Archive for the ‘Rafael Correa’ Category

Ecuador: More protests

Friday, August 14th, 2015

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.
. . .
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.

Ecuador: Pope’s visiting, crowd clamors “Out, Correa, out”

Monday, July 6th, 2015

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).

The WSJ’s Mary O’Grady writes, Ecuador’s Correa Wants to Co-Opt Pope FrancisThe pontiff risks leaving the impression on his visit that the church condones repression.

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.”

I’m not optimistic at all.

Ecuador: Sing along with Rafael

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

and his cabinet members at Quito’s Plaza Grande in front of the presidential palace,

At 2.3 hours into the rally, they broke into song; at 3:30, they started dancing.

Elsewhere, Correa Feels the Wrath of Massive Protests in EcuadorGuayaquil Streets Overflow with 400,000 in Opposition to Rising Socialism, no song-and-dance there.

Ecuador: Demonstrations against Correa

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Protesters in Ecuador Demonstrate Against Correa’s PoliciesNew tax proposals from Ecuadorean president are especially unpopular

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.
. . .
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.

Whether the protests have any effect remains to be seen. As Oswaldo Toscano puts it, Correa Is Not Ecuador’s Problem, Socialism Is

Ecuador: Hasta la vista, dollars!

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

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.

Prof. Hanke also knows that going off the dollar will have dire consequences for Ecuador’s economy:

“If you go off, the fiscal deficit gets bigger, the level of debt gets bigger, inflation goes up and economic growth goes down. All the economic indicators just go south.”

So pres. Rafael Correa is attempting to de-dollarize, but not blatantly. How so?

Ecuador Mandates Bank Participation in National E-Money Initiative

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.

So it’s not even bit-coin, but it’s compulsory:

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.
. . .
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!

More at the circus: Correa & Obama, BFFs

Monday, April 13th, 2015

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.

You can watch the whole speech (subtitled 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.

Having prefaced that, Obama continued,

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.

Here’s a quick glance at International rankings of Ecuador, and you can read the Human Rights Watch report on Ecuador.

How’s that for history lessons?

Ecuador: Correa tweets!

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Ecuador’s president tweets ‘Heil Hitler’

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on Thursday tweeted a slogan famous for praising Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

Correa posted the controversial message after a Twitter critic accused him of being a fascist. The South American leader responded with a chant first heard in World War Two-era Germany.

“Heil Hitler!” Correa tweeted at @WKybalion on Thursday.

The crashed plane Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

An Argentine turboprop airplane crashed and burned shortly after taking off, killing all 10 people aboard,

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.

Was it an accident?

Exactly two months after his murder, Argentine Government Accuses Nisman of Embezzlement

Dead Argentine prosecutor was zeroing in on a terror threat to the entire Western Hemisphere

Investigan un supuesto refugio de jerarcas nazis en Argentina

POLL NUMBERS!!! Dilma’s drop

Why is Brazil so angry?
Big Question: Over a million people took to the streets over the weekend calling for the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, five months after she won a general election

Hundreds protest over Chile bishopProtesters shout as Rev Juan Barros enter the Osorno cathedral
Hundreds of people in Chile try to stop the ordination of Catholic Bishop Juan Barros, accusing him of covering up a sex abuse scandal.

Drug Gang Led by Female Trafficker from Mexico Nabbed in Colombia

Guerra y paz en Colombia

[pdf file] An Illusory Opening to Cuba:
Why Florida Shouldn’t Walk Through the Breach

Where “Cold War Charm” is the half-century long misery endured by the inmates of the island-prison: Cuba’s Cold War charm has D.R. wary about losing U.S. tourists to next-door neighbor

#19M Protests Put Correa’s Citizen Revolution on Notice
Thousands March in Ecuador as Anti-Authoritarian Outrage Boils Over

Populist Playbook: The Slow Death of Democracy in Correa’s Ecuador

Clinton Foundation’s chickens coming home to roost in Haiti?

WaPo Reporter: Bill Clinton ‘So Disliked’ in Haiti After Charity Work ‘He Couldn’t Even Run for Mayor’


Are Special Economic Zones the answer? How ZEDEs Can Make Honduras Prosperous
Next-Generation Zones for an Anti-Poverty Success Story

Honduras sends soldiers to protect ‘lost city’ from drug cartels
Expendition team reportedly split on how to safeguard artefacts from looters after ‘lost city’ rediscovered in Honduras jungle also used by drug trafficker

US Say Courts Crippling Ja Narcotics Fight

US Court Convicts Mexican of Kidnapping Mexican in Mexico
Federal Jury Convicts Mexican Citizen Living in San Antonio for His Role in Kidnapping Scheme

Wang Jing: The man behind the Nicaragua canal project

Paraguay and Latin America are officially the happiest nations in the world, in a Bobby McFerrin sort of way?

Peru’s Premier Removes Senior Spy Officials
Peru’s prime minister removed the head of the National Intelligence Service and other high-level officials, as allegations widened that the spy agency for years gathered information on a broad range of well-known people.

Puerto Rico’s Catholic Church Calls for Referendum on Gay Marriage

The Islamization of South America

After years in Guantanamo, ex-detainees find little solace in Uruguay Apparently they don’t have Uruguayan passports yet.


Unbroken: Former Venezuelan Political Prisoner Speaks Out
Police Chief Lucchese Describes His Year Behind Bars at Ramo Verde Military Prison

Enabling Maduro’s Tyranny in Venezuela
US Sanctions Give Perfect Excuse for Crackdown on Dissent
. I disagree – the crackdown has been going on, well before any sanctions.

Maduro’s English in action,

Yes, Venezuela is a security threat

Drums of War or Pipes of Peace?

Ecuador: Thousands protest

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Thousands Protest Against Government in Ecuador
Protesters rail against economic, labor and social policies

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.
. . .
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.”

As you may recall, last year Rafael Correa was pondering whether to continue as president after 2017, even when the constitution prevents it.

Last year he also came up with a fake currency to cover up a fiscal deficit, including debt service, of some $9.2 billion. This year he asked China for help.


Ecuador: John Oliver goofs on Correa

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Ecuadoreans hail John Oliver for taking a swing at their ‘sensitive’ president
(video here)

Correa was not amused,

But Acción Ortográfica was vigilant on the grammar,

Correa spelling