Rafael Correa

President of Ecuador from 2007 to 2017

Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado (born 6 April 1963) is an economist and former president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations. He became President of the Republic of Ecuador in 2008.

Rafael Correa in Paris, 2013
Otavalo, 28 Sep 2011.- President Rafael Correa
Dmitry Medvedev with Rafael Correa in 2009


  • For the first time an oil producer country, Ecuador, where a third of the resources of the State depends on the exploitation of the above mentioned resources, resigns this income for the well-being of the whole humanity and invites the world to join efforts through a fair compensation, in order that together we lay the foundations for a more human and fair civilization.
  • What's the difference between a Republican and a Democrat? There is a greater difference between what I think in the morning and what I think in the afternoon than between those two parties.
    • 22 May 2012, interview The Julian Assange Show, Russia Today, [1]
  • Don’t come lecturing us about liberty. You need a reality check. Don’t act like a spoiled rude child. Here you will only find dignity and sovereignty. Here we haven’t invaded anyone. Here we don’t torture like in Guantanamo. Here we don’t have drones killing alleged terrorist without any due trial, killing also the women and children of those supposed terrorists. So don’t come lecturing us about life, law, dignity, or liberty. You don’t have the moral right to do so. (In response to US ambaassador's criticism of Equador, saying that it's very important for the government to protect free press.)
    I am ready to put up a fight because I believe that better that constructing roads, hospitals, and schools is to construct the truth. Lies had destroyed Latin America. People lie too much, from the press, the politicians, and on the street.
  • I think one of the main problems around the world is that there are private networks in the communication business, for-profit business providing public information, which is very important for society. It is a fundamental contradiction.... I think there should be more public and community media, organizations that don’t have that conflict between profits and social communication. What do you think happens when TV shows have to criticize a bank that owns or fund them? Which would prevail, public or private interest?... the owners of the business would end up imposing their will towards profits. That is what happened to us at the beginning of our term. Please let us all understand what goes on in Latin America. Out of the seven TV Networks in Ecuador, five used to belong to the banks. When we wanted to regulate the banks to avoid executive malpractices and an eventual crisis like the one now taking place here in Spain, we used to have all the TV networks against us. There is a conflict of interest.

Quotes about Rafael Correa

  • When Rafael Correa first ran for Ecuador’s presidency in 2006, supporters at his rallies brandished belts in homage to their candidate, whose surname means “belt” or “strap”. “Dale correa,” or “give them a whipping,” the crowds roared. It was a demand to punish what they regarded as the corrupt elites who had governed Ecuador since the return of democracy in 1979. Mr Correa promised he would. He won that election and then two more. His presidency brought a rare spell of political stability. Living standards rose and public services improved. Mr Correa, who has a respectable approval rating of 42%, is not a candidate. He is counting on Lenin Moreno, a former vice-president, and his running mate, Jorge Glas, the current vice-president, to carry on his “citizens’ revolution”. Mr Moreno, who shares his alarming first name with 18,000 other Ecuadoreans, hopes to win in the first round by capturing the bulk of Mr Correa’s support and adding to it.
  • The democratic elections of President Rafael Correa in Ecuador have enraged the oligarchs, particularly the wealthiest bankers who ruled... the nation for so many decades. That... led to a massive banking crisis led by fraudulent elite bankers... Ecuador suffered the highest percentage of emigration in Latin America. Political crises became the norm, with a series of presidents forced to resign within months.  Correa and his reform party, Alianza PAIS (AP), changed all this.
    Correa has served his full elected terms of office largely because he met his campaign promises to more than double expenditures on education, health, and infrastructure that have transformed Ecuador and substantially reduced poverty, unemployment, and inequality.  Ecuador’s democracy is real.  Ecuador has several major political parties and employs a common democratic means of determining whether the first round of the election results produce such a dominant winner that no run-off election is required.  Despite the fact that Mr. Moreno, the AP candidate for the presidency, came within a razor-thin margin of reaching that decisive plurality in the first round, the government required a run-off election in accordance with the law. 
    The AP’s reforms were so successful that immigration to Ecuador exceeded emigration from Ecuador.  The AP reformed banking to reduce the frauds by elite bankers that drove Ecuador’s financial crisis.  The oligarchs and bankers have been weakening the Ecuadorian economy by moving their wealth to offshore tax havens. The AP has adopted legislation to limit such tax evasion. 
  • When Rafael Correa, former president of Ecuador, said he would resign sooner than legalize abortion, he was refusing to recognize that when we can't yet have it all, we must choose the path that most expands our capacity to get it all in the future.
  • Ecuador, still a relatively poor Third World country, has made achievements we can still only dream of here: free health care, free university education, effective anti-poverty programs, democratizing the media, environmental protection, respect for the rights of oppressed groups such as LBGTs and Original Peoples, repudiation of debt gouging by the banks, increasing taxes on the rich, clean elections. It has taken the initiative, along with President Evo Morales of Bolivia, in demanding action by the West in combating climate change and in shutting down tax havens. The challenges facing Ecuador remain the continued power of the old neoliberal ruling elite in the country, the need to further diversify the economy, to eliminate poverty, and the need to build an organized, politically active mass structure to carry on the Citizens Revolution.
    The accomplishments of the Citizens Revolution have made President Correa one of the most popular presidents in Latin America. Moreover, in a poll of 18 Latin American countries, Ecuador ranked the highest in citizens’ evaluation of their country’s government, in reduction of corruption, and distribution of wealth. Yet, “The greatest achievement of this revolution is having recovered pride and hope. We recovered our country,” said Correa speaking on the 10th anniversary of the revolution.
  • Ecuador’s transformation during the presidency of Rafael Correa (2007-2017) and The Citizens Revolution stands as great step forward for the worldwide struggle against the 1%. President Correa... came to power in a country controlled by a super-rich elite, dependent on oil and commodities exports. Ecuador still suffered from the devastating effects of corrupt banker dealings, which caused the currency and peoples’ savings to lose two-thirds of their value, leading to the US dollar becoming the new national currency. Governments preceding Correa instituted neoliberal austerity and privatization programs, causing inequality, poverty and unemployment to soar. Ecuador became one of the poorest and least developed nations in the region. Poverty rates reached 56% of the population, and from 1998-2003 close to 2 million Ecuadorans out of a population of 12-13 million, over 1 in 10, had left the country for economic reasons.
    William Blum, in Killing Hope, wrote that the CIA in Ecuador “infiltrated, often at the highest levels, almost all political organizations of significance, from the far left to the far right... In virtually every department of the Ecuadorian government could be found men occupying positions high and low who collaborated with the CIA for money. At one point, the agency could count among this number the men who were second and third in power in the country.”  Ecuador was also saddled with the US’s largest air base in the region at Manta, instrumental in Plan Colombia and in enforcing international banking and corporate rule over Ecuador.
  • Lenín Moreno actually pledged during his election campaign several months ago was to continue the "Citizens Revolution" of Rafael Correa, whose left-wing government Moreno was part of for 10 years. Moreno called Correa the greatest president Ecuador ever had during the campaign. And here is a video of Moreno leading a crowd in cheers of “Rafael! Rafael!” at a campaign rally.
    Moreno is now, through a referendum that he never proposed on the campaign trail—it was actually proposed by his right-wing opponent—asking voters to (retroactively) re-impose term limits, handpick a body with “transitional” powers to fire 150 authorities (judges, prosecutors, regulators etc.…) and drastically reduce taxes on wealthy land-speculators. Moreno did not campaign for any of those things.
    He is now also talking about a “free trade” deal with the United States—another policy he would never have dared to propose while he needed Correa’s support to get elected. Further, Moreno has given Ecuador’s private banks exclusive control over electronic money—which he never would have proposed while he needed Correa. In 1999, the private banks, after years of corruption and deregulation, totally crashed Ecuador’s economy. Reining them in, including their media power, was key to the economic success Ecuador had under Correa.
  • How can Moreno get away (so far) with his post-election about face? By quickly turning on Correa, he immediately won over Ecuador’s big private media, and quickly made changes to public media so that it provided negligible opposition to his right turn. For example, Moreno promptly put a former editor of the right-wing newspaper El Comercio in charge of the government-run El Telegrafo. The results were obvious during a January 21 TV interview broadcast across the country, in which journalists from two right-wing networks and a third from public media interviewed Moreno.
  • A judge in Ecuador ordered the arrest Tuesday of former President Rafael Correa, a staunch anti-American leftist whose tenure was defined by his friendly ties with Venezuela, China, and Cuba and has reportedly begun proceedings with Interpol to aid in his detention. Correa stands accused of having paid criminals in Colombia to kidnap an opposition legislator visiting that country in 2012, charges Correa, currently residing in Belgium, denies. The government of his successor, the relatively moderate leftist Lenin Moreno, has also launched investigations into Correa-era deals to sell oil to China that Quito now contends are highly unfavorable to the Latin American country. Moreno won the Ecuadorian presidency in 2017 as part of Correa’s National Alliance (AP) party. Correa has since left the party and condemned Moreno, arguing that the current president seeks to undo much of his Marxist legacy. Correa is far from the only Bolivarian socialist leader facing legal troubles.
A political vendetta being pursued against the former president.
Virgilio Hernández Enríque
  • Joe Emergsberger: Could you please explain the various legal and constitutional problems with the way Correa is being pursued over the Fernando Balda case?
    Virgilio Hermandez: The obvious thing... is its political functionality, the determined effort to prosecute the former president... The case is in its early stages but the prosecution has already perpetrated a series of irregularities, a series of violations of the institutional norms and of the rule of law that makes it absolutely clear that justice is not their goal. They are not pursuing a credible investigation of the facts. They are basically pursuing political objectives through the prosecution of Rafael Correa on frivolous grounds.
    The first irregularity is that, according to our constitution, authorization to prosecute the ex-president should have been received from the National Assembly. In fact, it was requested by Judge Camacho... Second... one must understand why the prosecution of the former president had to be authorized by the National Assembly.... events to which he is being linked happened while he was president. The law says that for prosecution to proceed presidential immunity must first be removed for events that took place while he was in office... A third irregularity... The acting prosecutor has not been sworn in before the National Assembly as mandated by the constitution. Their authority is completely illegitimate.... A fourth irregularity is that the arguments used to link Rafael Correa to the Balda’s case [the attempted kidnapping] are utterly weak and confirm that there is a political vendetta being pursued against the former president.
  • Ecuador’s top court ordered former President Rafael Correa on Wednesday to stand trial for his alleged role in the 2012 botched kidnapping of an opposition lawmaker. Correa was charged in September by prosecutors of orchestrating Fernando Balda’s kidnapping in Bogota after he fled to Colombia’s capital to escape what he considered persecution by Correa. A supreme court justice decided that the accusations against Correa, his top intelligence chief and two others merited a trial. Judge Daniel Camacho also formally declared Correa a fugitive after he flouted for months an order to appear before the court every 15 days as part of the ongoing probe. For his defiance, Ecuadorean authorities had previously requested Correa’s arrest and extradition from Belgium, where he has been living since leaving office last year.
  • Ecuador has signed a $4.2bn programme with the IMF, signalling a final break by President Lenín Moreno with the policies of his leftist predecessor [Rafael Correa] in a deal that he said saved the country from becoming like Venezuela.  The loan to the Opec country forms part of a larger $10bn package with other multilateral lenders to support Ecuador’s struggling economy, which is burdened by external debt that grew under former president Rafael Correa, in part due to oil-backed loans from China. Over the past two years, Mr Moreno has sought to reform the economy, while also distancing himself from the more controversial political positions of Mr Correa, who ruled Ecuador for a decade. The leftist firebrand, who faces multiple corruption charges in Ecuador and now lives in Belgium, was a close ally of socialist regimes such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Bolivia. Notoriously, he gave political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.  The IMF deal comes on the seventh anniversary of Mr Assange’s asylum at the embassy. Ecuador’s extended fund facility with the IMF, which must still be approved by the Washington-based lender’s board...” said... the IMF mission chief to Ecuador. 
  • All this [in Ecuador] is taking place under a government – elected in 2017 on a platform of continuity – that seeks to reverse a prior decade of political reforms. These reforms were, by measures of economic and social indicators, successful. Poverty was reduced by 38% and extreme poverty by 47%; public investment – including hospitals, schools, roads, and electricity – more than doubled as a percent of the economy. But the prior (Rafael Correa) government was a leftwing government that was more independent of the US (by, for example, closing down the US military base there). One can imagine what this looks like, as the Trump administration now gains enormous power in Ecuador... Lenín Moreno, has aligned himself with Trump’s foreign and economic policy... his government is persecuting his presidential predecessor, Rafael Correa, with false charges filed last year that even Interpol won’t honor with an international warrant. Other opposition leaders have fled the country to avoid illegal pre-trial detention – in the case of former foreign minister Ricardo Patiño, for making a speech that the government did not like... Since Washington controls IMF decision-making for this hemisphere, the Trump administration and the fund are implicated in the political repression as well as the broader attempt to reconvert Ecuador into the kind of economy and politics that Trump and Pompeo would like to see, but most Ecuadorians clearly did not vote for.

See also

Wikipedia has an article about: