Ecuador’s former President Rafael Correa was a staunch Hugo Chavez ally when he first came to power as part of Latin America’s “pink tide.” While Correa never mismanaged his country to the insane levels that Chavez did, he was a socialist through and through, having poor relations with the US, spending money like it was going out of style, and harassing opposition candidates and media constantly.
His successor, Lenin Moreno, while outwardly supportive of Correa, seems to be his own man and is moving away from Correa’s policies bit by bit. The latest walk back is the suspension of a border wall that was planned to be built between Ecuador and Peru:
“Ecuador‘s Foreign Ministry confirms the suspension of the construction of the border wall,” Espinosa said in a statement. The Peruvian government instructed the ambassador in Quito earlier this week to express his indignation at Ecuador’s decision at that time to proceed with the construction of the wall despite objections from Lima.
The government of Ecuador had planned to build a four-meter-high barrier along its western border, located in its southern city of Huaquillas, with the objective of separating it from the Peruvian city of Aguas Verdes, located just across a river.
The issue of border walls has become particularly sensitive in Latin America in recent months after US President Donald Trump promised to build a wall across the south of his country to prevent undocumented immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America to cross into US territory.
Left-wing president Lenin Moreno’s geopolitical move appears motivated by an attempt to cultivate a stronger relationship with the center-right government of Peru’s Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. While Peru has traditionally aligned itself with Alliance of the Pacific partners such as Mexico, Colombia, and Chile, Ecuador has generally developed relationships with other left-wing regimes such as Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia.
I think this is honestly the first time I’ve ever heard of a left-wing president actually gradually dismantling bad socialist policies. Will wonders never cease?