The sweeping reelection victory of Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa (pictured, with arms raised) on Sunday provides the radical economist with a new opportunity to further his “socialist revolution,” which he launched soon after assuming office in 2007. Correa was assisted by the fact that his opposition was splintered among seven parties. “With about three-quarters of the ballots counted on Sunday evening,” the New York Times reported, “Mr. Correa had received 56 percent of the votes cast. Guillermo Lasso, a banker, the closest of his seven opponents, had 23 percent.”
Correa’s victory raises his stature as a key leader in the Marxist-Leninist revolution that is overtaking most of Latin America. He is often tagged as the logical successor to Venezuela’s ailing Hugo Chavez as the most outspoken U.S. antagonist in the region, in much the same way that Chavez has succeeded Fidel Castro in that role.
However, Correa has plenty of allies and competitors vying for the honor of top “anti-Yankee/anti-capitalist” firebrand. Radio Havana Cuba (RHC) announced on January 18 that the São Paulo Forum, a powerful coalition of Latin American communist and socialist parties and terrorist groups, had endorsed Correa at a meeting in Quito, Ecuador.
This was not the first time the São Paulo Forum (SPF) had endorsed Correa; he’s been a favorite son of the SPF’s Castroite lobby for years and was endorsed previously by the SPF — for instance, at its 2011 meeting (see “Final Declaration — 17th Meeting of the São Paulo Forum”).
This is not surprising since Rafael Correa and his ruling PAIS Alliance Party are members of the SPF, a significant fact that is rarely mentioned in any of the U.S. media reports on Correa and Ecuador. Although the final counts have not yet been reported for the congressional races, which also took place on Sunday, President Correa said he expects PAIS Alliance to win majority control of Congress. Most political analysts reporting on the elections seem to share that expectation. With control of Congress, Correa will have an open door for his socialist agenda, including his proposed legislation to curtail freedom of the press, a page he has already taken from Hugo Chavez’s “Bolivarian Revolution” playbook. Correa has already cracked down on media critics, sending his riot police to raid the offices of adversarial journalists and seize their computers. Media critics are also subjected to death threats. Even the liberal-left establishment Washington Post noted last year in a Post editorial that Correa was leading “the most comprehensive and ruthless assault on free media underway in the Western Hemisphere.”
Correa’s PAIS Alliance is ready-made for Soviet-style repression, composed as it is of the Communist Party of Ecuador, the Ecuadorian Socialist Party, and other Marxist parties. Correa’s vice president, Lenin Moreno, named after communist Bolshevik dictator Vladimir Lenin, also provides another clue (if more were needed) as to the direction the Correa “Citizen Revolution” is going.
It is not surprising that Correa would attempt to eradicate all expression of opposing viewpoints; that’s standard operating procedure in the Marixist-Leninist dictatorships he most admires: Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, China. The Cuban government of Castro and the Venezuelan government of Chavez were among the first to congratulate Correa on his victory Sunday. President Correa can be seen in a photo on the Havana Times website, a propaganda organ of the Cuban Communist Party, sharing joyous camaraderie with Fidel and Raúl Castro and Hugo Chavez in Havana on July 21, 2011.
Correa is also comfortable embracing and joining hands (literally) with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. Correa’s alignment of Quito with Beijing is also of concern to political analysts who are watching Communist China’s increasing influence in Latin America. In September 2012, China’s Commerce Minister Chen Deming, who is secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Leadership Group of the Ministry of Commerce, met with Correa in Quito to convey President Hu Jintao’s regards to President Correa and to announce that “currently Ecuador has become one of the most important investment destinations of China in Latin America.”
Chen Deming’s office proudly announced in a press release that “China-Ecuador bilateral trade volume in 2011 reached US$2.8 billion, up by 40% year on year. At present, China is Ecuador’s fourth largest trading partner.”
Pravda, the old Soviet-era communist propaganda outlet, which now publishes Putin’s neo-communist propaganda, had this to say last year concerning Correa and his Latin American comrades:
As a socialist tide sweeps the Latin American continent, three outstanding leaders of the New Left have emerged, the power trio of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolivia's Evo Morales and Rafael Correa in Ecuador....
They promote and implement 21st century socialism in their respective countries which show quite a few common traits ...
The Pravda article also noted this quote from a speech by President Correa in 2009:
Socialism will continue. The Ecuadorian people voted for that. We are going to emphasize this fight for social justice, for regional justice ... and human work over capital.
As we noted in The New American last July, the São Paulo Forum is strangling freedom in the hemisphere with tentacles that reach into every country in the region:
The reach of the SPF is formidable; its members now control the main political offices in most of Latin America. In Brazil, the Workers’ Party (PT) of Lula and President [Dilma] Rousseff works closely and openly with the Communist Party of Brazil and the Brazilian Socialist Party, both of which have members serving in the Rousseff government. Valter Pomar, a top PT official and a longtime advisor to both Lula and Rousseff, serves as the executive secretary of the SPF and is its most quoted spokesman. Venezuela, of course, is ruled by Chavez’s United Socialist Party of Venezuela, which plays a major role in setting (and funding) the SPF agenda.
We noted further that other countries controlled by SPF members include:
Bolivia — headed by President Evo Morales and his Movement For Socialism;
Cuba — headed by Raúl Castro and the Communist Party of Cuba;
Dominica — headed by President Roosevelt Skerrit and the Dominica Labour Party;
Dominican Republic — headed by Leonel Antonio Fernández Reyna and the Dominican Liberation Party;
Ecuador — headed by President Rafael Correa and the PAIS Alliance;
El Salvador — headed by President Mauricio Funes and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN);
Nicaragua — headed by Daniel Ortega and the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN);
Peru — headed by President Ollanta Humala and the Peruvian Nationalist Party;
Uruguay — headed by President José Mujica and the Broad Front.
Photo of President Rafael Correa celebrating reelection in Ecuador: AP Images