Ukraine got all the attention last week, so much attention that the similar unrest in Venezuela tended to be overlooked by the Western news media.
So, it’s no surprise that events in Ecuador got lost in the shuffle.
But something potentially huge is brewing there. Ecuador’s far-left president Rafael Correa — who has been trying to claim the title of Maximum Latrine Leader formerly held by Hugo Chavez — suffered a setback last week in local elections. Throughout Ecuador, voters elected opponents of Correa as mayors, even in Quito, the capital city.
Alarmed by this electoral loss, which is a resounding rejection of Correa’s 21st-century socialism, the leaders of the Socialist party are now trying to change the Ecuadorian constitution so that Rafael Correa can run for president in perpetuity, way past the third term he is now serving, which is currently the absolute limit set by the constitution.
ABC Spain reports on this unsurprising move, which is one of the key tactics employed by the new breed of Latrine American dictators:
Socialist congressman Fabián Solano is quoted as saying: «We believe it is of vital importance to reform the Constitution so we can allow additional electoral candidacies to president Rafael Correa, so he can run in the 2017 elections and provide our party with the chance to consolidate the project of our Citizens Revolution.”
Financial Times reports on the significance of Correa’s electoral losses:
Electoral blow sparks changes in Ecuador but Correa still firmly in charge
A year ago Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s leftwing president, was riding high after winning a third term in a landslide election.
Some say his party, Alianza País, got too used to winning. This week, Correa was looking more subdued after the opposition won the country’s key mayoralties – Guayaquil, Cuenca and, most painfully, the capital Quito – in Sunday’s local elections.
The result is a setback for Correa’s “citizen’s revolution” and its aim of increasing the role of the state in the economy, as it means he can no longer count on the support of heavyweight mayoralties.
Correa called the results “painful” and said losing Quito was “very sad and dangerous” and could make Ecuador “ungovernable”. The fiery president even drew parallels with Venezuela, an ally that has seen a wave of street protests in recent weeks, saying some members of the opposition were “counting the days for the government to fall.”
He followed that on Wednesday by asking for the resignation of his cabinet, saying “oxygenation” was necessary. Although he insisted the move was planned before the elections, analysts say Alianza País is showing signs of internal fractures.
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