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Ecuador: Referendum Results Herald Changes


President Correa at the balcony in the Carondelet (Government) Palace . Photo by Presidencia de la Republica and used under creative commons license

The Minister of Economy for Alfredo Palacio's presidency, Mr. Correa, published a document in 2004 which  can be found at La Insignia [es] where he stated back then what is currently being discussed in Art. 303 of the newly passed Constitution, stating that Ecuadorians will go back to a national currency, and control and regulation of money will return to the Ecuadorian Central Bank. Since Ecuador currently uses the US Dollar as currency, this has not been seen with positive eyes by many. However, not even the protests against the approval for the new Constitution, have stopped this “Citizen Revolution of XXI Century”, as the victory was proclaimed by the Presidential political movement, Alianza Pais (Country Alliance).

Preliminary results favor the Ecuadorian government (98.87% of votes had been counted, so far) and its vision of political future in Ecuador. As of today, 63.94% of population has voted for Correa's petition and 28.08%  are supporting the NO. Guayaquil, one of the largest cities in Ecuador, however, voted differently than the rest of the country: even though results were quite close between both tendencies, finally the NO won with 46.97% of preference. Guayaquil's Mayor, Jaime Nebot, had to concede the results and being one of the leaders opposing the approved Constitution, he was quick to respond to Correa's call about dialogue and say he's not looking towards a separatist new Guayaquil, independent of its actual country, as many suggested.

Bloggers in Ecuador have commented about the referendum's aftermath. Some are happy with the triumph of the YES and some others think that promised change is still far, far away.

Juan Fernando Pachedo of Satturn Attacks [es] begins his post asking himself, New life hopes? and he continues to doubt that a plain paper as the Constitution, might change things in this South American country. On the contrary, he advises his fellow citizens to take some steps in the economical area:

- Abrir tan pronto puedas una cuenta en Euros, créanme no hay moneda que se ponga al euro
– Sacar tu dinero del país, algunos Bancos te permite abrir cuentas en sus filiales en USA o directamente puedes hacerlo tú, es el mejor camino.
– No embarcarse en deudas en los próximos dos años, no deudas grandes al menos, recuerda que ahora pagas en Dólares y cuando tengas una nueva moneda devaluada te será más difícil de poder pagar a las cuotas de tu casa, auto etc, etc
– Migrar, si tienes a donde y de forma legal hazlo, ojo no aconsejo te subas a un bote y te vayas a EEUU sin siquiera poder articulas dos palabras, pero si tienes un empleo o una profesión que te ayude, puede hacer una migración ordenada tuya y de tu familia.

- As soon as you can open an account in Euros, believe me, there is no currency that stands up to the Euro.
– Take out your money from the country, some banks allow you to open accounts at its subsidiaries in the U.S. directly or you can do it by yourself, it is the best way.
– Do not get into debts in the next two years, not large ones in any case, remember that now you pay in U.S. dollars and when you have a new devalued currency, it will be more difficult to pay the home mortgage, car, etc, etc.
– Migrate, if you have a chance and can you do it legally, but listen, I do not advise you to board a boat and walk away to the U.S. without even articulating a couple of words, but if you have a job or a profession to help you, you can make an orderly migration for yourself and your family.

Eduardo Varas of Libros, Autores y Riesgos [es] laments  that a great number of people, like him, neither voted for  YES nor for NO.  Eduardo thinks this shows that Ecuadorians vote favoring sensationalism and looked away from different options. Reminding us how Ecuador's political road has been in the last decade, he writes:

Y bueno, ver esa distancia, ver que un país se mueve por pasiones (por ejemplo, ayer en uno de los canales se pasó un reportaje sobre las consultas que se han realizado desde la vuelta a la democracia y me quedé helado al ver que en el gobierno de León Febres Cordero se lanzó una para preguntar al pueblo si se prefería que candidatos independientes pudieran participar en contiendas electorales. La mayoría dijo No. Luego, varias años después, Sixto Durán Ballén, en su gobierno, hizo la misma pregunta y ganó el Sí. No hay opción, se vota por la figura y no por sus ideas… eso suena a condena), y entender que el manejo será así por mucho tiempo, te obliga a despertar a varias ideas…

Well, looking from afar,  to see a country that is moved by passion (for example, yesterday in one of the TV channels a report was aired on the referendums that have taken place since the return to democracy, and I was stunned to see that León Febres Cordero’ government launched a referendum to ask the people if they preferred that independent candidates could participate in the electoral contests. The majority said no. Then, several years later, Sixto Durán Ballén, in his government, made the same question and the Yes won. There is no option, we vote by the figurehead and not by their ideas … it sounds like condemnation), and understanding that this will go on for a long time, it forces you to wake up several ideas…

El Cronista of CronicaCero[es] recalls that this is the fifth time in less than two years that President Correa gets the favor from Ecuadorian citizens. He comes to realize that opposition is still blind to the changes that are really happening in his country:

Sí, a ver, dirán algunos que nada ha cambiado, que siguen los casos de corrupción, que sigue el gasto, que sigue el desempleo, que sigue la pobreza. Es cierto. Hay ciertas cosas que no cambian. Pero lo que se aprobó ayer, domingo 28 de septiembre, es sin duda, un paso enorme para modificar la estructura de un Estado que hace rato se olvidó de la gente y que se la jugó corruptamente por quienes tenían el poder financiero y político.

Yes, let's see, some will say that nothing has changed, that corruption cases are still going on, the spending continues, unemployment continues, that poverty remains. It is true. There are certain things that do not change. But what was passed yesterday, Sunday, Sept. 28, is certainly a huge step for changing the structure of a state that a long time ago forgot about the people and which was played corruptly by those who had the financial and political power.

2 comments

  • Rosa Velez

    Pienso que si haya ganado o no el Presidente Correa para la opcion de cambiar la constitucion, lo unico que importa es que se realizen obras para el desarrollo de el Ecuador, se creen mas fuentes de trabajo para nuestros compatriotas, y así los Ecuatotianos no tengan que emigrar a los EEUU, por aqui la situasion se pone cada día mas difícil. Ademas las familias se separar, y la juventud de ahora ya no quiere estuadiar por que no sienten esa necesidad de hacerlo, si sus parientes esta en los EEUU.
    Espero al menos que el Presidente Correa demuestre qe es capaz de sacar en adelte al pais, utilizar los recursos naturales que tiene nuestro pais, y no tener qu depender de otros paises como EEUU, Venezuela, o paises Europeos.

  • bocachica

    Tenemos que sentir cierta verguenza ajena cuando alguien que se llena la boca y escupe los improperios mas infames contra sus oponentes,luego resulta que hace ,no solo lo que acusa a sus oponentes de hacer,sino que ademas lo hace con mas sana y sin ningun sonrojo.Creo que no tengo que explicar que es el encartado el actual ocupante de palacio en quito.Tremendo bribon nos hemos elegido.

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