Ecuador Calls for Protest to ‘Defend the Revolution’

Source:  TeleSUR
April 3 2016

President Correa called on supporters to defend the Citizens Revolution, which created roads, schools, hospitals, and airports across the country.

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Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa calls on supporters to take to te streets this Thursday April 7 2016.  Photo:  Reuters

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa called on citizens to take to the streets to “defend the country, and to celebrate the revolution” this coming Thursday, in response to the opposition protests that are scheduled to take place the same day.

IN DEPTH: Ecuador’s Citizens’ Revolution: Putting People Before Profit

“We will meet to defend the homeland, to celebrate the revolution,” said President Correa in his weekly Saturday address to the nation.

Tax reforms to benefit those in the lower socio-economic spectrum

The call comes in response to opposition demonstrations planned for the same day to protest a new tax law, titled “The Organic Law for Balancing Public Finances,” which will see taxes increase on cigarettes, alcohol and sugary drinks, among other things.

In response to the criticisms on the recent tax hike, President Correa said Ecuador has not adjusted prices for gasoline, transportation, electricity and other basic services, only those “products harmful to health.”

According to Correa, the reform will benefit those on the lower socio-economic spectrum and allow for the redistribution of income, at a time when the country faces a difficult economic situation by the drastic drop in the price of oil, its main export.

Right wing opposition demonstrations – the current regime change strategy  in Latin America

This is not the first time that the opposition has called for protests against Correa’s policies, including the creation of a hereditary tax and a set of constitutional reforms that would allow presidents to run for a third term.

Last year, a series of demonstrations were held, many of which descended into violence as protesters attempted to break through police lines to reach government offices or pro-government demonstrators. More recent demonstrations, however, have had a lackluster turnout.

ANALYSIS: Ecuador’s Citizens’ Revolution: Retaking Power from the Old Elites 

“Everyone must mobilize to defend our revolution,” insisted the president, asking his supporters to do so with “joy” and “hope.”

“Thank God the Citizen Revolution came to the country so that we now have roads, schools, hospitals, hydroelectric plants, airports, Unasur,” said the president, referring to the political and socio-economic movement created by the left-wing government and social organizations, implemented by Correa’s government.

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