On September 30, 2010, US-orchestrated coup plotters shut down airports, blocked highways, took over an airbase, parliament and Quito streets – protesting a law restructuring police benefits despite President Raphael Correa doubling their wages.
He was pelted with tear gas and hospitalized – then prevented from leaving when rebel police and coup plotters surrounded the building.
After Ecuadorean military and special police forces rescued him, he announced a “coup d’etat attempt by opposition forces. They resorted to (violence) because they” can’t win electorally, he said.
“The conspiracy was planned long ago,” he explained – indicating he knew where. Washington’s dirty hands were all over what happened.
Is history repeating now? On June 8, protests erupted in Ecuador over the phony pretext of small inheritance and capital gains tax increases affecting only wealthy citizens.
Some participants carried placards saying “Oust the tyrant.” Others chanted “The country is ours.”
Correa was heading for June 10-11 CELAC-EU summit in Belgium. Protests preceded his departure. He warned via Twitter about “same old people” planning a bourgeois revolution. (W)e are more, many more,” he explained!
He urged supporters to take care of the country in his absence, adding “(w)e will respond with an ‘uprising of happiness’ with the immense popular support we have…In 2017, we will beat them again.”
In recent weeks, Correa announced a series of progressive tax reforms benefitting most Ecuadoreans – including small inheritance and capital gains taxes to redistribute wealth more equitably.
For example, a 0.7% increase on a $50,000 inheritance amounts to $350, affecting only three in 100,000 citizens.
On Saturday, Correa announced a right-wing opposition coup plot. He urged Ecuadoreans to stay strong against their attacks.
“They wanted to wear us down by 2016…but here, nobody gets tired. We’re stronger than ever,” he said. Correa supporters way outnumber opposition elements.
Large numbers of police were deployed to prevent disruptions getting out of control. Telesur explained six key points about ongoing protests:
- It’s not a popular uprising. Ecuador’s wealthy are protesting – about 2% of the population. Tax they face are far less than what well-off citizens pay in developed countries.
Even with small tax increases, Ecuador’s rich pay much less than their fair share. Their complaints ring hollow – an excuse to try destabilizing the government in hopes of replacing it with one serving their interests exclusively.
- Disruptive protests are part of a regional (US-influenced) right-wing agenda. Hardliners know governments in countries like Ecuador and Venezuela enjoy widespread popular support. Their only chance to replace them is through destabilization, coups or foreign intervention.
- Corporate controlled Ecuadorean media promote public protests – spreading willful disinformation claiming inheritance and capital gains tax increases will harm working households and destroy small family businesses. The truth is polar opposite.
- Opposition hardliners supported by Washington tried ousting Correa before – explained above.
Government supporters never forgot. Members of aSeptember 30 Never Again Collective staged counter demonstrations and marches backing Correa.
- Ecuador’s Constitution mandates wealth redistribution. One of Correa’s first reforms in his first term was writing a new Constitution – praised as one of the world’s most equitable ones since its 2008 approval.
Correa’s inheritance tax increase is based on the Constitution’s Article 3 stating:
“The primary duties of the state are planning national development and eradicating poverty, promoting sustainable development and equitable distribution of resources and wealth in order to bring about Good Living.”
- Opposition hardliners know they can’t defeat Correa electorally. In 2013, he was reelected with a 57% majority.
If he runs as the Citizen’s Revolution candidate in 2017, he’s expected to win again easily. Destabilization, violence and other disruptive actions are the weapons used trying to replace him.
In his book titled “Inside the Company: CIA Diary,” former CIA operative Philip Agee explained how the Agency operated disruptively.
In Ecuador from 1960 – 1963, it ousted two presidents, infiltrated key political parties and organizations, and caused disruptive actions blamed on leftist groups.
At a March event on the occasion of a new book about subversive CIA actions in Ecuador, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the Agency’s “secret policies continue (throughout) Latin America. Nothing that Philip Agee denounced…in the past has been discarded by the espionage seen in the present.”
It bears repeating. Like earlier 2010 Ecuadorean protests, ongoing ones have America’s dirty fingerprints all over them. They’re likely to be no more successful now than before.
Stephen Lendman’s new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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