Ecuador: ‘Don’t elect a right-wing banker!’ 

March 25, 2017
Like Brazil’s Michel Temer (left) and Argentina’s Mauricio Macri (right), Ecuador's Guillermo Lasso (centre) is a protege of Washington.

Reflecting on recent experiences of dealing with the right’s return to power in their own countries, close to 100 social movements and activists from Brazil and Argentina have signed a statement calling on the people of Ecuador to vote against right-wing neoliberal banker Gulliermo Lasso in the second round presidential run-off scheduled for April 2. 

Among them are activists from Via Campesina, the Rural Landless Workers Movement (MST), the Popular Brazil Front (FBP) the United Workers Central (CUT), the Argentine Workers Central union confederation (CTA) and the Association of State Employees (ATE Capital). 

It was originally posted on on March 20 and has been translated by Federico Fuentes.

* * *

April 2 will be a transcendental moment for the people of Ecuador and all of Latin America. The second round of Ecuador’s presidential elections will be held that day, pitting the candidate of PAIS Alliance (AP), Lenin Moreno, against Guillermo Lasso, a representative of national and international finance capital. 

Lasso leads his own movement and, despite his fanciful discourse, is very similar to the other right-wingers in the continent, which is why they strongly support him.

Conscious of the differences that exist between our countries, we want to talk about what is happening in South America’s two biggest nations.  


A little more than a year ago, Argentina experienced a similar moment. In a second round run-off for the presidency last November 22, Mauricio Macri – who is also a rich business owner that was involved in acts of corruption and illicit enrichment during the neoliberal period – won by a very small margin (2.7%). 

Since assuming power, his government’s policies have left no room for doubt: he governs solely for the rich. Water, electricity and gas rates rose immediately: in the first months of 2016, the rates hike was between 100% and 400%. They rose again at the start of 2017. The cost of public transport doubled a year ago and now they plan to raise it by another 60%.

The justification for these cuts that have hit the people is that public spending must be lower, yet at the same time they are exonerating the rich from paying taxes and the president himself has pardoned debts and done deals with companies owned by family members and friends.

This is all you can expect from a business owner-turned-politician who had been involved in acts of corruption involving public funds and who hides his capital in “offshore” tax havens.


The same has essentially occurred in Brazil. The right wing toppled a legitimate president via an institutional coup under the pretext of combating corruption. 

They assumed government and nine months later, the economic crisis continues: unemployment has reached a historic level of 15%; all social spending has been frozen for 20 years; the Ministry of Agrarian Development has been shut down and the land reform program terminated; agriculture and natural resources are being handed over to transnational companies who, it should be said, finance them and are their real bosses. 

Corruption continues, but now with great force: nine ministers have been denounced for corruption and another 250 right-wing politicians are facing accusations from these same companies.

The capitalist class, the rich, are always carrying out electoral manoeuvres, shifting discourses, because they want to return to power by any means to continue accumulating wealth.

Elections in Ecuador

Dear people of Ecuador, do not fall into the trap of electing a hard right that has already announced that it will unite with other right-wing governments in the region, such as Peru, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, to rebuild the hegemony of the capitalist order and its neoliberal policies against the peoples.

If a political defeat occurs, there will be no time to repent: you will pay for the political error with your labour and greater exploitation.

We must always be critical of governments, as a way of maintaining democracy and seeking to improve people’s lives. But we cannot allow ourselves to be fooled into putting the fox in charge of the chicken coup! 

The people of Ecuador still have time to defeat the candidate of the rich, who stands for the most radical form of neoliberalism.  

This April 2, for Ecuador and Our Americas, we think it is best to use all forms of voting that can impede finance capital’s return to power. 

From Argentina and Brazil, we are with you. 

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