QUITO – Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said in an interview that his successor Lenin Moreno’s economic package is part of a neoliberal plan for Latin America.
The adjustment measures of the current representative, which is part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), caused a wave of protests in Ecuador. The main criticism is against rising fuels.
“It is certainly part of a strategy for neoliberalism to come back. In the 1990s, people did not quite understand what it was and there was not so much resistance. Now we are coming from successful progressive governments in the period between 2002 and 2014, which was the golden age of Latin America,” Correa said.
In July last year, the Ecuadorian court issued an arrest warrant against Correa for alleged involvement in a kidnapping. The economist lives in Belgium, where he applied for political asylum.
‘Lula’s arrest stole democracy in Brazil’
Correa compared his situation to those of former presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. About the Brazilian, he said that “if he was not arrested, he would be the president, not this elemental fascist of Bolsonaro.” For the Ecuadorian, “the arrest of Lula not only stole his freedom, but democracy in Brazil.”
Regarding Argentina, he said that the victory of the Argentinian opposition against neolliberalism was “blunt”. He made a comparison between Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Moreno. “President Macri is a kind of right, people knew what they were voting for. Moreno, on the contrary, presented himself as the left, as the continuation of the Citizen Revolution. He won and then did everything the other way around, threw away the government program and adopted the losing candidate’s plan,” he said.
Lenin Moreno was Correa’s vice president and was his ally. After being elected, however, he left the former co-religionist, whom he became a rival.
Protests continue and over 700 detained
The number of people arrested in the Ecuadorian protests has risen to 700 people. Thousands of people took to the streets of the country on Wednesday to speak out against the economic package. There was confrontation in some locations. The seat of government was temporarily moved to Guayaquil after protesters took over parliament building in Quito.
Moreno says he is negotiating with dissatisfied groups, and accuses Correa of supporting violent protests to destabilize the country.