August 20, 2018

Ecuador ‘coup’ attempt underway claims President Correa

President Correa wrestles with Hillary Clinton in a warm-up bout before taking on his police force.

National police took to the streets of Ecuadors capital Quito and attacked the president over what they say was the cancellation of bonuses and promotions.

This is wage negtiations Ecuador style. President Rafael Correa said in a TV interview “This is a coup attempt,” after having tear gas lobbed at him. Usually the police are lobbing tear gas at rioters. This is a novel twist to have the police rioting and throwing tear gas at their president.

President Correa was forced to flee to a nearby hospital, and claimed police were trying to get at him.

“They’re trying to get into my room, maybe to attack me. I don’t know,” he said in a telephone interview with the state-run Ecuador TV. “But, forget it. I won’t relent. If something happens to me, remember my infinite love for my country, and to my family I say that I will love them anywhere I end up.” There is a sort of Argentinian, Eva Peron type melodrama going here with Correa getting all teary. Was it emotion or was it just the gas?

Ecuador TV showed mobs on the streets and clouds of black smoke coming from burning tires and garbage. Sporadic looting was reported.

The situation got out of control when President Correa took to the streets to try to calm the situation but was soon surrounded and jostled by a crowd and forced to flee a cloud of tear gas. Some of those shoving him were police officers in full gear.

Well of course they are in full gear. At least it gives them some anonymity. If they thought there was little chance of bonuses and promotions before this incident. Their chances are zero if they are identified assaulting the President.

President Correa phoned the TV station later and was clearly outraged at such treatment from his loyal subjects “They fired gas on us, on the president of the republic, this is treason to the country, treason to their president.”

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino led a large and boisterous pro-government rally at the Carondelet Palace, the president’s home. He urged the crowd to take to the streets to peacefully “reject this coup” and “to rescue our president.”

In this situation the police will not decide if the government falls or not. That decision will be made by the Ecuador Military. The police can lob tear gas but if the army decides to support the President then the cops will be getting grenades lobbed back (if they are lucky).

The disturbances occurred as Correa threatened to dissolve the national assembly over a dispute about several laws, including public service and education.

Angry police said they were overworked and underpaid.”We work 14 hours a day,” a uniformed officer said on Ecuador TV. “We are the ones who never protest.”

Lots of government officials and protestors are getting on television and making claims and counter claims. At least while they are all looking for their five minutes of fame on the small screen they are not out on the streets wrecking things.

Newswarped has analysed the situation and feels that this does not appear to be an orchestrated coup attempt. Rather it is a lot of grumpy, pissed-off people who have had enough and let their frustration boil over. President Correa was mug enough to walk right into the middle of trouble.