During his weekly broadcast to the nation Saturday, this one delivered from Italy, President Rafael Correa denounced what he called a coup being ploted against his government by opponents of his recent tax proposals. Correa spoke before an audience of Ecuadorian expats in Italy.
In Europe to attend the European Union-CELAC meeting in Brussels, Correa said the opposition wanted nothing more to end his “citizens’ revolution” and said he planned to “defend it no matter what the cost.”
“The real motive by the tax protests is to overthrow the government,” Correa said. “This is not about abolishing the inheritance tax, it’s about toppling the national government. The tax is just an excuse to put their plan into action. They had everything ready and were just waiting for the opportunity,” he said.
“Our opponents have money, logistics, and foreign advisors and are in complicity with the press,” Correa added. In the past he has referred to threats of a “soft coup,” which he described as not involving the military but an orchestrated public uprising.
During his address, Correa thanked the Ecuadorians living in Italy for their support. “Your country thanks you,” he said. “You are the kind of Ecuadorians we are fighting for and we will continue to fight for.”
There are an estimated 125,000 Ecuadorians living in Italy, the majority of them having left Ecuador following the 1999 financial crisis.
“I understand the dire economic circumstances that forced most of you to leave your country,” Correa said. “Things have gotten better, much better, and we invite you back home to see the changes,” he said.
In addition to meeting with Ecuadorians, Correa was in Italy to dedicate the Ecuadorian pavilion at the Milan Expo.