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 President Rafael Correa's INAUGURAL SPEECH:


 In his hour-long inaugural speech, Ecuador's new President Rafael Correa called on his fellow citizens to bring about a "radical, profound and rapid change in the reigning economic, political and social system," which is "perverse," as it is based on politics and doctrines which "exalt egoism, competition and greed as the motor of social development."

                He mocked the sacred cows of neo-liberalism and the IMF and World Bank, "which disguised a simple ideology as science," and whose "supposed scientific investigations" are nothing but multimillion-dollar ideological marketing campaigns for ideas which are abject absurdities. Absurdities such as the idea that central banks are autonomous, an idea which he attacked at three separate points in the speech. Absurdities such as having "a strategy of development based on the individualism of the market." Absurdities such as treating the dignity of human work as a simple commodity, to justify its exploitation, through crimes such as outsourcing, hourly contracts, and "labor flexibility." Policies which led to a doubling of unemployment from what it was in the early 1990s, and which led to exiling millions through so-called "migration" which ripped apart families and communities, but whose remittances have become the only thing which sustains the country.

"It is time to understand that the principal good which our societies demand is the Moral Good," he stated. Reforms in the international financial architecture are required to finally resolve the problem of the debt, and determine what is illegitimate debt (either from being the product of corruption from the outset, or from being paid several times over) and what is legitimate, which can be paid, taking social needs into account. He repeated his proposal that the foreign reserves of Ibero-American nations be returned to the region, and used in a "Bank of the South" which can finance development, rather than parked abroad. Ecuador's policy will be to fight to implement Bolivar's concept of the Great South American Nation, he said.

                It not being possible to do justice to the speech in time for today's briefing, we provide the following extract, which give an idea of the thinking of this new member of Ibero-America's "Presidents' Club":

                "The economic policy followed by Ecuador since the late 1980s is faithfully entrenched in the dominant development paradigm of Latin America, known as neo-liberalism, with its own inconsistencies of corruption, the need to maintain economic subordination and the demand to service the foreign debt. The results of these policies is evident, and after 15 years of application, the consequences have been disastrous....

                "The absurdity was reached of defending as prudent those very policies which destroyed jobs, like those applied in 2003-2004. Dogmatism was so extensive, that anything that neo-liberal dogmatism didn't understand was labelled populism. On the other hand, any prank of the market and of capital was presented as technical.... This brings to mind the example of autonomous central banks, without any democratic control, the simplemindedness of free trade, privatizations, dollarization and so many other atrocities.

                New inaugurated President Rafael Correa spoke of a war on corruption, including against corrupt structures and laws:

                "Weren't the 18 dead retirees we had in 2003, who had asked for nearly two months for an increase in their miserable pensions, a matter of corruption? Wasn't the debt swap of 2000, which explicitly sought to improve bond prices in the creditors' favor, while the country was destroyed, a matter of corruption? Isn't the existence of completely autonomous central banks, whose opulence is an insult to the poverty of our people and which, further, do not answer to democratic controls but rather to international bureaucracies, a matter of corruption? Wasn't the Law of Deposit Guarantees, imposed by the political power of the bankers, which forced the State to guarantee 100% of bank deposits, without regard to amounts, days before the generalized bankruptcy of the banks, a matter of corruption? All this led to the dollarization of the economy, when in 1999 the Central Bank tripled monetary emision to rescue the banks. Today, we no longer have a national currency; it is no longer the heroic symbol of the Marshal of Ayacucho. Those guilty of this destruction, the banks and the Central Bank, are more prosperous than ever.

                "Isn't the existence of absurd laws like the Law of Fiscal Transparency, which limits all expenses except debt service, corruption?

                "Wasn't that horror called the Fund of Stabilization, Investment and Public Debt Reduction--the infamous FEIREP--which used the new oil revenues to guarantee debt payment and the pre-announced buyback of the debt, a matter of corruption? In this way, our money, our natural resources, our sovereignty, was stolen...."

For the complete text see EIR





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