[OPE-L] Leftist economist wins Ecudador election

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Tue Nov 28 2006 - 08:58:53 EST

An informative post from PEN-L. / In solidarity, Jerry

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------
  Subject: Re: Leftist economist wins Ecudador election
  From: Paul <paul_@xxxxxxx>
  Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2006 23:07:42 -0500


We discussed now President-elect Correa quite a bit on Pen-l in August last
year.  He is a serious economist teaching at the Universidad de San
Francisco in Quito having published in the ECLAC Review and elsewhere.  He
was forced from his brief tenure as Finance Minister in a broad coalition
government by Paul Wolfowitz.  At the time there were warnings that, by
polarizing the situation, Wolfowitz might result in Correa returning as
President the following year.  IF Correa can pull it off, this will be one
more losing confrontation that the North American elite can hold against
Wolfowitz.  (Background can be found at the MRzine
<http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/anonymous250805.html> )

I say IF because Correa has a constitutionally weak office and has
virtually no representatives with seats in the National Congress which is
controlled by a conservative opposition.  He also has no true political
party of his own.

Correa is a mostly a product of the Catholic left, and studied at the
Catholic university in Louvain Belgium.  He did his PhD work in economics
at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under
Werner Baer (whom I associate with Furtado of Brazil and with the Journal
"World Development").

As the article noted, two more economics professors will be his key cabinet
members: one studied at UNAM and the other was often published by various
anti-globalization movements.

In the coming months, among other things, look for:
         - a constitutional crisis over a national convention to re-write
the Constitution giving Correa more power;
         - a possible confrontation with international creditors over debt
         - a possible confrontation with Occidental Petroleum over the
re-nationalization of oil fields leased to them.


Ken Hanly forwarded the AP article:
>Leftist economist wins Ecuador election
>QUITO, Ecuador - A leftist economist who called for
>Ecuador to cut ties with international lenders
>appeared to have easily won the presidency of this
>poor, politically unstable Andean nation,
>strengthening South America's tilt to the left.
>Partial returns from Sunday's voting showed that
>Rafael Correa _ who has worried Washington with calls
>to limit foreign debt payments _ would join
>left-leaning leaders in Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina,
>Chile and Venezuela, where he is friends with
>anti-U.S. President Hugo Chavez.
>He also announced that leftist economists Ricardo
>Patino and Alberto Acosta, whom he had mentioned
>earlier as possible Cabinet ministers, would be
>appointed to head the ministries of economy and
>Correa served just 106 days last year as finance
>minister under interim President Alfredo Palacio, who
>replaced Lucio Gutierrez in the midst of street
>protests in April 2005.

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