HAVANA TIMES — Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, challenged his predecessor Rafael Correa to travel to the country and hold mass rallies so that people could tell him what they thought about the last years of his leadership, dpa news reported on Tuesday.
The president’s declaration came in response to Correa possibly visiting Ecuador as of November 24th to take part in meetings with members of the Alianza Pais (AP) movement, which he founded in 2006 and is now divided between his own followers and those of President Moreno.
The president asked Correa: “Please come and hold a rally here in Quito in the Aucas stadium, at the Olympic stadium; go to Guayaquil; go to Cuenca, don’t go hiding on the border.” And he added: “Let him come here where the Ecuadorean people will respectfully tell him what they thought about the last years of his presidency.”
Correa currently lives in Belgium with his family and will momentarily return to Ecuador six months after he passed on the presidential title to Moreno on May 24th.
The last stretch of Correa’s 10 years in government has been repeatedly criticized by Moreno, who claimed that Correa left the country with a huge external debt and he made the former leader’s phrase that he left the “table served” for his successor ironic, “but served with debt”, Moreno replied.
Warning that all citizens have the freedom to move freely in Ecuador, he pointed out that nobody should be shocked or surprised if “a citizen who lives in another country and leads a group of supporters returns to the country.”
Moreno’s statements were made at a meeting that took place in the Government palace with members from the “Democracia Si” group, which is led by the left-wing politician Gustavo Larrea, believed to be the AP’s ideologist, who was a minister under Correa and is now supporting Moreno.
These two socialist leaders began to separate ways as a result of the changes that Moreno introduced in his personal style and governance in the first few months of his presidency. Correa believes that these changes are “a betrayal” to the ones that his successor postulated which led him to winning the election.
That’s why, and over the charges of corruption against vice-president Jorge Glas, for allegedly receiving bribes from the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, the distance between Moreno and Correa has been pushed to the extreme, which has led to a division in the movement that brought both of them into power.
Whether the Alianza Pais party’s national convention takes place on December 3rd is still hanging in the balance, which was summoned by the “Correa” group and where the former president will be present, which the “Morenista” wing of the party questions.