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Ecuador Going Socialist?

BY Natalia Sotomayor | PUBLISHED: Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
Ecuador Going Socialist?

Two weeks ago on September 28, 65% of Ecuadorian citizens voted SI! and agreed on a new constitution under the government of President Rafael Correa. Countries around the world went on alert as newspapers asked: is Ecuador going socialist?

Correa’s joy was explicit when he found out about the triumph. Now, he claimed, Ecuador needed to become a real país unido and celebrate this new citizen revolution. But since the beginning of his presidency, his speeches have done nothing but divide the country between pelucones (high class citizens) and el pueblo.

Apparently, the President is happy to debut his political project: Socialismo del Siglo XXI. The mission is to obtain sumak kawsay (‘buen vivir’ in Quichwa), which is one of the first phrases written in the new constitution.

Good for Ecuadorians. But how does this affect YOU? Well, the new Ecuadorian constitution is the first in Latin America to recognize NATURE as a citizen, giving it its own rights by law. Let’s not forget that Ecuador has a variety of ecological landscapes, rich in endemic species. The Amazon Jungle, the Galapagos, the Andes and the Pacific Ocean are now protected by the Ecuadorian State.

With respect to human beings, the new constitution promotes multiculturalism and cultural identity, as well as the unity of Latin America and el Caribe. With this in mind, Correa’s government plans to allow the free circulation of people and goods from the region. Thus, if your are a Latino or Caribe citizen, you might be able to travel freely across Ecuadorian borders in the future.

Still, resistance toward the decision is abundant. Many headlines in Ecuador read phrases such as “The New Constitution is Not What Ecuador Needs” or “The New Constitution Will Not Feed Us.” It is, without a doubt, important for Ecuadorian citizens to be alert. Correa should and must work for everything that the new constitution seems to promote. Promises made on paper must become actions. Ecuador is not about Correa or his party. As Correa himself affirms, Ecuador need equality and unity, two words that sound utopist and cliché but are, after all, what we all seek.



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