is necessary to consider that Ecuadorian support for Chávez is strong. This is due to contracts signed with Palacio to refine petroleum. “If Ecuador exported 500,000 barrels of processed oil this would mean 10.5 million dollars per day, that is 3,700 million per year, almost 50 percent of the budget of Ecuador.” stated Chavez in when he was in Quito in June of this year.

On the other hand, Rafael Correa also said that the FARC are a group of guerrillas and not terrorists.

In another speech in the town Latacunga he declared, “the elites have robbed us of everything for a long time, now it is time for us to recover everything, we are going to recover our petroleum, our country, our future."

This is why the hairs of the Ecuadorian oligarchy and Imperialism are standing on end. They understand that a government of Correa would be, like that of Evo Morales, very susceptible to popular pressure, creating better conditions for political organisation, mobilisation and education. This will stimulate the workers to conduct revolutionary activities, paving the way for social revolution. For that reason they have indicated the need to prevent his electoral victory by organising a fraud like they did against Humala in Peru or Lopez Obrador in Mexico.

In fact, the events in the land of Emiliano Zapata and all of Latin America also exert a leftwards pressure on the “Ecuadorian Chávez”. A victory for Correa, would imply, dialectically, a political demoralization of the right and the empire. Equally, an electoral victory for the counterevolution would empower it to consolidate its 'anti-chavista' front, and to overthrow the bolivarian and indigenous leaders.

According to the rules of electoral game, the future president of Ecuador needs to obtain 40% plus one of valid votes and to have a 10% lead over the candidate in second place. If these rules are respected, then, most probably, the “forajido” Correa will be the next chief executive in the land of Alfaro.

For now, we must wait until the 15 of October to see if the reformist candidate Rafael Correa has learned the lessons of democratic anger from Lopez Obrador in Mexico and mobilises the masses to overcome the electoral fraud and become the new president of the liberal Republic of Ecuador, or if he prefers the obscurity, conciliation and inconsequentiality of Ollanta Humala in Peru.

Translated from Argenpress.

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