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I wonder if Lasso can say “spasiba”

Published on May 18, 2021

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“The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!” It sounds like a battle cry warning everyone to hide, but in fact it may be Ecuador’s saving grace.

What I’m talking about is the announcement that incoming President Guillermo Lasso has achieved what the outgoing President Lenin Moreno could not: he secured 8 million doses of the Sputnik-V Covid-19 vaccine from the Russian government.

Does that mean Lasso will meet his goal of vaccinating 9 million Ecuadorians within the first 100 days of his term? That’s obviously hard to predict, because as we have seen for the last six months, there is such a thing as a promise of delivery, and then there is actual delivery (or non-delivery). Ecuador has been assured of millions and millions of vaccine doses and has only received a fraction of the amount it’s been promised.

So, there is still obviously a chance for the Russians to delay the shipment of vaccines. Still, it seems like Lasso has pulled the first of the many rabbits out of a hat that he will need in his term.

The next rabbit we might see from him will likely be the roll-out of his and Dr. Ximena Garzón’s vaccination plan that is being built upon Ecuador’s extremely efficient voting system. What a smart idea. Even critics of Lasso say they believe that this vaccination plan can work and that he can (if he has the vaccines) get 9 million people vaccinated in his first 100 days.

I for one am hoping that he can do it, not just because I believe in vaccines, but because it will be great for this new President to come in and really nail something right off the bat. Citizens are tired of politicians that don’t seem to work for them, and if this rollout works, Lasso will be starting off with some very useful political capital.

One of my friends said it wouldn’t be that big a deal, “the US got out 200 million in 100 days.” Okay, that’s like comparing apples to guinea pigs. This is simply not a one-to-one relationship.

I say if Lasso can get this country vaccinated that quickly, then he can start to work on the economy. That’s what the people want and need. In most people’s minds, vaccination is the way to get there. I’m not looking for an argument with anti-vax people, everyone has the right to their own opinion. I’m just saying that this is, in general, what the world believes it will take to reactivate economies.

Lasso needs this win to start, because some of his policies are going to be tough to get up that hill, like sisyphus and that rock. I hope he gets this win and can at least get his ideas to the floor of the National Assembly.

Speaking of his policies, there are some that I agree with and some that I disagree with. At the same time, I think he was the right man for this moment in Ecuador’s history. He’s the right person to take this country and finally pull it out of the grasp of populist socialist ideology with a bunch of corruption thrown in. Moreno tried to clean things up, but you can only vacuum up so much dirt in 4 years.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Lasso can do. Everyone knows I’m left of liberal, but I want this guy to have a chance to do what he thinks will work for Ecuador. He’s been strategizing this for a looonnnggg time. He probably sees things most of us don’t and he probably has some good ideas (and bad ones).

So, with that said, this left of liberal guy is rooting for him and at the same is applauding the Russians for beating the US to the punch on this one. Joe, you took too long.


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