Guillermo Lasso labels former leftist Ecuadoran government as populist, authoritarian
President Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador criticized populist governments Wednesday in an address to world leaders on the second day of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“I am talking about the same populism that then takes off its mask and shows its true authoritarian face; the same one that, when it is government, flirts with dangerous actors that hide beyond the reach of our international institutions to sponsor some of the threats that today congregate us right here. And that leads us to ask ourselves: What do we do with them?” he added.
Lasso has said former leftist President and political opponent Rafael Correa was a populist president who sought to perpetuate himself in power.
Correa was the president of Ecuador for 10 years until 2017 when he went into exile in Belgium. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in absentia for corruption.
“Take it from someone who today leads a country where, in the past, marginality and neglect have been breeding grounds for the magical formulas of the most predictable populism,” he said.
Lasso has repeatedly said violent street riots that occurred in Ecuador three months ago were encouraged by Correa.
He also addressed the drug issue in the country. According to a recent report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Ecuador has the third-highest number of drug seizures in the world, after the US and Colombia. The South American nation accounted for 6.5% of the cocaine seized in the world in 2020.
Lasso said Ecuador is “engaged in a frontal — and therefore unprecedented — fight against drug trafficking leading the fight against drugs” as he asked the international community for help to continue fighting the scourge.