Mark Weisbrot: Why Latin America’s left keeps winning


Richard Moore

Many thought Correa was joking when he said during his presidential campaign that he would be willing to keep the U.S. military base at Manta if Washington would allow Ecuadorian troops to be stationed in Florida. But he wasn’t, and the base is scheduled to close later this year. He also resisted pressure from the U.S. Congress and others in a multi-billion dollar lawsuit that Ecuadorian courts will decide, in which Chevron is accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic oil waste that polluted rivers and streams. And in an unprecedented move last November, Correa stopped payment on $4 billion of foreign debt when an independent Public Debt Audit Commission, long demanded by civil society organizations in Ecuador, determined that this debt was illegally and illegitimately contracted.

This is the way democracy is supposed to work: people voted for change and got quite a bit of what they voted for, with reasonable expectations of more to come. We should not be surprised if most Latin American voters stick with the left through hard times. Who else is going to defend their interests?