NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY


  October 1, 2010

Ecuador President Defiant After Failed Coup


Wilpert: Right-wing forces use recession, President Correa's faltering popularity to launch failed coup
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here
   

Audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



I support the Real News Network because it gives members an opportunity to make uncensored comments. - David Pear
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


biography

Gregory Wilpert a German-American sociologist who earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Brandeis University in 1994. Between 2000 and 2008 he lived in Venezuela, where he taught at the Central University of Venezuela and then worked as a freelance journalist, writing on Venezuelan politics for a wide range of publications and also founded Venezuelanalysis.com, an English-language website about Venezuela. In 2007 he published the book Changing Venezuela by Taking Power: The History and Policies of the Chavez Government (Verso Books). He moved back to the U.S. in 2008 because his wife was named Consul General of Venezuela in New York and he taught political science at Brooklyn College. Since 2014 he has been living in Quito, Ecuador where he headed up the launch of teleSUR English and his wife took the position of Venezuelan Ambassador to Ecuador. Since early 2016 he has been working as a producer for The Real News.


transcript

Ecuador President Defiant After Failed CoupPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Washington. In Ecuador, Rafael Correa, the president, he's declared a national emergency. Apparently, protesting police in the streets have turned on him as he went out into the streets to negotiate with the police. He escaped into a nearby hospital and is now saying this is actually an attempted coup and a deliberate destabilization.

~~~

PRES. RAFAEL CORREA (VOICEOVER TRANSLATION): If you want to kill the president, here I am. Kill me. Kill me if you're not happy. Kill me if you're brave. But we will continue with one policy, one of justice, dignity, and we will not take one step backwards.

~~~

JAY: Joining us now from New York to help us understand these breaking events is Gregory Wilpert. He's the cofounder of Venezuelanalysis. He works with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Venezuela. He's just returned a day ago from Venezuela, and he was in Ecuador just a few weeks ago. Thanks for joining us, Gregory.

GREGORY WILPERT, EDITOR, VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM: Hi. Thanks for having me.

JAY: So, Gregory, what do you make so far of what we can glean from the news reports?

WILPERT: Well, it seems like there's an attempt to basically overthrow Correa, because it's not quite clear what the situation of the military is. Actually, the military, a portion of the military, at least, has also occupied the airport. In other words, they're cooperating with the police that have been just protesting. And they are affected by the same law that the police is demonstrating against, which would make it more difficult for them to get raises and to get promotions. Correa in the meantime has been saying that Lucio Gutiérrez, the ex-president, and who was actually himself a former military person, is behind this attempt to overthrow Correa. But the news on this is very scant, and so it's very difficult so far to really know for sure.

JAY: So, now, just from the news reports, as much as we can glean, what happened is the police were in the streets protesting, I guess, outside the presidential palace, about these issues to do with wages and promotions. President Correa went out to try to directly negotiate. These are lower-ranking officers and ordinary policemen. He went out to negotiate directly with them in the streets, according to some of the reports, and some of the police fired tear gas at him. He escaped into a nearby hospital. Now, one of the reports we have, a friend of ours is talking to someone in Ecuador, and he says that Correa is now out of the hospital on the way back to the presidential palace and that the high command of the military is expected to come out in support of constitutional order. So as these events break, it's hard to tell exactly what's happening. But give us some context. Why would the police be either themselves wanting to get rid of Correa or—? And give us an idea, for people who don't follow the politics of Ecuador, who is Correa.

WILPERT: Correa is somebody who has been promising, in a similar vein as Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia, to completely clean up and reform Ecuador's political system. And he did have a new constitution, passed a new constitution just about two years ago, and has been proceeding on, you know, seriously reforming the country's political institutions.

JAY: So he's seen, at least, as someone who's a populist, who's been going against the sort of entrenched elite interests in Ecuador.

WILPERT: Yes, definitely. Well, actually, recently, though, the problem has been also that he's alienated some of his base of support. And I think the opposition in Ecuador is trying to take advantage of that. That is, he came to power with the help of the indigenous movements, but they recently broke from him because Correa went back on some of his promises about not exploiting the lands for resources in which they have their—they see as their homelands. And so they've broken from him and they've organized massive demonstrations against him. There's a number of social movements in the meantime that are opposed to Correa from the left, and he's still being opposed, of course, also from the right. And I think my speculation is that the opposition in Ecuador is trying to take advantage of this weakness, this temporary weakness of Correa's, and is for this reason trying to move against him.

JAY: Now, what is the economic situation there? Why this new legislation on wages and promotions for the police?

WILPERT: Well, I mean, it's just like everywhere else: there's belt-tightening going on because of the economic crisis. Ecuador is an oil exporting country, a member of OPEC, and the price of oil has gone down in the past two years. And so they need to save money—although there's also reports that actually police salaries have been increased; it's just that the modality for getting raises and promotions has changed. So it seems like a pretty flimsy reason, actually, to be organizing such a serious assault on the presidency.

JAY: And that's why the charges against the ex-president and other forces for using this to destabilize the country.

WILPERT: Exactly.

JAY: Thanks very much for joining us, Gregory. And we'll be following this story on The Real News Network.

End of Transcript

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

Puerto Rico 'Rescue' Bill to Reinforce Colonial Relationship with US
Mass Arrests Expected at Republican and Democratic Conventions
Media Exaggerations of Apocalyptic Venezuela Plays into Regime Change Narrative
Poll: Most Americans Believe the Economy is Rigged Against Them
Redskins and Crackers: What's In a Name?
Kendrick Sampson: The Movement is About Change from the People
Turkey's Regional Ambitions Fuel Attacks Within its Own Borders
Democratic Party Platform: Lots of Hot Air on Climate Change
Brazilian Artists Speak Out Against "Coup" Government
The Conflict is Between Wall Street and Main Street within the Democratic Party
Baltimore Police New Use-of-Force Policy Relies on Orders Officers Say They Routinely Ignore
Breaking Through Power: Robert Fellmeth on Children's Advocacy
French Labor Law, Brexit, and Greek Austerity: Class War Against European Workers
Tired of Tax Breaks, Baltimore Activists Disrupt Developer Fete
Resurgence in Left Politics in Mexico Following Oaxaca Teachers Strike Massacre
Brexit and the Fate of the United Kingdom
Riot Police Confront Mourners of Slain Baltimore Rapper Lor Scoota
The Corbyn No-Confidence Vote and the Bleeding of the Labour Party
Breaking Through Power: Shawn Armbrust on the Conviction of Innocent People, and Making the Justice System More Just
Clinton Appointees to DNC Platform Didn't Support Positions Clinton Claims To Hold
Brexit sends Europe into Political and Economic Crises
Clinton Forces Dominate DNC Platform, Demolishing Key Sanders Issues
Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas's Repressive Anti-Abortion Bill
Imagine a Decentralized Movement, Independent of the DNC, with a Hundred Times the Fundraising and Volunteer Power - People for Bernie Co-Founder
The Laura Flanders Show: Beyond Bernie: Socialism and the Struggle Against Capitalism
Lapavitsas: The Left Needs to Develop an Alternative Plan for Europe
Extreme Heatwaves, More Wildfires, and Dying Trees
Nina Turner: The Oligarchy Must Be Challenged by Everyday People
Sanders Delegate: People Understand that the System Is Rigged in Favor of the Billionaire Class
The Empire Files: Untold History of Imperial Japan & the Bomb

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting