Rafael Correa wants your money. Carlos Eire reports:
He demanded the “hegemonic” industrialized nations pay Ecuador and all other nations with rain forests for the oxygen produced by the trees in those forests. I let out a chuckle. Much to my surprise no one else laughed.
He also demanded that Ecuador be paid for all of the petroleum that he refuses to extract from its soil in order to keep the rain forest pristine. Not drilling for oil costs Ecuador billions of dollars, he complained. Some clapped enthusiastically.
And he demanded that the “hegemonic” industrialized nations pay fines to the non-industrialized nations as recompense for the air pollution caused by their industries and vehicles. More applause.
Even more applause greeted his proposal to abolish intellectual property and patents. No one should charge for what they invent, and perhaps not even for what they manufacture, he argued.
He called these proposals “a new distribution of labor” and railed against the present “world order” as unjust and “immoral.”
Maybe I ought to demand that Ecuador pay me for the oxygen produced by the trees in my yard, and for not fracking on my property, for the sakes of “a new distribution of labor” or something.
The Five questions for President Correa that Dr. Eire was not allowed to ask.
4. Mr. President, it is common knowledge that Ecuador wants to return to international financial markets to borrow money again following its 2008 default. Yet you yourself have publicly attacked bond holders, calling them “true monsters.” Outside institutions tend to think that the rule of law and protection for investors is weak in Ecuador. So what is the case you make for investing in Ecuador today?
You can watch the whole lecture here (the YouTube starts right away) below the fold:
As for Correa’s statement that Assange may face the death penalty in the US, Correa ought to update his information: The Justice Department has all but concluded it will not bring charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for publishing classified documents.
As a side note,
Correa touts the increase in college (higher) education. When I audited an economics of Latin America class at Princeton University taught by one of Lula’s former advisors, the professor’s point was, that, what matters most for the improvement of a developing country’s society, is to improve elementary school teaching. Make of that what you may.