Everything about Ecuador President Lenin Moreno’s speech on October 1 appeared to be anachronistic. There he was, a smile on his face, offering his people an end to fuel subsidies for this energy-rich country and massive cuts in public workers’ benefits and wages. This, he said, was the price to be paid by the Ecuadorean people for a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The next day, the IMF described Moreno’s package as one that would “protect the poor and most vulnerable” and “generate jobs in a more competitive economy”.
Few Ecuadoreans believed either Moreno or the IMF. It appeared that once more the people were being asked to tighten their belts so that the country’s oligarchy and international creditors could emerge from the crisis unscathed. No wonder that the trade unions (the United Workers Front, FUT), the students, and most importantly, the indigenous organisation (the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, CONAIE) came out onto the streets to protest against Moreno and the IMF on October 3.
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