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Chavez Forces Ecuador’s Private Sector to Admit: ` We are all the Opposition Now’

By Pedro Camargo

24.05.06 | After delivering a string of circuitous and false charges against U.S.-based OCCIDENTAL oil company, Ecuador’s short-term caretaker president Palacio has admitted in the press that he bowed to `political pressure’ and agreed to the Chavez-backed property confiscation plan against U.S. companies. Palacio’s political pressure stems directly from Hugo Chavez’s interference in Ecuador’s local landscape by engineering pledges of political and personal monetary gains. None of these gains are sustainable and none of them are up to any good.

Ecuador’s private sector knows that these Chavez-backed acts will destroy its once vibrant business sector who will have a swift and sure loss of their livelihood under the Hugo Chavez plan for the Andean Region. With no capacity to trade with North America, about one half of Ecuador’s GDP will be destroyed. Businesses, with no trade, will be bankrupt. Employment, unstable at best today in Ecuador, will zoom from around 40 to about 75% under the Chavez plan for the Palacio government.

No political candidate on the horizon in Ecuador can curtail this national economic suicide or staunch the blood letting of sustainable livelihood for Ecuadoreans. At issue will be Ecuador’s fresh water fish industry, its flower industry, its manufacturing industries- all will be lost. It is incumbent upon Ecuador’s private sector to remain unified and refuse to sell out or make common cause with the string of in-state and out of state actors pressuring Ecuador’s business community today. This is a lesson sorely and belatedly learned by Venezuela’s business community. Once quite vibrant, under the Chavez regime, many of Venezuela’s once active business community can today be found….selling pencils on the street corner or pondering why it was that they hastened to sell out business ethics to a group of thugs. It is a hard lesson. Without windfall oil profits, Venezuela would be….bankrupt economically as surely as today it is ethically bankrupt. Ecuador, as with Bolivia, faces the same fate.

Venezuelans learned the lesson of making common cause with Chavez’s anti-growth, fascist regime. Their lives are worse today than in the past century. The misery factor and quality of life indicators have shrunk, as personal freedoms have deteriorated to the point of no return. There is no democratic way of life in Venezuela. For its part, Venezuela is not a government but a regime, serving its politburo; it has failed its democratic commitments. Ecuador, as with Bolivia, faces a similar demise.

Ecuador’s President Palacio is illegally selling out Ecuador’s private sector for his now-stated political alliance with Hugo Chavez. This is not what Ecuadoreans desire nor is this what Ecuadoreans want their leaders doing: self enrichment from the Chavez team while selling out Ecuador. It is to Ecuadoreans today to learn from what is left of Venezuela’s business community: stand united and insist on the basic fundamentals of democracy. Without this, Ecuador will fall under corrupt political pressure.



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