Nov 30 2006

Elections in Ecuador and Venezuela

Feature Stories | Published 30 Nov 2006, 9:27 am | Comments Off on Elections in Ecuador and Venezuela -

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Rafael CooreaGUEST: Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

Leftist candidate Rafael Correa was declared the winner of Ecuador’s heated election this past Tuesday. His election comes on the heels of Nicaragua’s election of Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega, and joins other left leaning regimes such as Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Chile. Ecuador is currently the second largest South American exporter of crude oil to the US. Ecuador also hosts the only US military base in South America, where 400 troops are currently stationed. Rafael Correa’s win is a source of concern to the US – he opposes an extension of the lease for the US military base, plans to seek a bigger chunk of oil profits from foreign energy companies, and tighten banking regulations to stop capital flight. President Bush’s nemesis, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has openly supported Correa. Chavez himself faces an election this Sunday. His main opponent is Manuel Rosales, Governor of Zulia, backed by the majority of Venezuela’s wealthy. Chavez has warned that the US government was backing Rosales and would try to undermine the election. “If the imperialists and its lackeys try to destabilize Venezuela with riots, they will regret it for the rest of their lives. I warn them,” said Chavez at a recent election rally.

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