There is a lot we can learn about Ecuadorian politics and reality from the recent one day upheaval during the Ecuador police unrest.
Will the current Ecuador politics lead to this?
or is this the more likely result of Ecuador politics?
See below a batch pf Ecuador pictures and why I lean towards the politics of dancers in Ecuador. First some words about Ecuador politics.
I was talking with our attorney (who does not like Correa) about Ecuador political realities and he feels that Correa mismanaged the situation. He also felt that Correa took advantage of his error and made the situation look worse than it was.
There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal about last week’s disturbance, entitled “What Really Happened in Ecuador” by Mary Anastasia O’Grady that confirms this.
Here is an excerpt from this Wall Street Journal article: Eyewitnesses deny police kidnapped the president, and there’s no evidence a coup was in the making.
Aída Zaldumbide was recuperating from heart surgery at the police hospital in Quito Thursday when Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa arrived there, asking to see a doctor. Mr. Correa says that, once inside the hospital, the police “kidnapped” him for 10 hours, in what he is calling an attempted coup d’état.
Not so, says Ms. Zaldumbide, at least one other patient, and two doctors and a nurse who were on duty at the time. They say Mr. Correa retained all his presidential privileges and was never without the protection of his security team.
They also say he was offered an armed escort to leave but refused it. Ecuador’s minister of internal and external security has also said that the president was never detained.
Nevertheless, at 9 p.m. Mr. Correa, who was doing telephone interviews with the state-controlled media during the time he was supposedly “kidnapped,” ordered 500 army troops to the hospital. The soldiers arrived with tanks and submachine guns and opened fire on the police. A fierce gun battle lasted 40 minutes, took the lives of two men, and terrified hospital staff and patients.
The trouble started on Thursday morning when the police announced a strike to protest cuts in their compensation. Mr. Correa responded by going to the barracks to confront the cops. Once inside the building he went to a window, tore open his shirt, and shouted, “If you want to kill the president, kill him!”
If the goal was taking out the president, that provocation provided the moment to do it. But it is unlikely that the police had any such thing in mind.
This is because, despite feeble management of the economy, most polls give the populist demagogue an approval rating of better than 50%. Recent history suggests that Ecuadoran governments topple only after their public approval falls first. Without popular support to remove Mr. Correa, a coup—by all accounts there was no leader—was not going to happen.
After the shootout was over, Ms. Zaldumbide told the Ecuadoran daily Expreso this: “It is unjust what happened. The press here is talking about him being kidnapped but it wasn’t that way. The special forces made a cordon for him to be able to leave but he did not want to. We told him to leave, to put our lives first, but he did not want to.” Ms. Zaldumbide went on to say that Mr. Correa “insisted on having [his movement known as Alianza Pais] come to escort him out because he had to leave with his head held high.”
Dr. Fernando Vargas, who was working at the hospital, posted similar testimony online at ecuadorenvivo.com: Mr. Correa “was never kidnapped, was attended to by hospital personnel,” and “the minister of the interior was in permanent contact with him.” The police prepared an armed escort for him and waited two hours for him to make use of it. Instead, there was “a savage military assault on this hospital,” where, the doctor pointed out, there were women, children and old people.
Diego Chimborazo, a police officer who was in the hospital for knee surgery, and another doctor gave similar accounts to Expreso of the senseless military strike.
Mr. Correa had little trouble managing the story. In the morning he closed down independent television reporting, limiting Ecuadorans to his version of the day’s events. Curiously, when he arrived at the plaza in front of the presidential palace—shortly after he left the hospital—to celebrate his triumph over the “coup,” giant TV screens and a sound system were already in place.
There is some evidence that the military, which will also bear Mr. Correa’s austerity measures, sympathized with the police strike. It did not move to police city streets when lawlessness broke out, and the air force closed some airports. Yet throughout the day the top brass remained loyal to the president.
One thing is certain: Mr. Correa is not going to let the crisis go to waste. Since Thursday he has been seizing the airwaves to broadcast his version of the narrative, which implicates his political opponents in what increasingly looks like a coup that never happened.
My comment is, “Correa is a politician. Is there a surprise here”?
What politician… after making numerous blunders does not try to make him or herself look good?
My attorney then went on to agree with me that few politicians… anywhere… meet all our expectations, but overall Correa has done a lot of good. As mentioned, my attorney does not like Correa much… but says “he has done more than all other presidents in the past 15 years”.
The former Presidents in Ecuador have been bad for the entire 15 years Merri and I have been here. This has made little difference to day to day life. Go to Garyascott.com and type Correa in the search engine as I have written many messages about him. He is the best I have seen so far.
I believe that many of his policies are incorrect but he is smart. He remains popular. He has been providing free housing for the poor.
They are little 240 square feet affairs.
These little houses are everywhere on the coast.
He has helped build many more roads in Ecuador.
Road expansion on Ecuador’s coast.
The bridge from Bahia to San Vicente is being worked on 24 hours a day. Correa as the president said that it is the 2nd most important project in Ecuador for tourisum after the new airport in Quito.
The road from San Vicente to Pederanales is presently being widened to four lanes. A new highway from Quito to Pederanales is 45% complete. This highway will cut the travel time from Quito to Pedernales in half….to three and a half hours. This will make Pedernales the closest beach to Quito.
New highway under construction from San Vicente to Canoa.
Let me be clear about Correa. I do not like many of the things he has been doing… but then again I do not like many things that Obama is doing either.
Obama and Correa have much in common… youth… energy and inexperience.
Anyone looking for a place to live where the country has only good politicians may be in for quite a search.
Let me also be clear about my position regarding the USA.
A reader recently asked:
Gary, Just curious – if you love Ecuador so much – why is legal address in NC, USA. Why a non-profit entity in the US!
My reply kind of says it all.
Does one have to dislike one country because they love another?
We have lived in Hong Kong, England, Europe, The US, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and have enjoyed them all. If there is one key theme in the thousands of messages we have sent to our tens of thousands of readers about global living is that diversification, people and value are keys aspects in our beliefs.
We love Ecuador and live part time here. We also love North Carolina and live part time there. We are Florida residents and make no bones about our love for America and how we live more there than in Ecuador.
We reported in 2009 our shift back to Smalltown USA and agriculture in Florida. and why we see value in Smalltown USA as well as Ecuador. Why we love the people and why we diversify.
Those three themes… value… people… diversification are our politics.
This is our North Carolina home.
This is our Florida home.
This, Inn Land of the Sun is our Ecuador home. Note how the US and Ecuadorian flag freely fly, side by side, with those of many other nations.
Each makes the other better!
We do not get much into politics here in Ecuador (or in the USA). We just enjoy the life… the sweet people… the warm weather… the good food and low cost living and let the politicians and the newscasters play their games. They have very little effect on our lives as we spend our time figuring out how we can be better rather than how to make the politicians look worse.
In fact bad Ecuador politics in many ways make life better for retirees here. Bad politics screw up the economy leaving people poor and keeping the cost of living low.
I hope that changes. I would like to see more people in Ecuador prosper but that probably will not happen soon.
Low oil prices are expected this winter. This and Ecuador’s debt will challenge Correa over the months ahead.
The bad economics will put Correa under pressure and he’ll make mistakes. He may even come off as a brash hot head. Does this make him a dictator? Not that I have seen. Will it make any difference in my life or the other gringo’s living here. Probably not.
In fact if there is anyone to fear it is the NEWS that misleads you and tries with its spin to lock you into a narrow point of view. Life is good in Ecuador and in Smalltown USA… make no mistake about this.
While many are living with the crowds and stress and snow and high prices… thinking there is danger here… a growing number of are enjoying the sun… low stress… low cost and a good life without big brother.
Here are more comments about Ecuador politics from readers who were in Ecuador during the one day police strike.
An American living on the coast wrote: Gary, We all had a good time. We arrived yesterday in Bahia and got the scoop of what went on here during the problems with police and president.
Here on the coast and specifically Bahia, Jama and Canoa. There were no problems at all. Everyone just watched the TV and waited for it to be over and got back to normal life the following day. That is pretty much how the coast handles what is happening in these situations in the big city. It is just an unwanted disruption here. I hope that this explains it a little for your readers. Regards,
An American living in Quito wrote: Hi Gary, I am an American Citizen 61 years of age, living in Ecuador and an avid reader of yours. I came here 10 years ago to establish a business here, with plans to return to California in 3 to 4 weeks, but here I am still. I re-married here 6 years ago and now have a beautiful 3 year old daughter. I say all this to let you know that I am not new to the Ecuadorian scene and wish to stand up and be counted as an American in Support of “Correa”.
I have had exposure to previous governments of this beautiful country and this one is different. The government of President Rafael Correa is truly making a difference, they have put people in the Ministries, etc. that are well educated and dedicated to what they are doing and trying to put things in order. But you know the opposition does not like that.
We have to take what the media says with a grain of salt. Especially since channel 4 is about to change hands, as a bank, they can´t own TV Stations under the law. This morning in watching channel 4 and 8, I was disgusted by their description of the events of the past days. Last night on channel 10 on the “la Television” show with Ellers, they showed and described clearly the events of Thursday.
My wife and I went to Plaza Grande on Thursday and the people were emotional but very peacefully voicing their support for their President. People crying for fear that their President was in such dire danger. It was part of that same group that went to the Police Hospital where the President and his staff were enclosed. They marched peacefully only to encounter violence, rocks, bullets and police batons, by this rogue group.
Thank you for your ongoing efforts to describe this as a peaceful country, (the majority of the people are good and loving) of opportunity and beauty.
An American living near Guayaquil wrote: I agree with you about the media drama. Watching live footage last night we saw the “Violent Rescue of President Correa.” The gunfire sounded pretty impressive until the reporter finally let on that they were firing dummy bullets. This morning the headline was “Bloody Rescue of President Correa,” although there haven’t been any images of bloodshed to back that up.
It brings to mind hurricane coverage in Florida, when even in cases where the storm (luckily) never came ashore, they always managed to find a shot of a ficus tree that had tipped over on someone’s house to illustrate “the storm damage.”
There you have it.
Correa does like to play it up for the crowds as this photo I took shows. He immerses himself in the people.
None of us are worry much about this leading to dictators and rule by soldiers like…
this officer on Correas protection ujnit.
This is more what we think of when in Ecuador you say “police”.
However, you should come take a look, see and feel for yourself.
Read the entire article What Really Happened in Ecuador
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A delegate who learned Super Spanish outlined how this course can help you. After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible! Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador. The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Thinking Super Spanish. And learning Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course. In recent years, I’ve rarely relaxed (No wonder I have had high blood pressure!) . In class, the past three days, I’ve been introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music. What a blessing! I’m inclined to make this a daily part of my life. Rob Christi
The Super Spanish helps you start speaking and understanding Spanish right away. This can help you speak Spanish faster and make your traditional Spanish course easier and more effective.
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Four important points in the article are shown in excerpts below with my comments to show what has been wrong with traditional Spanish courses and why the Super Thinking tactic is perfect for this program.
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Here are what delegates wrote about a Super Thinking + Spanish seminar.
“Hi Gary & Merri, You two are the BEST!!! Your Seminar was fantastic! I am so excited. I had procrastinated fulfilling my continuing education for my Broker’s License and then just before my surgeries, I realized by expiration date isn’t Nov. 12th – it is Sept 12th. Well, as you can see prior to taking your course I had only completed 3 units of the required 45 units. I thought I would take your course and then complete my remaining 42 units over the next 2 weeks. However, I took one class exam on Saturday night, August 27th. I didn’t even take the cellophane off the required Course manuals until after I saw the two of you today less than 5 hours ago! I used your techniques and completed 39 units of continuing education today. I have now completed all 45 units. All of my test scores were in the 90.6-96% range. My course exam information is listed below. I just wanted to let you know how valuable your course was to me. Thanks again!” Suzy Kurinsky
Another wrote: Thanks for the Spanish course. This technique is truly a breakthrough in learning. I believe I learned more Spanish in four days than I learned in four weeks in a previously attended Costa Rica language school. The Costa Rica school taught a very limited number of memorized words and phrases. Ted.
Another delegate at a Super thinking plus Spanish seminar wrote: The Super Thinking approach exposed us to a broad variety of works and the technique needed to expand the language. Again, Thanks for the experience.
One attendee wrote: I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything during the seminar. You guys are indeed a shining example of having a business that truly serves others. And thanks for the extra time spent and good things taught to me personally. I have begun to implement them already and will continue to apply them. And you might be interested that waiting for my flight home I ended up sitting next to a woman from Quito and could understand some of what she said in a cell phone conversation. We talked a little and she said that I should visit Ecuador! Thank you again for your real graciousness and acceptance! I will also write to Merri and thank her as well. And I wish that I could do something for you two!
Another wrote: Thank you! We always look forward to spending time and learning about so many fascinating things. Like Minded people and Vivaldi! What could be better?
Another sent this note: Thank you for the wonderful workshop on Super Learning + Spanish! I really enjoyed the workshop.
Since I returned home, I have purchased some of the CDs of Baroque music and thought about which specific pieces will work best in different parts of my classes. I am also reading Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra. I found your discussion of this book to be very helpful in showing how to balance one’s life. I have adjusted my daily schedule, and I can already notice a difference in my productivity.
Thank you for sending the file of the 4005 Spanish words. This will be very helpful in my daily review of Spanish.
Another emailed this: Every day I’m becoming more proficient in Spanish. As I get ready to do something, I think about how I would say it in Spanish. Thank you again for a Super Workshop! With love and blessings,
Another: It certainly was an interesting and intriguing four days for me. I enjoyed the Spanish but even more so, all the tentacles that extended during those four days that went into so many different directions.
I grew up in a very SQUARE box with loving and intelligent parents but my world remained within this box, unable to see beyond those walls, as I was never encouraged to “think outside the box”.. Mike has been opening doors and leading me outside this box but because of my upbringing I have not completely embraced or understood what was beyond those doors he opened for me. As I have gotten older I have become more open to the world outside those doors yet those old tapes continue to play and I have not been able to completely release myself and experience all that can be.
Another shared this: Listening to the two of you during our time together has suddenly got me to thinking, and although some of the ideas still seem foreign to me, I am at a point in my life now where I can say, “anything is possible” and I am now willing to embrace and allow myself to experience the world of possibility and let it take me in directions I may have in the past resisted. I really don’t know where all this is going to lead me but I am now willing to explore, develop and grow.
I found all the information you offered on healing, realigning the body, nutrition, etc. so fascinating, have you ever thought about doing a course on just that? With the aging population and the health care issues I think it would be not only an interesting course but one that would be very beneficial to so many. I, personally, would love to learn more about what you talked about and plan on purchasing the book, “Body Renewal, the Lost Art of Self Healing” for my Kindle.
Thank you again for a wonderful four days!!
Another: We had fun at Disney World on Monday and sat beside several Personnes Espaniol. We could understand them however I couldn’t make sentences quickly, but could say one or two word phrases that were understood. We arrived home at 3am yesterday – the airlines were very late in Denver due to a crew incident.
I found myself making up sentences all day yesterday as I was running errands. John knows more vocabulary than I at this point as he has studied Spanish previously. Today I will begin to review the lessons and construct sentences to send to you and the group – as you suggested below. Es en BUENO sugestion!!! I also received the email Merri sent with the 4005 words and started to scroll through those yesterday.
Another: Thank YOU for everything you have done to create and bring this wonderful experience to all of us. It takes a well sychronized team of people to put on an effective, change producing seminar! I have given many seminars and enjoyed the experience immensely. The outcome is even better! Estoy une infantil de Super Thinking and Spanish, y es possible aprender en tiempo.
John and I both thank all of you for the wonderful experience – we are working now to clear up things so we can leave for the Galapagos and Ecuador November 25th – December 20th. Nosotros tiene muchos appreciacion! Gracias y Abrazos,
Another: Muchas gracias para la informacion! I had a wonderful time at the Super Learning + Spanish weekend!… excelente!
I was impressed with your depth of knowledge on numerous subjects and your ability to speak about them with exceptional recall. Con mucho apriciar, P.S. Yo estoy enteresado en Espanol #2.
One delegate even explained how after our course they ended up as the accidental translator: Gary, I have sent a couple of messages, and a story of Mike being able to translate yesterday for a Spanish person who couldn’t understand what a man was trying to tell him!
We loved the seminar, and are excited to put the super learning to practice, and especially the great company of like-minded people (especially G & M!) Muchas Gracias! Tiene an excellante dias.
One delegate communicated entirely in Spanish…. after just our Super Thinking + Spanish seminar: Buenas dias nuestra maestra perfectamente, Merri! Muchas gracias por la lista espanol.
Claro, David y yo aprendemous mucho espanol el fine de semana pasada. Gary y usted nos hacen espanol muy facil aprender. Es importante continuar a practicar espanol cada dia. Gracias tambien! Buenas suerte…hasta la vista! Con mucho amor,
Comments from another delegate: I wanted you to know that the Spanish course has proven incredibly helpful. Dealing with internet service providers and shopping for appliances, etc., normally would have required me hiring a translator to follow me around. While it may not be pretty or 100% grammatically correct, I am understood. Thank you! Saludos!
Delegates during a relaxation session.
Another a dentist said: I was so delighted with my experience at the Spanish training. I felt more confident of ability to pronounce Spanish than I ever was of French or German. Funny… I did not think I remembered any French or German but when I cannot remember the Spanish words the German and French popped up. Practicing my pronunciation made my trip home go faster. I never enjoyed pronouncing either of the other two, but this was fun. It is hard to fall asleep at the wheel when you are moving your mouth to speak Spanish. It does work your mouth in a different way. I realized that you have to say each syllable slowly and correctly(until you get it perfectly) and when you do it is impressive.
It was amazing to see us all writing such advanced sentences after a few days and so much more enjoyable than having to go through the alphabet to build the words to build the sentences.
Rick Brown has created his own programs attending a one year Super Spanish training program from Merri and me. He has now been teaching this course for five years. He has moved to Cuenca Ecuador and teaches this course once or twice a year.
The Course will be conducted at the beautful American run B & B in Cuenca.
Cuenca Inn Courtyard. Click to enlarge.
The Cuenca Inn B&B is located just outside the city center and is in a large home well back from the road, so you have maximum peace and quiet.
View from near Cuenca Inn B&B. There are plenty of very inexpensive taxis into the center of town.
It has large luxury guest rooms, two with bathroom en suite and TVs. There is a wonderful large central covered courtyard with TV, a central fire pit and lots of plants.
TV room for guests.
A guest living room with TV and big comfortable sofas adjoin the courtyard.
There is also a small bar area just off the courtyard that we all enjoyed. The Inn is very well appointed and the ambiance is warm and conducive to the comforts of a home away from home. Internet/WIFI is good and Magic Jack is available to guests for long distance calling, along with pyre-loaded local cell phones.
Delegates can sit round the fire pit enjoying conversation.
The Inn’s manager Bill Dixon attended one of Rick’s first Super Thinking / Super Spanish courses prior to moving to Cuenca. He believes this was a really good investment on his part as he acquired the language basics he needed, and it gave him the confidence to make the change in his location and his life.
Cuenca Inn is offering a 20% discount on room rates and a hearty and warm welcome to Cuenca to course members . You can make reservations or get further details from Bill Dixon at email@example.com.