Including against his insistence in running indefinitely,
Ecuador Native Groups, Opponents Strike Against President CorreaThousands march to Quito, block roadways throughout the nationOpponents of President Rafael Correa’s policies, many of them from indigenous groups, protested against government policies on Thursday, including one that would permit the populist leader to run for office indefinitely.
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Thousands of members of the powerful native group, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, or Conaie, have marched to Quito to back a grab bag of demands, including a rollback in the government’s proposed changes to the constitution, a halt to mining concessions, and an end to negotiations for a free trade with the European Union. The native groups joined other opponents to protest government policies in Thursday’s national strike.
Indigenous groups have organized protests in the past, including this one in 2011,
S&P lowered its sovereign credit ratings on Ecuador to B from B+ on Wednesday.
No matter what, Correa, like his Venezuelan counterpart Maduro, is not going to cede power willingly.
Pope Francis arrived in Ecuador yesterday, and local media broadcasted live the three-hour ride in the popemobile from the airport to the papal nuncio’s house. La República reports that the government-owned station actually showed the moment when a crowd of several hundred people started chanting “Out, Correa, out” – demanding that pres. Rafael Correa resign – as the pope entered the nuncio’s residence.
You can hear then in the video at this link (2:30 hours into the video, which I cannot embed).
As Archbishop Trávez indicated, the trip has been framed by the Vatican as part of its mission of evangelization. Most South Americans are nominally Roman Catholic but the number who practice is much lower than it once was. “The joy of the church is to go out to seek the sheep that are lost,” Pope Francis said in a homily in Rome in December.
But this pope is very political and his politics, if we take him at his word, favor statist solutions to poverty. In terms of appearances that puts him on the same side of many policy debates as the region’s socialist tyrants.
The populist Mr. Correa smells opportunity. In the lead up to the visit, he posted billboards in Guayaquil and Quito featuring his government’s logo encircling a photo of the pontiff next to what appears to be a Francis quote that reads “one must demand the redistribution of wealth.” State television and radio delivered a similar message.
As O’Grady says (emphasis added), “The Holy Father will have the opportunity to bring moral clarity to the matter if he wishes.”
Thousands of protesters on Thursday took to the streets of Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, to protest against the policies of President Rafael Correa, especially new tax proposals.
The Guayaquil demonstrations, led by Mayor Jaime Nebot, were part of the third week of protests against Mr. Correa’s government. On Thursday mass protests also took place in Ecuador’s capital, Quito, and in other cities.
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A bill to tax inheritances up to 77.5% and a 75% tax for capital gains from real estate ignited protests which included complaints about other economic policies of the government and what critics describe as President Correa’s dictatorial attitude.
95% of businesses are family-owned, according to the WSJ report.
The theme of the protests was “enough is enough,” according to Ecuador En Vivo, which broadcast live the demonstration in Guayaquil.
Dollarization brought great benefits to the Ecuadorian people, as Steve Hanke (who 14 years ago was the chief intellectual architect of Ecuador’s switch to the dollar) points out,
Ecuadorians know that dollarization has allowed them to import a vital element of the rule of law — one that protects them from the grabbing hand of the State. That’s why recent polling results show that dollarization is embraced by 85% of the population.
Ecuador’s e-money initiative, which kicked off earlier this year after the country outlawed bitcoin, is about to see wider institutional involvement following a government directive.
The country’s banks were ordered late last month to adopt the payment system within the next year, according to a report by Pan-Am Post’s Belén Marty. The pace at which the banks are required to add support for the initiative, which is a digital representation of the US dollar – Ecuador’s official currency – depends on their size.
The nation’s central bank has given them 360 days to get on board, with a mandate inResolution 064-2015-M, released on May 25 in the official register.
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The resolution gives a sweeping and vague definition of “macroagents” for adoption: “companies, organizations, and public or private institutions; financial institutions of the popular and cooperative system; that maintain a network of establishments available for clients and are capable of acquiring mobile money, distributing it, or converting it into varieties of money.”
Additionally, the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE)’s crypto-currency transactions carry no privacy.
The dollar is taken out of the picture, and protection from “the grabbing hand of the State” is erased. Hasta la vista, baby!
From the VII Summit of the Americas circus, 2 items:
Rafael Correa managed to tear himself away from Twitter to give a speech condemning the U.S., and portraying Latin America (and especially Ecuador) as a paragon of freedom and human rights. Mercifully, he did not try to inflict it on his audience in English.
Barack Obama was next, and, as you can see, he agreed with Correa (emphasis added),
I wanna make one last comment, er, addressing er, some of the points that er, president Correa raised that I’m sure will be raised by a few others during this discussion. Er, I always enjoy the history lessons that I receive, er, when I’m here.
I am a student of history so I tend to actually be familiar with many of these episodes that have been mentioned. I am the first one to acknowledge that America’s application to concern around human rights has not always been consistent. And, I’m certainly mindful that there are dark chapters in our own history in which we have not always observed the principles and ideals upon which the country was founded. Just a few weeks ago I was in Selma, Alabama celebrating the 50th anniversary of a march across a bridge that resulted in horrific violence and the reason I was there and the reason it was a celebration is because it was a triumph of human spirit in which ordinary people without resort to violence were able to overcome systematic segregation. There voices were heard and our country changed. America never makes a claim about being perfect, we do make a claim about being open to change.
Witnesses at the airport said that a few minutes after takeoff they heard a significant explosion followed by a huge fireball.
The passengers were members of the Argentine company La Rural which is an associate in a project to exploit a Convention Center under construction in the Atlantic resort of Punta del Este and had flown to Uruguay for a business conference with their Uruguayan partners and the local government.
La Rural is a leading company in Argentina and Latin America in the fairs, congress and events industry.
Thousands of people took to the streets in Quito and at least 12 other cities in Ecuador Thursday to protest against the government of President Rafael Correa, asking for changes in economic, labor and social policies.
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Protest leaders said they are protesting against planned labor and land reforms, to reject large-scale mining and new oil tenders, and against planned constitutional reforms that will open up the possibility for indefinite re-election for elected posts. Leaders also said they are against new tariffs for 38% of the imported products. Economists said the tariff increase would cause a general increase in prices, affecting mainly the middle class.
Protesters marched about two kilometers in central Quito, carrying signs that read, “We want democracy” and “No more tax and tariff increases” as well as “Say no to re-election.”