Washington Threatens Ecuadorian Democracy

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Washington Threatens Ecuadorian Democracy
by Stephen Lendman
Washington rejects democratic governance everywhere – especially at home. Rule by powerful monied interests is longstanding US policy.
Sovereign independent countries are targeted for regime change by color revolutions or war – including China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Ecuador among others.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa urged supporters to defend the nation’s democracy and political progress achieved under its Citizens’ Revolution – an initiative implemented during his tenure.
On Monday, he said “(t)hey want to provoke the political divisions of the past, but they do not have the political legitimacy or strength to do so.”
A Thursday planned strike “will be a challenge not to the government, but to the entire country. Will we allow these remnants of the past to continue hurting our country or will we overcome them once and for all,” he asked?
Various trade unions and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) called for a nationwide strike for August 13. Other social and indigenous organizations reject it.
They called for national dialogue,  announced a permanent vigil to defend Ecuadorian democracy, and expressed support for Correa’s policies.
National Secretary of Strategic Panning Pabel Munoz said thousands of people from hundreds of organizations participated in workshops discussing poverty reduction, increasing production and stimulating public and private investment.
Correa called for national dialogue after proposing inheritance and capital tax increases affecting wealthy Ecuadorians alone (a tiny fraction of the population) – to more fairly redistribute income to the nation’s less fortunate.
Coordinator of Social Movements – a coalition of around 100 organizations – oppose Thursday’s strike. CIA and other dark elements operating out of Washington’s Quito embassy actively try influencing indigenous  groups to oppose Correa’s government with mixed results.
He warned of US meddling in Latin American countries it doesn’t control. He called on Ecuador’s police and military to prepare for strike action destabilization efforts.
“We need to be ready to confront them with the weapons of the law and the Constitution,” he said. He reminded them to obey orders from the “only legitimate power – the one that emanates from the sovereign people.”
“The maximum representative of this legitimate power is the president of the Republic” – not disruptive street crowds manipulated by internal and external dark forces for their own self-interest.
“They resort to violence and try to create financial terror,” he said. “The past of strikes, stones, blocked roads will not come back. Everyone to the streets to defend our roads, our progress, which has cost us so much….”
Disruptive elements “do not have the support, nor the legality, nor the legitimacy to destabilize one of the most popular (Ecuadorian) governments of history. That’s why they resort to violence and try to create financial terror,” he explained.
“We will reply with more work and love of the homeland, but everyone go demonstrate democratically that we reject” disruptive dark forces. “We are more, many more!”
Former Ecuadorian indigenous leader/Conaie co-founder Miguel Lluco said “(t)he indigenous uprising is the highest level of protest that exists. If they going to use that, concurring with the right, it is because they have sold out the dignity of the nationalities and indigenous people of Ecuador to the right, and a consequence that is very grave and history will have to judge them.”
Lluco strongly criticized current Conaie president Jorge Herrera, elected in 2014. He “aligned himself with the interests of Ecuador’s right-wing” betraying indigenous Ecudorians he represents.
Lluco urged Ecuadorians to “close ranks…to defend the (nation’s) political process…to defend the interests of the great majority Ecuadorians, to defend the interests of the poor who have been excluded.”
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorean Coast (INEC) president Olinda Nastacuaz believes Herrera and likeminded Conaie officials are tools of anti-populist dark forces.
INEC opposes Thursday’s strike action. “We are not going to act as a stepping stone for the right,” he said. Conaie leaders “lost their way.” Their vision is wrongheaded. They risk losing credibility altogether.
Shuar nation leader Maria Clara Sharupi says there’s little grassroots support for anti-government actions. “Wherever we find ourselves, we are going to say ‘no’ to this uprising and this mobilization. An indigenous uprising is sacred.”  
What’s planned is being imposed by elements aligned with bankers and other elitist interests, she explained.
“I want to tell the bankers, the right, the opposition, those who seek to destabilize this country, the Amazon and the indigenous peoples, in this case the Shuar men and women, we are not your property,” she stressed.
“National Confederation of Campesino, Indigenous, and Black Organizations official Franklin Columbia said “(o)ur bases gave us a clear mandate in last year’s assembly to continue supporting the political process of the Ecuadorian people led by the president of the republic.”
Strike action is scheduled to begin on August 13. It remains to be seen if it gains traction – or whether pro-government strength renders it ineffective.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.