Photo: Raphael Stedile

If it depends on the Ecuadorian leader Rafael Correa, the left in Latin America should return to more consensual guidelines, such as the fight against poverty and inequality, instead of falling into the traps “from the north, from the right”. In an interview with Folha de S.Paulo published this Monday (3), Correa, former president of Ecuador (2007-2017), said he found the centrality attributed to so-called identity agendas to be “a mistake”.

“Yes, they are problems, they have to be treated with a lot of respect”, he says. “But we haven’t even solved the problems of the 18th century, the great contradictions, widespread poverty, inequality, exploitation. And we get into trying to solve and be at the forefront of the world of next-generation problems.”

For Correa, some of these guidelines “are on the borderline of the moral issue, they are controversial” and, therefore, do not unite the whole of the left. “If being progressive means signing this checklist, I’m not progressive. We kept discussing it – and what, yes, generates consensus on the left, poverty, inequality, we failed to address”, he criticized.

The former president accuses imperialism of imposing these “conflicting issues” so that the progressive camp “distracts from the essential: that we are in the most unequal continent on the planet. And today we are fighting about gay marriage, abortion at any time.”

He claims to have “what they call conservative positions”, but that doesn’t mean he sees himself as outside the traditional left. “What bothers me is that this defines what it means to be on the left. If Che Guevara was against abortion as a doctor, wouldn’t he be more left wing? If Pinochet were in favor of abortion and gay marriage, wouldn’t he be right wing?

Being on the left, according to the former president, is defending justice above all else – from social justice to gender justice. “Women cannot be allowed to earn less at the same job or that they have to stay at home for the man to work, take care of the children, and the man does not. This is justice”, summarizes Correa.

victim of lawfare, Correa was convicted without evidence of corruption and is ineligible in Ecuador. Even though he lives in Belgium, he is one of the main organizers of the opposition to the current Ecuadorian president, the rightist Guillermo Lasso, who is involved in an impeachment process.


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