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article imageOp-Ed: An Ecuadorian, doctorate from the USA, is Presidente with promise

By Robert G Cope     Mar 8, 2013 in World
As the Castro brothers age and Hugo Chavez has died, a popular and controversial Latin American president to watch has entered the world stage – from stage left. From Ecuador.
With a doctorate from the University of Illinois, in economics, Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado, easily winning a second term in February, has creditable evidence of his constructive leadership. Reduced high levels of poverty, reduced rates of indigence and increased employment have given his people confidence.
He is controversial however.
In addition to creating public radio and TV (such as the BBC, NPR and Radio Canada), competing with the private sector, critics claim he also ran a campaign against the independence of the media (for example) having – for libel – convicted a journalist and three executives of the newspaper El Universo by the National Court of Justice.
That was in February 2012. Ten days later, in his frequently spontaneous (but knowledgeable, perhaps wily way) he pardoned the four, also dropping a claim of $40 million in awarded civil damages.
After his re-election in February 2013 (weeks ago) he caused a stir in some circles calling attention to Ecuador's London Embassy's continued-protection of the Australian and Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange.
Post-Election Poster showing a happy winner.
Post-Election Poster showing a happy winner.
Correa Campaign
His first act as re-elected President, Rafael Correa invited the United Kingdom to negotiate Assange's release.
There has been no response from the British, who are, no doubt, conferring behind the scenes with Swedish and American authorities.
In the meantime, Julian Assange is continuing with his Russian Times carried “The World Tomorrow.” Rafael Correa was featured on one segment.
Rafael Correa rose from a working class family.
Making poverty worse, when he was 5 yrs-of-age, his father was caught and sentenced for five and a half years for drug smuggling into the U.S. Not excusing his father, but understandingly, as quoted in Wikipedia, he observed, “... smugglers are not delinquents … they are single mothers or unemployed people who are desperate to feed their families.”
Unusual for Wikipedia, twenty-four pages are devoted to telling about Rafael Correa.
In ways similar to Barack Obama, his career is a mixture of working with less privileged community groups and educational achievements. He has degrees earned in Ecuador, Belgium and the U.S.
With supporters  as President  he exclaims   Today I won Ecuador.
With supporters, as President, he exclaims, "Today I won Ecuador.'
Campaign winning
In 2006 I received a letter from his young cousin who had this to say: "I don´t know if you remember that last year I told you that my cousin was the Minister of Economy? Well he quit in March … and he has been doing some campaigning … and he runs for the presidential elections… the whole family worked to help him.. and he passed to the second round… and after that.. he won! He is the new president of Ecuador! Rafael Correa Delgado … he is a young, smart and handsome man of 42 years! The whole Family is so happy and proud about that. It will be a hard period to run the presidency but our country needs new people, new ideals, and need to make a departure from all the corruption and all the power groups … hope our president can do it and last the 4 year period…"
He quit because he would not endorse signing a free trade bill with the United States fearful (as his economic logic told him) the effects on Ecuador's economy would not be favorable. He thinks independently.
And, yes, he did last four years (unusual in Equador) and now has four more.
In a short video with him answering questions while on a flight within Ecuador he gives an impression of being different from the usual, and older Latin American chiefs of state; he has an informal vitality that is winning, and projects a sense of being guileless, smart, and completely trustworthy.
A man to watch.
Election poster urging a continuation of a revolution
Election poster urging a continuation of a revolution
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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