Ecuador After the Demonstrations


This week Ecuador attorney Dr. Andres Cordova provides information about changes that have ended the demonstrations in Ecuador.

Ecuador’s people are gentle and peace loving by nature.  The recent demonstrations were rougher by far than I would have imagined.  I suspect that social media and agitators intensified the turmoil, as they have in another place where I used to live, Hong Kong.

Unlike the riots in Hong Kong, the Ecuador demonstrations had a peaceful, negotiated resolution that Andres describes below.

Gary

Andres sent this note.

andres cordova

ECUADOR REFLECTIONS AFTER THE STORM

It was Sunday afternoon and the country was in deep turmoil.

Protests had started soon after the government announced the end of gasoline and diesel subsidies as part of a package of economic measures to address a large fiscal deficit and high indebtedness.

These subsidies have been going for over four decades and are such an incredibly thorny issue that no government had truly dared touch them. Most orthodox economists have for long held that these subsidies create distortions and the country and its people would be better served ending them and better focusing the funds. I agree.

Twelve days after the economic measures were announced, the protests had not subsided. They were getting stronger. Tens of thousands of protesters, and among them organized indigenous people, had been laying siege to Quito for days. Blockades, violence and looting had been going on in many points across the country.

It was evident that many groups had helped organize and bankroll the protests. Many infiltrated them seeking to fish in troubled waters. Among them, several close allies of former president Correa, fanning the flames, looking to prompt regime change; no doubt about it.

For days helicopters had been coming and going, spotting flash points, ferrying troops and helping with humanitarian assistance. However, over my neighborhood that Sunday afternoon it was different. There was an unusual amount of helicopters buzzing low, coming and going and even landing nearby. Some were large French Super Pumas and Russian Built Mi17s. And among them some much smaller and nimbler police helicopters. Chats of friends and family that live in the area were ablaze with comments. Something’s happening they said.

Soon we learned that talks between the government and the main leaders of the protest had been arranged for and to be held in a site near where I live, in the suburbs, 10 miles away from the proximity of downtown Quito and where most of the protesters had been concentrating. The location of the site where negotiations would take place had been kept under wraps for security reasons.

The country held its breath while negotiations went on, brokered and mediated by a UN representative and streamed live to all of Ecuador. The people in Ecuador were exhausted and deeply worried. Expectation and tension permeated all homes.

It is likely that live streaming was a condition from the leaders of the protests. It allowed them substantial chest-beating and grandstanding in front of the country and, especially, their followers.

While the wisdom of transmitting negotiations live is questionable, it did allow for a better understanding of the stance and arguments – or lack thereof – of the parties. Perhaps the government acquiesced understanding that intransigent positions would be on record.

Lenin Moreno and the government’s side came across as sober and argument-laden. It explained in didactic terms why such economic measures are needed, how the funds they’d release can be better spent and targeted, especially to the sector represented in the protests.

The indigenous leaders, in turn, aired several concerns, wants, needs and quite a handful of grievances.

I decided not to watch the negotiations as they dragged on to avoid summoning an epic ulcer. I resorted to keeping track of them via Twitter, where the feed of several journalists and thinkers that I highly regard brought substantial context.

The leaders of the protests were intransigent in their demand that the economic decree be withdrawn. They left absolutely no room for compromise and forced the government to give in, announcing that the decree would be so withdrawn, as the leaders and many of their guests to the negotiations cheered.

This brought mixed feelings throughout Ecuador. The vast majority of the country celebrated the end of the protests and the opportunity to go back to business as usual, while at the same time felt gut-punched that the government and the country in general had needed to cave in to extortion from a violent few for the sake of peace.

The economic measures would have brought a hike in the cost of living, yes, and many of the grievances and concerns of the protestors are entirely legitimate. However, they had no right to impose their terms and agenda through such means with such intransigence.

Having had some days to reflect on all this, finally I’d like to share my take on the bad and good (yes, good) that came out of this saga:

THE BAD

  •   The intransigence and violence of the protesters.
  • The looting and destruction of property.
  • The infiltration and hijacking of part of the protests by groups seeking destabilization.
  • The lack of sober proposals and solutions on the part of the leaders of the protests.
  • Realizing how the government and society can be so hostage to a few.
  • The exacerbation of racism and division this has produced.
  • The dead and injured.
  • The economic step backward in keeping such subsidies that create distortions.

THE GOOD

  • Seeing how so many people united around the government out of principle, expressing support to a president many oppose. This is an example of people putting aside passion and maturely vouching for the country.
  • Seeing how while gut-punched, so many people understood that the government had no other reasonable option than to give in, for the sake of peace and embraced the resolution.
  •  The identification and criminal processing of many instigators who sought a coup and fanned the flames of violence, including the failure of the coup itself.
  • Seeing how so many people put themselves in harms way to help others regardless of sides and how so many are now helping with the cleanup.
  • Verifying that the agreement entails a new decree to be drafted, with participation of the parties, that will seek to address the economic challenges and that should force the leaders of the protest to hold heir feet to the ground if perhaps a little bit.
  • The price to be paid by several leaders and movements in their diminished capacity to remain valid interlocutors going forward.
  • That the vast majority of Ecuadorians embraced the measures even though they meant sacrifice, and have been consistently expressing that what this country needs is work, and more work.
  • A resolution of the Organization of American States that unanimously supported Ecuador and democracy.
  • The pronouncement by the IMF in support of Ecuador, in view of the outcome of negotiations.

It’s time to heal. To embrace the future with renewed fortitude. To renew our intolerance of the intolerant, fomenting due accountability across the board and take necessary steps to prevent anything like this happening again.

All the best,

Andrés Córdova

If you have questions please send a note to gary@garyascott.com with the word ECUADOR in the subject line.

Gary

Words you can use in Spanish

Resolution – Resolución

Agreement – Acuerdo

Democracy – Democracia

Peace – Paz

Quiet –  Tranquilo (a)

Learn Spanish in Three Days ONLINE

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I’m Gary Scott.  Over fifty years ago I started a business that has helped hundreds of thousands of subscribers learn about investing in Hong Kong (1960s and 1970s), Switzerland, London, Isle of Man (1970s and 1980s) and across Europe.  In the 1990s we took investors to Panama, Mexico and Ecuador.  That’s when we realized an incredible need for an easy way to learn Spanish.

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gary scott super thinking session

Super Spanish relaxed concentration session.

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See examples of the words you already know below.

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This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

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Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

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Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

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If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

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The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

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Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

Learn Young or Old

Most Super Spanish students are all ages ,

Gary-scott-spanish-course

Super Spanish students at this course ranged from nine to over eighty years old.

Become a Spanish translator!

The wife of one couple who attended explained how after just three days her husband ended up as an accidental translator.

She wrote:  Gary,  I have sent Merri 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!

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

The video below shows a super fast way to gain the basics so you can communicate in Spanish in just three days.

Gary-scott-super-spanish

Click here for FREE Super Spanish video.

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Learn Spanish online $79 - using coupon code SPANISH70 at checkout to immediately save $70 off the regular price of $149.

(1) www.telegraph.co.uk Benefits-of-bilingualism.html



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