Marking the ninth anniversary of his presidency, President Rafael Correa said Saturday that the government will not back down in its efforts to “defend the gains of the Citizens’ Revolution.”
In an hour-long speech in Guayaquil’s Samanes Park, Correa listed the accomplishments of his presidency. “We have built our infrastructure into one of the strongest in Latin America. We have constructed more schools and hospitals than at any other time in the country’s history. We are completing the largest hydro-electrification project ever built in the region. We have brought a record number of people out of poverty, and we have made Ecuador one of safest countries in the world.”
Correa said that the current economic troubles will not derail his efforts to continue his projects. “We continued with our programs in 2015 despite having zero oil revenues,” he said. “We have proven that we can improve the lives of our people even in difficult times.”
Vice President Jorge Glas joined Correa in attacking the political opposition during the rally. “We will reveal the dirty campaign they are waging against progress,” said Glas. “They deny what has been accomplished since 2007 and try to scare the public about the economic health of our country.”
Glas said that the proposals to increase taxes on inheritance and capital gains will be reintroduced to the National Assembly in an effort to achieve greater equality in Ecuador. The proposals had been withdrawn last July following large protests and prior to the visit of Pope Francis.
“These measures will not affect the great majority of citizens, only the rich who want to conceal their wealth,” Glas said. “Last year, the opposition misrepresented the facts about the taxes but their protests failed. We will see this project through to completion.”
Both Correa and Glas said they are confident that the Alianza Pais party will retain control of the presidency and the National Assembly in the 2017 elections. “Our opponents have nothing to accuse us of, they can only deny the progress made in nine years,” Correa said. “They will run a sordid campaign to distract from the truth.”
Earlier in the week, Correa said that Ecuador is weathering the financial storm caused by low prices and a strong U.S. dollar. “We are paying our debts to our contractors, to our teachers and other public workers, and to local governments,” he said. “Yes, we have had to ask for patience but the public can see that we have kept our word and they will see that we continue to keep our word.”