Dirty Tricks in Race Pay Off
Millionaire conservative Guillermo Lasso, former banker and Coca Cola director, won the run-off election over socialist candidate Andrés Arauz, 52.5% to 47.5%.
Arauz had led the pack of 16 presidential candidates during the first round, on February 7th, with 32.7% of the vote over Lasso’s 19.74%. Arauz was Union of Hope (UNES) candidate, a new party that former President Rafael Correa (2007-17) and Arauz had started.
This was Lasso’s third time running on the Creating Opportunities (CREO) presidential ticket. He came in second place against Correa in 2013 and again against Lenin Moreno in 2017. During this election CREO combined with the traditional conservative Social Christian Party (PSC).
“This is a historic day, a day in which all Ecuadorians have decided their future and expressed with their vote the need for change…Democracy has triumphed,” Lasso told supporters as the results came in. “Ecuadoreans, all of you . . . have chosen a new path…a very different path from the one Ecuador has followed for the past 14 years.”
Lasso will take the presidential reins on May 24th. The National Electoral Council presented the results last night after 98 percent of the votes had been officially counted. A few minutes earlier, Arauz publicly congratulated the president-elect. He made no mention of any fraud in the voting process even though polls had indicated he would win the race with a small margin.
Lasso gained a majority, in part, because of promises he made to improve the failed economy under Moreno’s administration by increasing foreign investments, cutting taxes for businesses while raising the minimum wage, and a vow to vaccinate nine million citizens during his first 100 days in office.
He also attracted some young people by wearing colorful clothing, red shoes, and appealing to gays and lesbians by promising an enlightened policy towards them. Among his supporters are self-declared anarcho-ecologists, including supporters of an indigenous leader, Yaku Pérez, who is backed by the U.S. government financially and politically. When Pérez did not get into the run-off, coming in third place, he called upon his supporters to vote blank, which 1.6 million did.
Investigative reporter and a follower of Latin American politics Ben Norton tweeted: “I’m sure the anarcho-liberals who voted null in Ecuador’s election (including CONAIE) as a protest against the socialist Correista movement are proud now that their new president is going to be a far-right multimillionaire neoliberal banker, Opus Dei member and U.S. puppet.”
For this writer, Lasso’s victory came as a surprise, a most disappointing one for the peoples of Latin America, and for all who struggle for a world without the greed, war violence, and pollution that capitalism breeds.
CovertAction Magazine is made possible by subscriptions, orders and donations from readers like you.
When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.
CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.
Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.
CovertAction Magazine, CovertAction Quarterly and CovertAction Information Bulletin are projects of CovertAction Institute, Inc., a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York.
We sincerely thank you for your support.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI), including its Board of Directors (BD), Editorial Board (EB), Advisory Board (AB), staff, volunteers and its projects (including CovertAction Magazine) are not responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. This article also does not necessarily represent the views the BD, the EB, the AB, staff, volunteers, or any members of its projects.
Differing viewpoints: CAM publishes articles with differing viewpoints in an effort to nurture vibrant debate and thoughtful critical analysis. Feel free to comment on the articles in the comment section and/or send your letters to the Editors, which we will publish in the Letters column.
Copyrighted Material: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. As a not-for-profit charitable organization incorporated in the State of New York, we are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of humanity’s problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You can read more about ‘fair use’ and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.
Republishing: CovertAction Magazine (CAM) grants permission to cross-post CAM articles on not-for-profit community internet sites as long as the source is acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original CovertAction Magazine article. Also, kindly let us know at info@CovertActionMagazine.com. For publication of CAM articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: info@CovertActionMagazine.com.
By using this site, you agree to these terms above.
About the Author
Ron Ridenour is a U.S.-born author and journalist, anti-war and civil rights activist since 1961. After joining the U.S. Air Force at 17, he saw the inner workings of U.S. imperialism first hand and resigned. In the 1980s and 1990’s he worked with the Nicaraguan government and on Cuban national media.
He now lives in Denmark and, in addition to writing a dozen books, has served as a special correspondent and freelance investigative journalist for many publications in the U.S. and several Latin American and European countries—among them: The Morning Star, New Statesman, The Guardian (U.S. and England), Playboy, Liberation News Service, Pacific News Service, Coast Magazine, Qui, Skeptic, Seven Days, and Pacifica Radio.
CAM co-founder Philip Agee wrote commentaries to two of his dozen books: Yankee Sandinistas: Interviews with North Americans Living and Working in the New Nicaragua, and Backfire: CIA’s Biggest Burn. See also: The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert and Winding Brook Stories at Amazon and Lulu. Other work can be found at ronridenour.com.
Ron can be reached at email@example.com.