Update 14. 10.2019: (A.C.) It's been 11 days since the leaderless uprising sparked in hashtag#Ecuador® against the corrupt US-backed government and its slavery loan from the hashtag#IMF. hashtag#LeninMoreno (Ecuador®'s corrupt leader) has declared a national state of emergency following mass protests across the country against his corrupt economic practices. Police responded to the protestors with violence using chemical weapons (tear gas), deploying armored vehicles, and employing arbitrary kidnapping (arresting in doublespeak) of HUNDREDS of citizens. Ecuadorians say that the harsh regulations against them are a direct result of Ecuador®'s $4.2 billion loan deal with the criminal organization that calls itself the hashtag#InternationalMonetaryFund (IMF). Lenin Moreno is the same scumbag politician who allowed British police to arrest hashtag#JulianAssange INSIDE the Ecuadorian embassy in London after making his imprisonment at the embassy intolerable. We are witnessing these beautiful leaderless uprisings around the world against the tyranny of central governments. A leaderless uprising deserves a likewise leaderless government. It's the only way for these beautiful protests to be successful because central governments are corrupt by definition. ACHIEVEMENT SO FAR: The disputed bill to no longer subsidize the purchase of fuel (as demanded and imposed as austerity measure by the IMF) was scrapped, but the grip of the IMF is still holding. The IMF must see the money lent to corrupt Lenin Moreno as his personal debt and not target the people of Ecuador.
Recent weeks show the spirit of resistance against neoliberalism is burning brightly, writes LEE BROWN
By Lee Brown - MS - 08.
ANYONE observing events in Ecuador in recent days could be forgiven for thinking they had been transported back to the Latin America of the 1990s.
Then, huge protests against IMF-imposed austerity were regularly met with violent state repression. Such events returned to Ecuador’s streets with a bang last week.
The mass demonstrations under way in Ecuador follow new attacks on living standards designed to meet the terms of a multibillion-dollar IMF loan. The immediate spark to the huge street protests was the removal of subsidies on fuel that affects not only transport costs but drives up food prices.
Cuts in public spending were also announced, with mass public-sector lay-offs planned and an assault on public-sector workers’ conditions that includes halving holiday entitlement to just 15 days per year.
Faced with a backlash to these elite-friendly measures, Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno decreed a state of emergency that suspends the constitution for 60 days, removes the right to free assembly, allows for the censoring of the media and employs the armed forces to maintain order.
Over 350 people have since been detained. Shocking scenes of police brutality include tear gas and flares fired at head height into crowds and widespread beatings. Armoured military vehicles entered the capital city on Sunday night.
Amnesty International warned that “the decision to deploy the armed forces to control demonstrations only increases the risk of human rights violations” and called on “all allegations of excessive use of force, arbitrary detentions and other human rights violations that have occurred in the context of the current protests and the state of emergency” to be properly investigated.
So much of this echoes the turmoil that rocked Ecuador around the turn of the century.
Then, neoliberal assaults on living standards created such political volatility that seven presidents came and went in just 10 years. A number were forced from office by powerful street protests.
Stability only returned to Ecuador when socialist Rafael Correa became president in 2007. His progressive alternative not only ended the economic crisis and achieved incredible reductions in poverty and inequality but secured 14 consecutive election victories.
That success was achieved by ripping up the IMF rule book. A regular theme in Correa’s speeches was that “people must prevail over capital and society must prevail over the market.”
But in the two years since President Moreno was elected — actually on a manifesto to defend and continue Correa’s policies — he has sought to purge all remnants of that progressive state-led development model.
The repressive measures over recent days are part of a pattern as Moreno has sought to close off all avenues of resistance.
Moreno has systematically targeted those challenging his lurch to neoliberalism.
Former president Correa himself is effectively in exile in Belgium, with a raft of wholly unsubstantiated allegations preventing his return to Ecuador.
Former foreign minister Ricardo Patino, a close Correa ally during his decade in government, recently received political asylum in Mexico after facing jail threats, while Moreno’s own vice-presidential running mate is in prison, in a case that raised widespread concerns about a lack of due process.
Moreno even oversaw the axing of all the members of the Constitutional Court, undermining the important separation of powers that accompanies any presidential system.
President Correa’s more Latin America-focused foreign policy did not escape Moreno’s sharp change of direction either. Moreno reversed Correa’s brave decision to end the US’s military role in the country, which had included removing the largest US military base in South America.
Moreno, in contrast, is preparing for US military planes to be able to use the environmentally fragile Galapagos Islands.
Moreno also handed over Julian Assange to be extradited to the United States over his role in WikiLeaks’ exposure of war crimes, soon after signing the IMF loan.
This reorientation may be popular with Ecuador's long-powerful right-wing political parties and economic elites but it has destroyed Moreno’s own base of support. Polls show he has 75-80 per cent levels of disapproval.
Whether or not Moreno survives until the end of his presidency in 2021, he and those around him are finished politically.
His only hope now is that Ecuador’s right-wing parties keep him in office while he does their bidding.
In fact, Moreno himself told a press conference over the weekend that although he’s doing the heavy lifting to create a more market-friendly economy, it will be one of the two main right-wing parties — both linked to the economic and social disasters of the past — that will be the beneficiaries when they end up leading the country in the future.
The Ecuadorian people will have a say in whether that is the case — and the huge protests in recent days again exposes the myth that Latin America’s “pink tide” is over.
Latin America’s future remains deeply contested. The right has been forced onto the back foot in many countries across the region and has been able to offer nothing more than a return to the old free-market dogma accompanied by a worrying use of anti-democratic practices.
In Brazil, the right only holds the presidency because of the jailing of former president Lula, the favourite to win the 2018 presidential election, on trumped-up charges.
In Argentina, more than one in three people are now in poverty following the neoliberal government’s signing of the largest-ever IMF loan.
That means leftwinger Alberto Fernandez is set to win the presidency later this month in another significant gain for progressives after the election of Lopez Obrador in Mexico last year.
In Bolivia Evo Morales is expected to be re-elected president in the coming weeks.
This week, tens of thousands of indigenous people will be marching on Ecuador’s two major cities, with students and trade unions also vowing to continue their national protests.
The IMF may be back in Ecuador. But so too is the spirit of resistance and with it hope of a return to a government of the progressive left in the near future.
(*) Lee Brown lived and worked in Ecuador for a number of years.
The grand uprising continues in Ecuador against the corrupt government-leadership.
We are witnessing these beautiful leaderless uprisings around the world against the tyranny of government-leadership to demand leaderless governments.
A leaderless uprising deserves a leaderless government. It's the only way for these protests to be successful because central governments are corrupt by definition.
Lenin Moreno (Ecuador's corrupt leader) has declared a national state of emergency following mass protests across the country against his corrupt economic practices.
Police responded to the protestors with violence using chemical weapons (tear gas), deploying armored vehicles, and arbitrary kidnapping (arresting in doublespeak) dozens of citizens.
Ecuadorians say that the harsh regulations against them are a direct result of Ecuador's $4.2 billion loan deal with the criminal organization that calls itself the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Lenin Moreno is the same scumbag politician who allowed British police to arrest Julian Assange INSIDE the Ecuadorian embassy in London after making his imprisonment at the embassy unbearable.
By Dilma Rousseff
If neoliberalism is the main cause of the collapse that has hit many countries since the 1990s, the IMF is the instrument used by the world’s financial elite to deepen these crises. Despite all the errors accumulated in applying its austerity recipe, the IMF refuses to admit that the formula is a blatant failure. Under the guise of helping associated countries pay off their international debts, it ends up throwing them into a maze of imbalance that sacrifices the most vulnerable populations – small business owners, workers and the poor. Seven decades after it was created, the IMF has been turned into a much worse remedy than the disease.
Latin America has been a laboratory for unsuccessful IMF experiments. This is how it is in Macri’s Argentina, this is how it is in Moreno’s Ecuador. A little earlier, in 1997, it was like that in Fernando Henrique Cardozo’s Brazil and in early 2000 in Argentina during the De La Rua government. Wherever the IMF imposes its “recipes”, the result is often misery and widespread impoverishment, insatiable political crisis, explosive social upheavals. The IMF is an artillery piece to deepen the neoliberal agenda.
It has been a destabilizing factor for democratic countries on our continent. There is no neutrality in their actions. Behind the institution’s loans lurks the neoliberal agenda, the interest of the financial market, and the protection of client-country elites. In fact, the IMF is subordinated to the strategic and geopolitical convenience of the United States.
There is no compatibility between IMF action and representative democracy. They are elitist. The democratic rule of law cannot cope with the situation in which an institution of the international financial elite makes a disastrous pact with the internal elites of the countries, transferring the confrontation of its own mistakes to the ignoble sacrificing of the population that pays the full price of the disaster.
In the last decade of the 1990s, the IMF’s “standard treatment” of South Korea, for example, made unemployment more than triple. A country that had a European-standard income, South Korea went into deep economic and social depression to the point of spawning a phenomenon that earned the nickname “IMF suicides,” when many unemployed workers desperately took their own lives. But the country that suffered the most from the IMF in Asia was Indonesia, where GDP fell 15 percent in a year and extreme poverty soared from 11 percent before the crisis to 40 – 60 percent after the “solution”.
Brazil in the late 1990s gave up its sovereignty to hand over control of economic and social policy to the IMF. FHC’s neoliberal government had broken the country, which had a foreign debt of $ 165 billion and a modest $ 37.8 billion of international reserves. The $ 41.7 billion loan from the IMF and other international institutions did not solve Brazil’s financial situation, but it imposed the old austerity formula and its aftermath. In the case of the FHC government, investment cuts, economic paralysis, damaging and corruption-prone privatizations, social program cuts and high unemployment growth.
With Lula, Brazil once again governed itself. In 2005, he made the historic decision not to renew the agreement with the IMF and fully repay the debt that FHC had not paid off. In an innovative decision, from 2009, the PT government lent money to the IMF and, for the first time, an emerging country became a creditor of the institution. By the end of my administration, we had accumulated $ 380 billion in reserves, blocking any IMF interference. Therefore, impeachment fraud and the coup were the chosen way to introduce neoliberalism.
The useless IMF formula has no borders and no continents. It is like a worldwide epidemic. In 2010, it treated Greece’s debt with an iron fist. In a short time, the country lost ¼ of its GDP, unemployment jumped to 22.5%, wages dropped by 25%, and Greece’s debt has not been fixed to this day.
In practice, the IMF never solves the crises it should mitigate. It acts as an eighteenth-century physician who prescribes bleeding for almost every disease. In short, the medicine kills the patient rather than cure it.
The current case of Argentina is emblematic: in the fourth quarter of last year, after a $ 56 billion loan, the economy declined 6.2%. Since it was no use, what did the IMF do? It demanded a new fiscal crunch and provoked the exact opposite of what it claims to mean with its “help”: it undermined the confidence of producers and the market.
Political criteria govern IMF interventions. While cutting credit to Cristina Kirchner’s government, on Macri’s arrival they immediately reinstated the financing lines, including the payment of debts with the so-called vulture funds.
The goal was clear: to support Macri and bring him to a quiet reelection this year. They found the donkeys in the water. At this point, Macri is already set to leave Casa Rosada and hand over the government to the opposition.
The newest IMF fiasco in the Latin American crisis lab is Ecuador. In this case, the fund seems disposed to everything. After two years of relentless imposition of neoliberal policies, a people who had experienced a period of great economic and social achievement with the government of Rafael Correa got tired and took to the streets. Led by thousands of indigenous people, who make up 25 percent of the country’s population, the Ecuadorian people said no to an inhuman, IMF-inspired package downloaded by Lenin Moreno’s government: subsidy cuts and a 123% increase in fuel, labor counter-reform which has extinguished historical rights, state funds dilapidation and an abrupt rise in unemployment and poverty.
The environment in Ecuador is grave, as the government’s reaction is the most brutal repression of all time. Even so, the president had to flee the capital and the people on the streets shout, one of his slogans: “We will only leave here when the IMF leaves.”
What the Citizen Revolution Movement denounces is very serious, formed by progressive party leaders of former President Rafael Correa: “Ecuador is becoming, under the auspices of the IMF and Lenin Moreno, a dictatorship that practices state terrorism.
The Citizen Revolution Movement called on the OAS Human Rights Commission to take precautionary measures to prevent irreparable damage to the life, liberty and personal integrity of the deputies, the governor of Pichincha, the province of which Quito is the capital, and the Executive Secretary. This is because the Lenin Moreno administration attempts to manipulate and falsify reality by attributing to the opposition movement the disastrous effects of its neoliberal policy and adherence to IMF prescriptions. For this reason, they arrested the governor and also the Executive Secretary, pursue former President Rafael Correa, who had to request asylum in Belgium, former Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, Congresswoman Gabriela Rivadeneira, and fiercely repress militants who rise up against the folly of the government and the IMF.
The OAS must take a stand and take action against the Moreno government’s harassment and repressive actions, which are a full demonstration of disrespect for human rights and the foundations of the rule of law.
Translated by JRE/EF
Dilma Vana Rousseff is a Brazilian economist and politician who served as the 36th president of Brazil, holding the position from 2011 until her impeachment and removal from office on 31 August 2016.
Ecuador – and the IMF’s Killing Spree
By Peter Koenig - Global Research - 14. October 2019
For close to 40 years the IMF has weaponized its handle on the western economy through the dollar-based western monetary system, and brutally destroyed nation after nation, thereby killed hundreds of thousands of people. Indirectly, of course, as the IMF would not use traditional guns and bombs, but financial instruments that kill – they kill by famine, by economic strangulation, preventing indispensable medical equipment and medication entering a country, even preventing food from being imported, or being imported at horrendous prices only the rich can pay.
The latest victim of this horrifying IMF scheme is Ecuador. For starters, you should know that since January 2000, Ecuador’s economy is 100% dollarized, compliments of the IMF (entirely controlled by the US Treasury, by force of an absolute veto). The other two fully dollarized Latin American countries are El Salvador and Panama.
The Wall Street Journal recently stated that Ecuador “has the misfortune to be an oil producer with a ‘dollarized’ economy that uses the U.S. currency as legal tender.” The Journal added,
“the appreciation of the U.S. dollar against other currencies has decreased the net exports of non-oil commodities from Ecuador, which, coupled with the volatility of oil prices, is constraining the country’s potential for economic growth.”
Starting in the mid 1990’s, culminating around 1998, Ecuador suffered a severe economic crisis, resulting from climatic calamities, and US corporate and banking oil price manipulations (petrol is Ecuador’s main export product), resulting in massive bank failures and hyper-inflation. Ecuador’s economy at that time had been semi-dollarized, like that of most Latin American countries, i.e. Peru, Colombia, Chile, Brazil – and so on.
The ‘crisis’ was a great opportunity for the US via the IMF to take full control of the Ecuadorian (petrol) economy, by a 100% dollarizing it. The IMF propagated the same recipe for Ecuador as it did ten years earlier for Argentina, namely full dollarization of the economy in order to combat inflation and to bring about economic stability and growth. In January 2000, then President Jorge Jamil Mahuad Witt, from the “Popular Democracy Party”, or the Ecuadorian Christian Democratic Union (equivalent to the German CDU), declared the US dollar as the official currency of Ecuador, replacing their own currency, the Sucre.
Adopting another country’s currency is an absurdity and can only bring failure. And that it did, almost to the day, 10 years after Argentina was forced by the same US-led villains to revalue her peso to parity with the US-dollar, no fluctuations allowed. Same reason (“economic crisis”, hyper-inflation), same purpose: controlling the riches of the country – absolute failure was preprogrammed. Did Ecuador not learn from the Argentinian experience and converted her currency at the very moment the Argentinian economy collapsed due to dollarization, into the US dollar? – That is not only a fraud, but a planned fraud.
Ecuadorian goods and services quoted in dollars, became unaffordable for locals and uncompetitive for exports. This led to social unrests, resulting in a popular ‘golpe’. President Mahuad was disposed, had to flee the country, and was replaced by Gustavo Noboa, from the same CDU party (2000 – 2003). Ever since the dollar remained controversial among the Ecuadorian population. President Rafael Correa’s quiet attempt to return to the Sucre, was answered by a CIA-inspired police coup attempt on 30 September 2010.
In 2017, the CIA / NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and the US State Department have brought about a so-called “soft” regime change. They urged (very likely coerced) Rafael Correa to abstain from running again for President, as the vast majority of Ecuadorians requested him to do. This would have required a Constitutional amendment which probably would have been easily accepted by Parliament. Instead they had Correa endorse his former Vice-President (2007-2013) Lenin Moreno, who run on Correa’s platform, the socialist PAIS Alliance. Therefore, expected to continue in Correa’s line with same socioeconomic policies.
Less than a year later, Moreno turned tables, became an outright traitor to his country and the people who voted for him. He converted Ecuador’s economy to the neoliberal doctrine – privatization of everything, stealing the money from the social sectors, depriving people of work, drastically reducing social services and converting a surplus economy of tremendous social gains into one of poverty and misery.
President Correa left the country a modest debt of about 40% to GDP at the end of his Presidency in 2017. A debt-GDP ratio that would be no problem anywhere in the world. Compare this to the US debt vs. GDP – 105% in current terms and about 700% in terms of unmet obligations (net present value of total outstanding obligations). There was absolutely no reason to call the IMF for help. The IMF, the long arm of the US Treasury – ‘bought’ its way into Moreno’s neoliberal Ecuador, coinciding with Moreno evicting Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
The IMF loan of US$ 4,2 billion increases the debt / GDP ratio by 4% and brings social misery and upheaval in return, and that as usual, at an unimaginable cost, by neoliberal economists called “externalities”. It was practically a US “present” for Moreno’s treason, bringing Assange closer into US custody. What most people are unaware of, is that at the same time, Moreno forgave US$ 4.5 billion in fines, interest and other dues to large corporations and oligarchs, hence decapitalizing the country’s treasury. The amount of canceled corporate fiscal obligations is about equivalent to the IMF loan, plunging large sectors of the Ecuadorian population into more misery.
Besides, under wrong pretexts it allowed Moreno to apply neoliberal policies, all those that usually come as draconian conditions with IMF loans and that eventually benefit only a small elite in the country – but allows western banking and corporations to further milk the countries social system.
According to a 2017 report of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), an economic thinktank in Washington, Ecuador’s economy has done rather well under Rafael Correa’s 10-year leadership (2007 – 2017). The country has improved her key indicators significantly: Average annual GDP growth was 1.5% (0.6% past 26 years average); the poverty rate declined by 38%, extreme poverty by 47%, a multiple of poverty reduction of that in the previous ten years, thanks to a horizontally distributive growth; inequality (Gini coefficient) fell substantially, from 0.55 to 0.47; the government doubled social spending from 4.3% in 2006 to 8.6% in 2016; tripled education spending from 0.7% to 2.1% with a corresponding increase in school enrollments; increased public investments from 4% of GDP in 2006 to 10% in 2016.
Now, Moreno is in the process of reversing these gains. Only six months after contracting the IMF loans, he has already largely succeeded. The public outcry can be heard internationally. Quito is besieged by tens of thousands of demonstrators, steadily increasing as large numbers, in the tens of thousands, of indigenous people are coming from Ecuador’s Amazon region and the Andes to Quito to voice their discontent with their traitor president. Government tyranny is rampant. Moreno declared a 60-day state of emergency – with curfew and a militarized country. As a consequence, Moreno moved the Government Administration to Guayaquil and ordered one of the most severe police and military repressions, Ecuador has ever known, resulting within ten days to at least 7 people killed, about 600 injured and about 1,000 people arrested.
Source: Workers’ Voice
The protests are directed against the infamous Government Decree 883, that dictates major social reforms, including an increase in fuel prices by more than 100%, reflecting directly on public transportation, as well as on food prices; privatization of public services, bringing about untold layoffs, including some 23,000 government employees; an increase in Aggregated Value Taxes – all part of the so-called “paquetazo”, imposed by the IMF. Protesters called on Moreno, “Fuera asesino, fuera” – Get out, murderer, get out! – Will they succeed?
The IMF’s guns are needlessly imposed debt, forced privatization of social services and public assets as railways, roads, and worst of all, health, education, water supply and sewerage services. Unemployment rises, extreme poverty skyrockets, public service tariffs – water, electricity, transportation – increase, often exponentially, depriving people from moving to work or look for new employment elsewhere. Diseases that otherwise may have been curable, like cancers, under the new regime lack medication. Patients die prematurely. Depression brings about rapidly rising suicide rates, as the British medical journal Lancet has observed in many IMF oppressed countries, but especially in Greece.
Targeted are primarily those nations that do not want to bend to the dictate of Washington, and even more so those with natural resources the west covets, or countries that are in strategic geographic locations, where NATO wants to establish itself or get a stronger foothold, i.e. Greece. The IMF is often helped by the World Bank. The former providing, or rather coercing, a ‘debt-strapped’ country into accepting so-called rescue packages, billions of dollars of loans, at exorbitant “high-risk” interest rates, with deadly strings attached.
The latter, the WB, would usually come in with loans – also euphemistically called “blank checks” – to be disbursed against a matrix of fulfilled conditions, of economic reforms, privatizations. Again, all usually resulting in massive government layoffs, unemployment, poverty. In fact, both the IMF and the WB approaches are similar and often overlapping – imposing “structural adjustment” (now in disguise given different names), to steal a countries resources, and sovereignty, by making them dependent on the very financial institutions that pretend to ‘help’ them.
The three most recent and flagrant cases of IMF interference were Greece, Ukraine and Argentina. Greece was doubly destroyed, once by her brothers and sisters of the European non-Union that blackmailed them into staying with the euro, instead of exiting it and converting to their local currency and regaining financial sovereignty.
Ukraine, possibly the richest country in terms of national resources and with an enormous agricultural potential due to her fertile soil, was “regime changed” by a bloody coup, The Maidan massacre in February 2014, instigated and planned by the CIA, the EU and NATO and carried out through the very US Embassy in Kiev. This was all long-term planning. Remember Victoria Nuland boasting that the US has spent more than 5 billion dollars over the past five year to bring about regime change and to convert Ukraine into a fully democratic country and making it ready to enter the European Union?
The western allies put a Nazi Government into Kiev, created a “civil war” with the eastern Russia-aligned part of Ukraine, the Donbass. Thousands of people were killed, millions fled the country, mostly to Russia – the country’s debt went through the roof, and – in comes the IMF, approving in December 2018a 14-month Stand-By Arrangement for Ukraine, with an immediate disbursement of US$ 1.4 billion. This is totally against the IMF’s own Constitution, because it does not allow lending to a country at war or conflict. Ukraine was an “exception”, dictated by the US. Blamed for the ever-changing and escalating Ukraine fiasco was Russia.
Another IMF victim is Argentina. In December 2015 through fraudulent election, Washington put a neoliberal henchman into the Presidency, Mauricio Macri. He carried out economic and labor reforms by decree and within the first 12 months in office, increased unemployment and poverty from about 12% he inherited from his predecessor, Christine Kirchner, to over 30%.
Within 15 years of Kirchner Governments, Argentina largely recovered from the collapse of 2000 / 2001 / 2002, accumulating a healthy reserve. There was no need to call the IMF to the rescue, except if it was a pre-condition for Macri to become president. In September 2018, Argentina contracted from the IMF the largest ever IMF loan of 57.1 billion dollars, to be disbursed over a three-year period, plunging Argentina in an almost irrecoverable debt situation.
The Bretton Woods Organizations – World Bank and IMF, were created in 1944 precisely for that reason, to enslave the world, particularly the resources-rich countries. The purpose of these so-called international financial institutions, foresaw an absolute veto power of the United States, meaning they are doing the bidding of the US Treasury. They were created under the UN Charter for good disguise, and are to work hand-in-glove with the fiat monetary system created in 1913 by the Federal Reserve Act. The pretext was to monitor western “convertible” currencies that subscribed to the also newly modified gold standard (1 Troy ounce [31.1 grams] of gold = US$ 35) , also established during the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944.
Both organizations started lending money – the Marshall Fund, managed by the world Bank in the 1950s – to war devastated Europe, moving gradually into economic development of “Third World” countries – and, eventually, in the 1980s showing their evil heads by introducing the neoliberal doctrines of the Washington Consensus worldwide. It is a miracle how they get away with spewing so much misery – literally unopposed for the last 30 – 40 years – throughout the world. Why are they not be stopped and dismantled? – The UN has 193 members; only a small proportion of them benefit from the IMF-WB financial crimes. Why does the vast majority – also potential victims, remain silent?
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Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
The original source of this article is Global Research - Copyright © Peter Koenig, Global Research, 2019
By Carlos Aznarez (*) - 04. October 2019
The events unfolding in Ecuador are the result of the implementation of the IMF’s coercive manual, undertaken by a person who pretended to be somebody and suddenly became somebody else. Long ago, Lenin Moreno stopped representing the decent name he bears. It was to be expected. As his popularity is in the final phase of collapse, he not only boasts of betraying the Bolivarian Revolution but, submissive and cowardly, he willingly knelt before the international banking system.
Given indebtedness and lack of liquidity in an economy that not even ex-president Rafael Correa could detach from the dollar, Moreno agreed upon a millionaire program of loans with the IMF. Such packages included eliminating oil subsidies which took $1.3 billion a year off the back of the workers. The immediate response of the market caused an overnight doubling in fuel prices and subsequently in the prices of land transportation. Naturally, those who reacted first to it were taxi and bus drivers, as well as from other commercial vehicles, who realized that their very impoverished budgets were about to be taken over an edge. The recollection of an Ecuador during the times of Abdala Bucaram and Lucio Gutierrez now adds another name to make a neoliberal trio. Aware of a dark horizon, events developed quickly as it usually does when capitalism worsens the conditions of sectors of society that were already suffering from crises. First a general transportation strike materialized that turned into road blocks, barricades popped up, and large inter-class mobilizations, in which workers, students, peasants, and natives decided to fill the streets to try to shake a very bad government out of their lives.
The famous phrase by Bertold Brecht was confirmed in what followed since then; “Nothing worse than a frightened bourgeois.” Cornered, Moreno miscalculated his level of strength and he is now trying to escape forwards, unleashing a brutal repression against his people after implementing a state of emergency that allows him to have soldiers in the streets. But Ecuadoreans have mostly indigenous blood in their veins and this is going to be entrenchment so that they are not run over by authoritarianism. This is why the general strike against the neoliberal package is growing and growing despite that more than 300 citizens have been imprisoned.
“It’s a difficult fight but there is no other alternative other than to continue pushing to try to topple Moreno,” said a working-class leader. Despite the first claims demanding the Government rescind the economic measures, there are many now demanding the immediate resignation of the President. In matters of institutional politics, brave deputy Gabriel Rivadeneira stated: “It is urgent to carry out anticipated elections and an extraordinary session in the National Assembly to demand the destitution of the President.” Above all, because he has undertaken a repressive operation (through his state of emergency) Moreno is now showing the characteristics of any of the dictatorships that have devastated the continent.
What is left for Moreno in these circumstances? His pathetic figure is very similar to loathsome Luis Almagro, president of the Organization of American States, or Haitian President Jovenel Moise. The three of them are devices of the machinery deployed by Donald Trump in the continent. The three of them freshen up in Washington and they are all willing to kneel down as much as is needed. Almagro, beyond his performances and his attempt to meddle in Venezuela, has already failed. He is not wanted any longer, not even in his political coalition. Moise is right not trying to put out (like a firefighter with a leaky fire hose) the thousand of fires lit by people’s protests in the streets. Moreno, who in his effort to act correctly has demolished every institution and positive measures implemented by the Rafael Correa Administration, says he is not willing to move backwards and he is moving to rule with soldiers by his side. This is something similar to what the Lucio Gutierrez Administration employed in April 2005 that ended up in abject failure.
In this Latin America in which people’s insurrections go from country to country as has been seen recently in the streets of Puerto Rico, Haiti and Peru, or in the primary elections in Argentina, it is possible to think that what happens at this time in Ecuador will mean in the very near future the collapse of a nefarious strategy of seizing a government with deceit and then becoming the carpet of local oligarchy and U.S. imperialism.
Carlos Aznarez - Periodista. Director de @ResumenLatino periódico, radio y TV.
Source: Resumen Latinoamericano, translation North America bureau
Photo: Ivan Castaneira