Ecuador Fighting for Survival Against Its Elites

Ecuador Fighting for Survival Against Its ElitesEcuador Fighting for Survival Against Its Elites

To overlook tremendous progress that Ecuador registered under the current administration would take great determination and discipline. New airports, highways, hospitals and culture centers are everywhere, and they are impressive. Cities are counting with wide sidewalks and public parks are equipped with all sorts of playgrounds for children, some extremely innovative.

There are public libraries in some of the parks, armed with free WiFi zones. Buses and trolleybuses are running on dedicated lanes and are heavily subsidized (25 cents per ride), while Quito is planning to build its first line of metro, Andre Vltchek wrote for CounterPunch.

Government puts great emphasis on health, education and culture. You want to check your pulse before a powerwalk in the park, or are you a single mother who wants to talk to a nutritionist? Help is always there, available, not only at the hospitals, but also in small, modern health centers. And help is always free.

  Bad News

It is great news for a majority of Ecuadorian citizens, but terrible nightmare for the “elites.” They no longer feel unique, no longer is this country their huge, private playground and a milking cow. The “elites” still have money and their villas, as well as servants, luxury cars and regular trips to those lands they are faithfully serving, North America and Europe.

But their status is diminishing. No longer do they feel admired and no longer feared. They are increasingly forced to play by rules and to respect local laws. That would be unimaginable just 10 years ago. For some, this is the end of the world.

This could lead to inevitable conflict and Ecuador is not an exception. To a greater or smaller extent, the same is happening in Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and even in Chile. Immediately after people vote a socialist government in, immediately after the government begins working for the majority, the elites start reacting. Their goal is clear and predictable: To discredit the administration and to reverse the course.

Attacks can be performed through “nonviolent” means, including protests, disinformation campaign through mass media, even hunger strikes, or by extremely aggressive means: Economic sabotage, creation of shortages; things that extreme right wing used so successfully against the socialist government of Salvador Allende in Chile, before the 1973 military coup.

If everything else fails, “elites” unite their forces with the military and with the West, commit treason, and attempt to overthrow legitimate left-wing government, through direct actions.

  Right-Wing Elites

Lately, in Ecuador, right-wing “elites” are continuously protesting against the administration, accusing it of corruption and other ills. The latest chapter was related to proposed progressive inheritance tax law, which would order those who own houses priced over $1 million to pay 70% to the state. The less fortunate would pay nothing if their houses cost less than $35,000. Those whose dwellings are priced under $100,000 would still pay very little.

But rich Ecuadoreans see this as unacceptable. They began stalking government offices. They protested all over the capital. They launched tremendous propaganda campaign against the government. And they threatened to disrupt the visit of Pope Francis to Ecuador. Fearing huge scandal, the government postponed passing of the law. That calmed down passions for a day or two, but in no time the protesters returned to the streets of Quito.


Corruption is one of the main rallying cries of the “elites.” They claim the government is mismanaging the country.

They can get away with such statements only because they are controlling mass media, most of the television networks and newspapers. Otherwise, entire country would die from laughter.

When right wing was in charge, it grabbed everything. Like in Paraguay where 2% of the population are still controlling well over 75% of land. Like in Chile, where, after Pinochet was forced to step down, his country was suffering from the greatest income disparity in South America. Like in Venezuela, where, before Hugo Chavez became the president, “elites” grabbed billions, using oil deposits as collateral for insane loans that were happily supplied by the West and its institutions.

Corruption and theft had been synonymous with the upper class rule, everywhere in Latin America.

Entire nations, including Ecuador, were robbed, plundered, forced into perpetual underdevelopment by those elites who are now talking about corruption in the government ranks.

The right-wing elites, in their never-ending propaganda, shout, “Let us win and you will pay nothing.” They dare to say this to the poor whom they were robbing for centuries.

In (Ecuador’s capital) Quito, I speak to Sonya Maria Bustos and her husband Norberto Fuertes, both journalists, now working for the Ecuadorian Cultural Center.

Sonya is sad: “Because of ‘elites,’ the country is now unstable, despite the fact that so many things changed for the better. No more hospitals full of poor children. Do you remember? Before, sick people were everywhere, now, new hospitals are growing all over the country. But some very rich people are trying to get into the government, to infiltrate it ... to stop the progress.

 “Now rich people get out of their Hummers in order to protest. Eight years of great progress, but they are still protesting. They have no shame.”

  Disregarding the Poor

Ecuadorean ‘elites’ are not gentle at all. Their arrogance, greed and selfishness are ready to smash all achievements of the revolution. Their message is clear: To hell with Ecuadorian people, especially those who are poor, as long as we can keep our villas, Hummers and our kids in private schools.

Just recently, President Rafael Correa warned that the plan of destabilizing the government is being put in action.

Leaders of the “opposition” will wait until arrival of Pope Francis, or perhaps they will wait a bit longer, until his departure from Ecuador. Then they will hit and will hit hard. The mayor of Quito leads the anti-government forces in the capital.

The government should not follow the path of (former) president Allende. It has to counterattack, before it is too late. Treason is a serious crime in all societies and treason is exactly what Ecuadorean elites are now committing.