Power blackouts for maintenance suspended for Monday; Conaie’s Iza is skeptical of alliance with Correistas; Noboa most popular president in region

May 27, 2024 | 0 comments

Hours before they were scheduled to begin, Energy Minister Roberto Luque said electric blackouts in six provinces are suspended. The National Electricity Corporation (CNEL) announced Saturday that power cuts would be carried out in six provinces to conduct “scheduled work to electrical infrastructure.”

“The suspensions announced for tomorrow (Monday) by CNEL have not been fully justified in their frequency and duration and have been suspended until we make a thorough evaluation of the work that needs to be done,” Luque said in a Sunday night press conference. “We will make an announcement following an analysis.”

Conaie President Leondis Iza

The outages were scheduled for parts of Guayas, Sucumbíos, Bolívar, Esmeraldas, Los Ríos and El Oro, most of them for periods of one to two hours, CNEL said.

CNEL’s announcement followed Friday comments by Energy Minister Roberto Luque. “I must remind citizens that we are facing two problems regarding electricity,” he said. “The first is the shortage of hydro generation capability but this has been overcome in recent weeks as a result of rising water levels in our reservoirs. Now, we are turning our attention to delayed maintenance work, some of it two years behind schedule. We are making repairs and improvements to power transfer stations, transmission lines as well as to several thermal and hydro generation plants.”

Conaie is skeptical of Correista alliance
Leonidas Iza said Friday it would be difficult for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador to join forces with the Citizens Revolution movement in the February election. “For this to happen, CR would need to renounce its support for extractive operations in Ecuador,” he said. “Conaie’s first goal is to end all mining and all oil production, and any partner would need to hold the same position.”

Iza’s comments came in response to the suggestion last week by Citizen’s Revolution President Luisa González’s that the two organizations support a single presidential candidate and some candidates for the National Assembly.

“Mining and oil extraction is a red line for the indigenous people and we will not align ourselves with movements that cross it,” Iza said. “Every government in the last 40 years, including the Correistas, has supported these extractive operations so we would require major concessions to consider any agreement.”

Iza agreed with González that Citizens Revolution and Conaie share “similar leftist positions” and said his organization and Pachakutik, the indigenous political party, are open to discussions. “We must remember, however, the poor relations between the indigenous people and the government of Rafael Correa. Many in our movement remember the rejection of our position on extractive activities as well as the insults.”

Noboa most popular president
Despite declines in polling numbers since he took office, Ecuador’s Daniel Noboa remains the most popular president in South America. In a survey of more than 12,000 participants across the continent, Noboa led Argentina’s Javier Milei, Uruguay’s Luis Lacalle Pou and Paraguay’s Santigo Pena, the only leaders in the region with more than 50% popularity.

In the poll conducted by Consultora Opinión Pública between May 14 and May 18, Noboa had a 58.1% positive rating followed by Milei at 54.8%, Pou at 54.7% and Pena at 51.3%.

Presidents with the lowest popularity in South America are Peru’s Dina Boluarte with 24.8%, Colombia’s Gustavo Petro with 38.5% and Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro with 39.5%.

Ecuador and the Cook Islands establish diplomatic ties
Ecuador and the Cook Islands have established formal diplomatic relations. The agreement was signed at the Cook Islands High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand, between Cook Islands High Commissioner Kairangi Samuela and Ecuador Ambassador to Australia Victor Arturo Cabrera.

In addition to signing a Joint Communiqué, the Cook Islands Ministry of Marine Resources signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen Cook Islands fisheries cooperation with Ecuador.

In a statement, the High Commissioner said this agreement expands previous informal collaboration between Ecuador’s Ministry of Marine Resources and the Cook Islands.

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