As chaos erupted in Ecuador with soldiers taking control of the main airport, police seizing several police departments and protesting in the streets, and looting in the capital, President Rafael Correa, who is hospitalized, spoke in a phone interview broadcasted by an international TV news network.
While on air, Correa explained that he was taken to the Quito Metropolitan Hospital due to suffocation after a tear gas canister exploded right next to him.
During the conversation, the Ecuadorean Head of State was clear about the turmoil: "This is a conspiracy, and I know that it's been brewing for a long time", and added, "They are telling me that there is people trying to surround the hospital where I am. If they happen to break in, I'll have to think that they are trying to kidnap the presidential figure."
"Let me say that my love for my country and my family has no limits, and I will love them profoundly no matter what could ever happen to me."
Correa went even further and stated, "They can kill me, but they should know that there will be thousands of revolutionaries coming after me to defend the nation. We must all together defend the institutions of democracy."
Early today, the president had showed up at the National Police headquarter to speak with the protesters and seek for a solution but they refused to establish any kind of dialogue as they forced Correa to leave by throwing water and bottles at him.
Minutes after, and before leaving the National Police's facilities, Correa addressed the outside crowd from a balcony and stated, "If they want to kill the president. Here I am, kill me."
According to sources, the Ecuadorian president is also considering whether to dissolve a deadlocked Congress.