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Hugo Chavez Gains An Ecuadoran Ally PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Monday, 27 November 2006 18:07

Hugo Chavez Gains An Ecuadoran Ally

Stephen Lendman ~ Ecuador's Supreme Electoral Tribunal is still counting the votes in the November 26 presidential runoff election but the results seem clear - with one-half of them tallied so far they show: the peoples' candidate, Rafael Correa, 68% and the bible-toting billionaire banana tycoon oligarch who's also the richest man in the country, Alvaro Noboa, - 32% - results consistent with two exit polls and an unofficial citizens election watchdog group, but without the completion of the suspended vote count in the Guayas province that's a Noboa stronghold that when done should raise his percent of the total but nowhere near enough to close the current electoral gap against him.

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Hugo Chavez Gains An Ecuadoran Ally

Stephen Lendman

Ecuador's Supreme Electoral Tribunal is still counting the votes in the November 26 presidential runoff election but the results seem clear - with one-half of them tallied so far they show: the peoples' candidate, Rafael Correa, 68% and the bible-toting billionaire banana tycoon oligarch who's also the richest man in the country, Alvaro Noboa, - 32% - results consistent with two exit polls and an unofficial citizens election watchdog group, but without the completion of the suspended vote count in the Guayas province that's a Noboa stronghold that when done should raise his percent of the total but nowhere near enough to close the current electoral gap against him.

The people have spoken, and the Washington-directed
election-riggers failed for the second time this month
to arrange for their man to steal what the people of
Ecuador voted en masse to deny them - the same way it
turned out on November 7 when Nicaraguans reelected
Daniel Ortega despite strong opposition to his
candidacy from Washington.  Again the people won, and
it's a good omen for Hugo Chavez six days before
Venezuelans vote on Sunday hoping to prove what the
latest independent polls show - that he should win
reelection impressively and get to serve another six
year term as the country's president.

Ecuadorans voted for populist economist and
self-styled "humanist, leftist Christian" candidate
Rafael Correa who promised big changes in another
Latin American country ruled up to now by and for the
interests of capital and against the public welfare.
Washington's choice was Alvaro Noboa who as of last
night hadn't yet conceded but may have by now as
Correa's lead is too great for him to overcome,
barring any yet to be uncovered mass vote fraud
undiscovered so far but that can't be ruled out.

Correa will face huge challenges ahead when he takes
office on January 15 in a country of 13 million, over
70% of whom live in poverty and who supported a man
promising to help them with the kinds of social
programs Hugo Chavez instituted in Venezuela.  Correa
sounded a positive tone last night at his campaign
headquarters as the early returns showed him to be the
likely winner.  He told his supporters "It won't be
Rafael Correa who assumes power in January; it will be
the people."  He'll be Ecuador's eighth president in
the last decade including three of them driven from
office by mass street protests against their misrule.
In Mr. Correa, Ecuadorans expect something much
different, and he promised to deliver it for them.

The country's majority poor have put their faith in a
man they hope can do for them what Hugo Chavez did for
the people of Venezuela.  Ecuador is the hemisphere's
fifth largest oil producer, and Correa supporters want
him to use the country's oil wealth, as Chavez has
done, to bring them critically needed social services
they've never had before and now hope to get.

Correa said he'll deliver a "citizens' revolution" and
supports beginning it by calling for a constituent
assembly to write a new constitution, a pattern
similar to the one Hugo Chavez followed after his
election as Venezuela's president in 1998.  He called
for renegotiating the country's $16 billion foreign
debt and hasn't ruled out an Argentine-style default
to free up money for vitally needed social programs
that include 100,000 low-cost homes, doubling the $36
"poverty bonus" 1.2 million poor Ecuadorans receive
each month and raising the minimum wage.

He also expressed strong opposition to any new
"free-trade" pact with Washington on its one-way terms
and  affirmed his determination not to renew the lease
for the US military base in Manta he said he won't
allow to remain open unless the Bush administration
allows his country the right to have its own in Miami
- a clear sign of his contempt for George Bush he
called "dimwitted" in the first electoral round.

Rafael Correa faces an uphill struggle to help his
people.  He'll have strong opposition in Ecuador's
legislature as well as a hostile Bush administration
that will do all it can to subvert him.  He does have
a few things in his favor, however, he can exploit to
advantage - overwhelming support from his people, the
nation's oil wealth giving him a measure of
independence from Washington and the international
lending agencies it controls and two very supportive
and friendly neighbors in Hugo Chavez (he promises
closer ties with) and Evo Morales in Bolivia.  The
ball is now in Mr. Correa's hands, and it's his move
to show if he can run with it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  Also visit his blog
site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 November 2006 18:07
 

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