Noboa and Correa trade social media barbs about English and Spanish language proficiency

Feb 1, 2024 | 0 comments

It started when former president Rafael Correa referred to current President Daniel Noboa as “short but good looking,” in a Twitter post. In a second post, Correa mentioned that Noboa speaks English “like a gringo.”

President Daniel Noboa takes a selfie at a recent event in Quito.

Two days later, Noboa responded, mocking Correa’s strong accent and mispronunciations when he speaks English. “He is like a tv comedy Mexican speaking English, and the audience laughs,” Noboa said.

Correa fired back: “I concede that you speak English better than I do since you spend so much time in the U.S. On the other hand, I am only a vulgar Guayaquileño.”

The former president suggested that Noboa spend more time in Ecuador and work on improving his Spanish.

The insults, which a Correa colleague said were made “mostly in good fun,” follow Noboa’s appearance on U.S. television networks discussing Ecuador’s fight against narco-terrorists. When a CBS interviewer asked about his “good English,” he responded that he is “part gringo,” having been born in the U.S. and educated at U.S. universities.

Fabricio Sánchez, deputy communications director in the Correa administration, warned Saturday that the exchanges between Correa and Noboa do not help the Citizens Revolution cause. “With his popularity already at 80%, Noboa does not need any more publicity and I suggest Rafael end this exchange,” he says. “Noboa understands social media – TikTok, Instagram, memes and all the other tricks – and Rafael is at a big disadvantage.”

Even if the exchanges between the past and current presidents are friendly, Sánchez says now is “not the time for childish games” given Ecuador’s security and economic crises. “Citizens Revolution must focus on developing serious proposals in the Assembly to restore health to the country,” he said. “These back-and-forth comments are a distraction.”

In a Quito radio interview, Sánchez said Correa and Noboa had “frequent contact” during Noboa’s term in the National Assembly and that Correa complimented Noboa on several occasions when he voted with Citizens Revolution. “They even met in Madrid in late 2022 when Correa attempted to recruit Noboa for CR.”

He added that the two have had several phone conversations since Noboa took office and that Noboa accepts some of Correa’s advice.

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