Ecuadorian authorities are trying hard to shift the blame for ongoing protests on foreign influence, yet they are the ones who have mishandled the economy, and now refuse to give up power, ex-president Rafael Correa told RT.
The anti-government protests were triggered by austerity cuts linked to a loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), approved back in March. The spending cuts, unveiled by President Lenin Moreno last week include elimination of state fuel subsidies – which has already resulted in fuel prices more than doubling. In an attempt to quell the unrest, Moreno issued a 60-day national emergency decree late last week, yet the crisis continued and the government was ultimately forced to move out of the capital city of Quito to the southern coastal city of Guayaquil on Monday.
The country’s government has blamed the unrest on foreign meddling. The president branded the protest a “coup attempt” backed by Venezuela’s leader Nicolas Maduro and exiled former president of Ecuador – one-time ally and now an arch-enemy of Moreno – Rafael Correa.
Foreign meddling or inept policy making to blame?
Correa himself, however, denies any involvement, insisting that only the government and its inept policies are to blame for the turmoil in the country. Speaking exclusively to RT Spanish, the former president said that the protest is a result of Moreno’s abrupt shift to neoliberal policies and his turning to the IMF for “help.”
“[Moreno] thought he could create something new and better, but he only managed to destroy. We’ve left Ecuador’s economy growing and the growth continued up to 2017-18. But this year, stagnation awaits us,” Correa said.
The very decision to strike a loan deal with the IMF was based on lies, Correa argued, as the country’s government tricked the public, painting the economic situation worse than it was in reality.
“They’ve been juggling the facts and deceived the people, stating that Ecuador’s debt reached 60 billions of dollars – 60 percent of the GDP,” he said, arguing that the debt has not reached this mark even now.