Monday, January 15, 2007

Ecuador? More like Ecua-bore!

Rafael Correa was sworn in as President of Ecuador today. He's another left-winger, but a slightly more moderate one. So he wore a jacket, but no tie.

Señor Correa is something of a martyr figure in his own way. He used to be minister of finance under the old president, at a time when Ecuador's economic situation was very grim. The president, like many-a third-world leader, believed the solution was to implement sweeping neo-liberal reforms to the economy, with greater free trade, privatization, and co-operation with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Correa opposed this agenda, and was either fired or resigned, depending on whose supporters are telling the story.

Ecuador is easily one of the most unstable Latin American countries. Since 1996 there have been eleven presidents and one coup.

The President of Ecuador wears a sash that says "My power comes from the constitution," which I guess is something they feel the president should be reminded of.


Last week I talked about Daniel Ortega's inaugural guestlist. It seemed pretty impressive at the time, but now seems pitiful compared to the all-star cast Señor Correa was able to wrangle together. He got:

Left-wing presidents of Latin America:
  • Evo Morales, President of Bolivia
  • Lula Da Silva, President of Brazil
  • Michelle Bachelet, President of Chile
  • Rene Preval, President of Haiti
  • Daniel Ortega, President of Nicaragua
  • Alan Garcia, President of Peru
  • Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela

Conservaitve presidents of Latin America:

  • Alvaro Uribe, President of Columbia
  • Nicanor Duarte, President of Paraguay

Arab presidents:

  • Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of Western Sahara
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran

Other celebrities:

  • Felipe, Crown Prince of Spain
  • Gerard Depardieu, legendary French actor

What a turnout! One guest was particularly controversial. Can you guess who? (Hint: it was not Gerard Depardieu)

Country for sale, by owner

This amusing story came to my attention the other day. I don't know if you've ever heard of "Sealand" before, but it's basically an abandoned WW2-era helipad-type thing located in the North Sea. In the late 1960's this structure was seized by a lunatic Brit and his various unattractive family members, who proceeded to proclaim the cement structure a "sovereign country" and themselves as its "royal family."

And for a while it was all quaint and adorable. They issued phony passports and stamps and made their own website and got into legal battles with the British coastguard and all the rest. But as the years went on, the royal family's interest in Sealand slowly declined and after a while no one was really spending much time there anymore. This is probably why the country caught on fire last year, and why they're so eager to sell it now. Just $977 million.


Laur said...

Ahmadinejad isn't Arab, he's Persian.

Anonymous said...

Or we could just make it simpler and categorize them as "Terrorists". :)

JnvReno said...

Boy, that'll make for one hell of a garage sale.

Lewis said...

I say Mohamed Abdelaziz, as Western Sahara is occupied by Morroco. Actually, how the hell did he get there? Is he in exhile?

andy said...

About 45 countries recognize the pro-independence Government of Western Sahara. That government controls a small part of Western Sahara and administers refugee camps in Algeria.

Emil said...

Being ecuadorian, I was very displeased by Correa's election as president. Despite that we are in fact a very unstable country, Correa is an unstable person.

Even before his actual possesion as president he was already creating turmoil in the political scene threatening (indirectly) to abolish Congress through the use of a Constitutional Assembly, to which he's still due to mention which will be the parameters this new constitution will have. You can imagine how much division he has created among the parties, congress and the people in general.

j_major said...

>>>"You can imagine how much division he has created among the parties, congress and the people in general."

on february, EMIL thought Correa's policies were dividing people. after a referendum in mid-april, it was clear that Correa has support of more80% of ecuadorians.

that´s not sound like dividing people, l guess

Anonymous said...

О! Ho cercato sul web cercando di trovare idee su come ottenere il mio sito blog personale codificati, il tuo stile attuale e il tema sono meravigliosi. Hai il codice che la vostra auto o hai assumere un programmatore per farlo fare per lei personalmente?

Anonymous said...

top [url=]free casino bonus[/url] brake the latest [url=]free casino bonus[/url] free no set aside bonus at the foremost [url=]