Everywhere you look in Ecuador’s newspapers, you see President Lasso’s name: he’s going to CELEC, he’s speaking at the UN, he is being hailed for stopping Covid-19 in Ecuador, he has a meeting set up with Conaie, he is a busy, busy guy.
And none of these things even address the stuff he (or his Ministers) is working on to get the finances of the country in order.
Honesty, all these things he is doing cause two opposing feelings in me: pride and fear.
I’m proud to be living in a country where the President seems to be doing all that he can to get the country out of debt, to free it of corruption, to make it healthy and safe. And I fear what will happen if he can’t fix all the things he is trying to address.
Because people expect so much. They put all their problems on one person and then get angry when that person can’t fix everything that they themselves caused.
Look at Ecuador’s finances for example. To put it bluntly, then are a freaking mess. The external debt the country holds has been steadily growing for the last 10 years. In general, Ecuadorian’s complain about it, but at the same time they don’t stop asking for more from the government (and Ecuador is not the exception here, most countries do the same).
Case in point, Conaie. Conaie is demanding that the government reinstate the fuel subsidies, release people of their debts, release those arrested for the violent protests that happened in 2019 and cut all relationships with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They are doing this while threatening to cause more violent protests! Seriously? That’s their solution to the country’s debt problems?
The whole thing is ridiculous. Conaie says they’re okay with other people paying higher prices for fuel, but not the indigenous. They say the indigenous deserve lower prices and to be forgiven if they committed a crime because they didn’t get their demands met in 2019. And if they don’t get them, they will commit crimes again. What?
First, let me say that I don’t think it’s the “indigenous” who are demanding these things. It’s people who put themselves in power (remember, the current leader of Conaie was supposed to be a woman) who are demanding these things. Demanding that the President meet them on a date they pick. Demanding that people arrested for actual crimes be released because they are indigenous. Demanding that debts be forgiven. Demanding that the country give the IMF back the money that was used to refinance the high-interest debts that their hero Correa made (yeah, let’s not forget who borrowed all that money from China)
I’ll bet you that the average indigenous person doesn’t give a hoot about most of what Conaie is demanding. They care that fuel prices have gone up. Not so much because they drive (most don’t), but because of the trickle-down effect that it has on increasing other prices, like public transportation and non-perishable goods. These are legitimate concerns and are really what should be getting addressed.
But making “DEMANDS” and threats is not the way for the country or its people to move forward. Asking for a meeting with a President, coming with solutions to problems, and listening to the problems that the country is dealing with, are the ways to move forward.
Look, Lasso is trying to do a LOT. And he certainly has more problems to deal with than the price of gas. So, what he needs from all of the country’s people(s) is a chance to do what is best for the country.
He doesn’t need groups trying to claim to be more important or more mistreated than other groups. He doesn’t need threats. He doesn’t need an Assembly that has already claimed that they will not work with him. He doesn’t need demands.
He doesn’t need everyone putting their problems on only his shoulders
He needs solutions. He needs to be given a chance to fix as many problems as possible. He needs Ecuadorians to understand that it’s time to work on things as a nation, and not as separate groups.
Ecuador has so much opportunity to improve its situation. It has a leader who is trying to do that exact thing. He is not trying to make the rich, richer. He is not trying to make the poor, poorer. He is not trying to make the debt, deeper.
He is trying to turn the corner and make this a real democracy that works for the people.
He needs a chance to do that.
I’m just sayin.’