By Carlos Sánchez Berzaín
Once again, Ecuador’s president favorably surprised everyone by eliminating the State’s subsidies to fuels. Lenin Moreno who ascended into power as Rafael Correa’s “dauphin” proxy, with shadows of fraud and with the role of providing continuity to the dictatorial regime has, surprisingly and quickly restored democracy and has, furthermore, decided to reconcile the economy. These statesman’s actions have exposed him to Correa’s conspiracy and sedition who, along with the Castro Chavism system, intend to topple him to revert the historical advances made and regain impunity.
Lenin Moreno has turned out to be the transitional president wished by all countries who want to abandon the Castroist Chavist dictatorships in the Americas. For ten years, Rafael Correa installed in Ecuador one of the self-named 21st Century Socialism’s dictatorships with the model orchestrated by Chavez and Castro. He held absolute power featured with judicialized political persecutions, prisoners, exiles, seizure of communications’ media, suppression of the freedom of the press, corruption, organized crime infiltrated in the government, narcotics’ trafficking, and anti-imperialism. He arbitrarily designated his successor candidate and manipulated the government to get him elected, but it turned out that, once elected and already in the presidency, Moreno betted for democracy and took-on the task of dismantling the dictatorship thus making Correa and Castro Chavism his enemies.
The term “dauphin” which was a title of nobility used in France for the prince heir to the crown, is used in politics today to describe “the officially or informally designated successor for a position”. From being Correa’s dauphin, Lenin Moreno has become the restorer of democracy in Ecuador and, furthermore, the reconciler of an economy left bankrupt, in shambles and in crisis by his predecessor due to his centralized, corrupt management. Moreno is fixing one of the severe consequences of Correism.
The InterAmerican Development Bank reported in July of 2019 that in Ecuador “the State’s subsidies to fuels and electricity represent 7% of the annual government’s expenditures or the equivalent to two-thirds of the fiscal deficit”. The report states that “the most inefficient, unfair, and expensive subsidy for Ecuador is that for gasoline”, adding that “using the subsidies for gasoline, the State spends twenty dollars to transfer one dollar to the low-income sector of society due to the fact that gasoline is mainly used by wealthier families who own cars”.
With Executive Decree 883, in force since the 3rd of October of 2019, President Moreno has eliminated subsidies to gasoline and diesel fuels while keeping the subsidies for oil’s liquified gas and industrial diesel fuels, seeking to save approximately 1.4 billion dollars annually and to stop the contraband of these fuels to Peru and Colombia. With the excuse of being opposed to this measure, individuals and groups under the control of Correa and the Castro Chavism’s system want to topple the president.
Rafael Correa several times repeatedly justified and promoted the elimination of subsidies to fuels. Just a few weeks ago, when he visited the dictator Nicolas Maduro he suggested that “Venezuela do away its subsidy to fuels because it is one of the causes for the crisis in that country”. Now, when facing the needed measure taken by President Moreno, Correa and the Castro Chavism’s system are in open sedition to topple the democratic government as proven by statements, aggression, mass-agitators, operators, detainees and the decreed State of Exception.
Ecuador’s economy is dollarized since 9 January of 2000 when President Jamil Mahuad adopted the decision that avoids inflation due to the fact that Ecuador’s Central Bank cannot coin U.S. dollars. This is why, the ten years of corruption and disorder of Correa’s regime did not take Ecuador to a hyperinflation as in Venezuela, but did take Ecuador to an exaggerated internal and external debt thus producing fiscal deficits that are impossible to sustain and can bring the country to a halt.
For the Castro Chavism system, defeated and beleaguered by its crimes in Ecuador, agonizing in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia, but still operational with guerrillas, narcotics’ trafficking, and terrorism in the region, this situation is a great opportunity to interrupt the restoration of democracy in Ecuador. But, at the same time, it is the extraordinary moment for the people from Ecuador to defeat Organized Crime and the leaders from the opposition to prove their intelligence and commitment to democracy.
Carlos Sanchez Berzain is Attorney & Political Scientist. Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.