‘El Loco’ president defends his title, says he is crazier than Noboa; Ecuador-Mexico trade increases

Jun 24, 2024 | 0 comments

Former President Abdullah Bucaram said Saturday that he resented suggestions that President Daniel Noboa might replace him as the crazy president. “I will not allow him to take my place,” Bucaram said. “I am the original ‘El Loco’ and won’t let anyone steal my title.”

Bucaram, noted for his wild parties at the presidential palace and outrageous off-topic remarks, was voted out of office by the Ecuadorian congress in 1997 on the grounds of “mental incapacity to govern.” Over the years, he has embraced the role of “El Loco,” claiming he was “crazy in love with Ecuador and women.’

Former President Abdullah Bucaram says he will defend his title as “El Loco” against President Daniel Noboa

Bucaram’s title defense followed suggestions by at least three National Assembly members that Noboa be kicked out of office for “mental incompetence” following comments about other Latin American presidents published in the New Yorker magazine.

“You’re not crazy like me for saying some stupid things,” Bucaram said, in reference to Noboa’s controversial comments in which he referred to El Salvador President Nayib Bukele as being “arrogant” and Argentina’s Javier Milei as “self-absorbed.” “And maybe he was right — has anyone thought about that?” Bucaram said. “Even if he wasn’t, everyone says stupid things but that doesn’t make you the champion of crazy. If you want to talk about stupid things said by stupid people, just look at the Assembly.”

Deputy Government Minister Esteban Torres warned Friday that an attempt by the opposition to “invent claims of mental incapacity” against Noboa would be met with a firm response. “I understand that his opponents are distressed that he is popular, and they won’t be able to beat him in February. It is obvious they are desperate to remove him by any method possible.”

Also on Friday, Noboa acknowledged the charges against him during groundbreaking ceremonies for a new high-security prison in Santa Elena Province. “Yes, it is true I am crazy for wanting to end violence and corruption from continuing in Ecuador. I am crazy because I want to give opportunity to our young people who are unemployed and who are without the opportunity to study. Yes, I am guilty as charged.”

Ecuador Mexico trade increases
Despite concerns that the break in diplomatic relations between Ecuador and Mexico would damage trade between the two countries, the opposite has happened according to Ecuadorian Federation of Exporters (Fedexpor). In fact, exports to Mexico have doubled in the first six months of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

“Fortunately, political issues have not affected business between our countries,” says Felipe Rivadeneira, President of Fedexpor. “Both countries have been careful to keep the disagreements out of the sphere of business relations. They realize there is no advantage in penalizing businesses and importers and exporters for a political issue.”

According to Minister of Production data, Mexico is the eighteenth largest destination for Ecuador’s non-oil exports, covering more than 320 different products, an improvement from the 2023 rank of 23.

Key exported products include cocoa beans, minerals and metals, food preparations, plastics, manufactures, as well as sugar and confectionery, which together account for 73% of total exports to Mexico. More than 260 Ecuadorian companies actively participate in this market.

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