9:40 am - February 17th 2013
Ecuadorians go to the polls today to elect their President (17 February 2013).
Ecuador is today being transformed by radical social and economic reforms known as the Citizens Revolution. Led by President Rafael Correa this process is tackling the deep crisis caused by years of extreme neo-liberal policies forced on Ecuador under the Washington Consensus.
President Correa first came to office in 2007 in the aftermath of huge economic, social and political turbulence in Ecuador. Seven different Presidents were replaced in a decade. A massive banking collapse caused income per head to fall by one-third. Unemployment rocketed and one in ten Ecuadorians was forced to emigrate to escape the crisis.
Today, in contrast, the Citizens Revolution offers Ecuador a new development model that has already delivered major achievements. A tripling of social investment in just five years has significantly boosted economic growth and meant that Ecuador never entered recession despite the global slowdown. One million Ecuadorian households have been lifted out of poverty and 450,000 children have been taken out of child labour.
The right to decent work means that unemployment has almost halved and is now at its lowest ever levels, the minimum wage has doubled and outsourcing has been made illegal. The huge increases in social spending are guaranteeing free education, including at university level, free healthcare and better public services for all.
These tremendous advances are all the more impressive given that they have taken place against the backdrop of the global economic crisis.
At the same time a new constitution, backed by popular referendum, now guarantees human rights and equality for the once-excluded as well as granting rights to nature. Ecuador is also at the forefront of ground-breaking environmental measures.
In achieving all of this in South America’s third poorest country, the Correa government has had to challenge the previous elites that dominated Ecuador for decades. Sovereignty over the country’s oil and other natural resources has been recovered from the hands of multinationals. Ecuador has repudiated the punishing debt owed to international financial institutions that meant three times as much was being spent on debt repayment than on social services. Tax collection from the very wealthy has increased in order to fund social projects and Ecuador has shut down the USA military base in the country.
Fierce opposition to all of this has come from the old elite and its international allies. A coup d’état was even attempted in 2010. Fears of external intervention to affect the likely outcome of the coming election have been recently expressed by President Correa. At the same time media misrepresentations about Ecuador have increased, with much of this disinformation stemming from those opposed to Ecuador’s progressive new direction.
The Presidential election will be the 8th free and fair nation-wide electoral process in the past 6 years. There are seven candidates but polls indicate that the main contest is between President Rafael Correa and Guillermo Lasso, a former head of one of Ecuador’s largest banks. Correa is polling firmly in the lead.
We believe that, as with other developments in Latin America, Ecuador’s Citizens Revolution, offers an inspiring alternative to the failed policies of neo-liberalism. We are certain that a further victory for the Citizens Revolution will allow the Ecuadorian people to continue expanding social justice.
We believe that it is the right of the Ecuadorian people to pursue this path if that is their wish and that any external intervention should be condemned.
Chris Williamson MP
Ian Davidson MP
Virendra Sharma MP
Katy Clark MP
Grahame Morris MP
Kelvin Hopkins MP
Baroness Sue Miller of Chilthorne Domer, Liberal Democrat Peer
Elaine Smith, Member Scottish Parliament
Denis Skinner MP
Paul Flynn MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Tariq Ali, author
Richard Gott, author
Owen Jones, author and writer
Brian Eno, Musician
Ken Loach, filmmaker
John Pilger, filmmaker
Linton Kwesi Johnson, poet
Louise Christian, award-winning British human rights lawyer.
Tim Potter, Barrister
Michael Mansfield QC, barrister
Imran Khan, human rights lawyer
Professor Ernesto Laclau, Professor Emeritus of Government at the University of Essex,
Professor Doreen Massey, Emeritus Professor (Geography), The Open University
Professor George Irvin, Uni. of London, SOAS
Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, Department of Management, London School of Economics
Dr Peter Lambert is Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Bath
Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Chairman international institute for the Study of Cuba
Dr Thomas Muhr, Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol
Professor Bill Bowring, Barrister, Director of the LLM/MA in Human Rights, School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr J Buxton, Peace Studies, Bradford University
Professor Mike Cole, Emeritus Research Professor in Education and Equality, Bishop Grosseteste University
John Weeks Professor Emeritus SOAS, University of London
Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Chairman International Institute for the Study of Cuba, London Metropolitan University
Diana Raby, Senior Fellow, Latin American Studies University of Liverpool
Professor Peter Hallward, Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University
Dr Francisco Dominguez,
Dr Lee Salter, Senior Lecturer in Journalism, University West England
Dr Michael Derham, Programme Leader Spanish and Latin American Studies, Northumbria University, Newcastle -upon-Tyne
Dr Julie Hearn, Lecturer, Department of Politics, Philosophy & Religion (PPR), Lancaster University
Dr. Mehmet Ali Dikerdem, M/DProf Programme Leader, Institute for Work Based Learning, Middlesex University,
Dr Steve Ludlam, University of Sheffield
Len McCLuskey, General Secretary UNITE
Billy Hayes, General Secretary CWU
Manuel Cortes, general Secretary, TSSA Union
Bob Crow, General Secretary RMT
Mick Whelan, General Secretary ASLEF
Ronnie Draper, General Secretary, Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union
Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, General Federation of Trade Unions
Bert Schouwenburg, International Officer, GMB,
Luke Crawley, Assistant General Secretary, BECTU
Roger McKenzie, Assistant General Secretary UNISON
Tony Burke, Unite Assistant General Secretary
Steve Turner, Director of executive policy, Unite the union,
Tony Kearns, Senior Deputy General Secretary, Communication Workers Union
Andrew Murray, Chief of Staff, Unite the union,
Martin Mayer, UNITE executive council member, Chair United Left, & Labour NEC delegate
Moz Greenshields, UNISON NEC
Beranard Regan, Chair of SERTUC International Committee and Secretary of the CSC
Joe Mann President GFTU
John Fray Vice President GFTU
Ann Pettifor, economist
Neal Lawson, Chair, Compass
Bruce Kent, leading peace activist
Lindsey German, Founder of Stop the War Coalition
Chris McLaughlin, Editor TRIBUNE
Aaron Kiely, NUS Black Students’ Officer
Rob Miller Director, Cuba Solidarity Campaign
Colin Burgon, Chair Venezuela Solidarity Campaign
Luke Daniels, President of Caribbean Labour Solidarity
Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign
Matthew Willgress, Convenor VSC
Zita Holbourne, National Co-Chair BARAC UK and PCS union NEC
Jose Vallejo Villa, Regional Coordinating Officer, Unite the UNION
Michael Burke, Socialist Economic Bulletin
Lee Brown, researcher on Latin America
John Haylett, Morning Star political editor
Cat Smith, Convenor, Next Generation Labour (PC)
Pav Akhtar, Director, UK Black Pride
Sam Gurney, Labour Party National Policy Forum
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.
Reactions: Twitter, blogs
- PROGRESS BEING MADE IN ECUADOR | Socialist Unity
[...] huge victory last night, it is worth drawing attention to the statement published yesterday on Liberal Conspiracy, showing their support for the social progress underway in Ecuador [...]
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.
NEWS ARTICLES ARCHIVE