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Comrade Hillary

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fish to bicycles, Latin America to Democracy. Bloody useless vices the lot of them 

The second round of elections is taking place in Ecuador. I just so happen to be living in Quito these days, so I get to keep up on this little election that might get the attention of a side column in a northern newspaper.

Two candidates are up for grabs. Correa and Naboa. Naboa is a fat tank of shit millionaire who, according to local authorities, bribed his way on to the second ballot. He’s your typical right winger who’s done a bit of philanthropy in the past, but for the most part is job is to make sure that more and more oil gets pumped out of Ecuador and less and less capital remains for local development.

Correa on the other hand is a younger, less pudgy, lefty. He nearly took the presidency in the first round had it not been for Noboa’s tricks. Correa is prepared to tell the U.S. to take a piss up a rope. He wants to nationalize petroleum. He wants to put resources into the social net. He’s ready to jump on board with Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba.

When I’m in the jungle or the Andes, in this tiny country most people sympathize with the misfortunes of this harsh land. Not enough food for everyone, and even less work. Petrol workers poisoned to death by the age of thirty five, and their wives worn out from too many births by their mid twenties.

“It’s a tough situation,” a woman living in a wealthy estate told me, “we need to find new ways to help these people.”

“Ecuador needs to do something for its poor,” another added.

“Public health is so poor here, these people have nothing,” went another bleeding heart.

“Correa’s platform sounds like it has innovation loaded into it. He might be able to restructure the economy and set things rolling to actually improve the lives of the poor,” I say.

“Yeah, but we can’t vote for him! He’ll make us all poor.”

“Yes, Correa will change it all. Noboa’s corrupt, but he’ll keep it together.”

“My gawd, he’ll put us worse off than Cuba, Venezuela, or Bolivia.”

Take note that Cuba is a country with no homeless, complete literacy and universal healthcare , Venezuela is a country that is now delivering free medical treatment to the poorest of the poor, and Bolivia is a country with an indegenous President who is restructuring the constitution to be more equitable.”

“He’s bad mouthed the United States! You can’t bad mouth the United States! We have to vote for Noboa. Sure he’s corrupt, but he won’t turn us into Cuba”

“What about our economy? He’ll ruin the economy.”

From the point of view of the homeless guy who sells gum in between cars, or the petrol worker with more cancer in his body than dollars in his pocket, the economy is in ruins.
This is why in a society that requires volumes of guns, police soldiers and dogs to guard fortresses of capital from the overwhelming poor, democracy is nothing more than a bad joke.

Just a note to say I really enjoy reading the reports from Latin America. Thanks.
I hope that the cycle isn't continued with the Fat pricks running the show for their own pockets.
Its good to read your reports
Thanks folks!!

Little by little we'll build New Zealand / Latin American solidarity, yet!

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