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  • Demonstrators take part in a protest against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 8, 2019.

    Demonstrators take part in a protest against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 8, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 8 October 2019

Leftist former President Rafael Correa stressed there is a great unrest in Ecuador because of the IMF agreement, arguing that "people can't take it anymore. That is the reality."

After being accused of stoking the worst social unrest over the last 15 years in Ecuador, former President Rafael Correa on Tuesday denied he was orchestrating a coup against President Lenin Moreno from Brussels, Belgium, comments that made as Thousands of Indigenous protesters from different communities around Ecuador continued their mobilizations in the country's two main cities Quito and Guayaquil.two main cities Quito and Guayaquil 

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"They are such liars they contradict themselves. They say that I am so powerful that from Brussels with an iPhone I could direct demonstrations in the widest parts of the country,” Correa said. 

He also explained that Moreno has betrayed the Ecuadorean people and democracy by yielding to the requests of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its austerity policies.

“The truth is that there is a great deal in the country because of... the IMF agreement and such harsh measures as doubling the price of diesel, while reducing taxes for the rich. People can't take it anymore. That is the reality."

Over the last six days, massive protests have erupted across the country, prompting Moreno to accuse Correa of trying to overthrow him with help from Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.

Lenin Moreno, who is in office since May 2017, was Vice President from 2007 to 2013, serving under President Correa, who managed to consolidate a pro-poor government in this Andean country for 10 years. 

Between 2007 to 2017, after two decades of governments that failed to complete their mandates, Ecuador acquired political stability and reached high levels of economic growth and social welfare.

These achievements, however, began to fade gradually over the past two years as President Moreno administration implemented pro-business policies and labor flexibility measures.

In a defiant national television address on Monday evening, the Ecuadorean president announced that he was moving the government's seat to Guayaquil, a city which has been the traditional trench of the far-right and is located near the navy's main barracks.

Accompanied by the military top brass and the Defense Minister, Moreno indicated that he would not back down on the fuel price hike in the face of what he called a leftist "destabilization" plan.

Monday evening, thousands of Indigenous peoples and farmers arrived in Quito, the capital of the country, to protest against the IMF policies.

Dramatic scenes of police repression were shared all day by citizens through social networks, which broke the news silence maintained by private media supporting Moreno.​​​​​​​

While Ecuador is going through a "state of exception", a legal state by which the government can suspend civil and political rights, Guayaquil was besieged by thousands of producers and farmers from the Ecuadorean coast.

They managed to break several police fences and established roadblocks that allow access to the main Ecuadorean export port.

Although the government had fled to Guayaquil for refuge, Quito remained occupied by thousands of demonstrators at dawn on Tuesday. Activities were not being carried out as usual and there was no regular public or private transport up to noon. ​​​​​​​

According to official figures, over 510 protesters have been arrested by Monday. However, the number of injured and dead has not been been announced yet, although social media users have reported at least 3 people killed as a result of demonstration-related events.​​​​​​​

Despite the magnitude of the citizen's rejection of the current government, characters such as the Venezuelan opposition Juan Guaido expressed their support for Moreno.​​​​​​​ The U.S. Department of State also issued a statement with a tone of support for the government. 

“The U.S. is monitoring recent developments in Ecuador carefully,” Michael Kozak, the Acting Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, tweeted.​​​​​​​ "We recognize the difficult decisions that the Government of #Ecuador has taken to advance good governance & establish the basis for sustainable economic growth. We will continue to work in partnership w/ the people of Ecuador in support of democracy, prosperity, and security.​​​​​​​"

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