Lasso calls for reunited Ecuador open to world, rejecting political hate
Quito, May 24 (EFE).- Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, who was inaugurated as the country’s new leader on Monday, promised in his inaugural address to build a country “of reunion,” far removed from the political hatred of the past, open to the world and enjoying national unity among all sectors of society.
The president said that with the start of his administration a new century for the democratic republic is also beginning which guarantees prosperity for all Ecuadorians, and he asked why “such a rich” country has “such poor people.”
“In this government that is being born today, of a new century of republicanism (in Ecuador) the era of the strongmen is ending … The era of the strongmen is ending!” Lasso declared after promising that his administration “will govern for everyone.”
He also said that “political persecution in Ecuador has ended” because “I have not come to satisfy the hunger of a few but rather the hunger of many.”
Lasso promised to strengthen democracy to end the “excruciating inequalities between the rural and the urban world,” in a country that “has failed its youth in education and the creation of opportunities, that forgets its retirees in the most humiliating way, and where being a woman is not merely a disadvantage but rather an existential danger.”
“Today, we receive a country with historic levels of unemployment,” beset by a “brutal pandemic” that is affecting the world and with a level of child malnutrition that is among the highest in the region, the president said.
In the face of these problems, the response of the people is always the same: “The leaders have failed us (because) they didn’t know the level of sacrifice of our people,” Lasso said.
According to the president, the governing officials who in the past failed the country “have never been able to accept that this country was born as a democratic republic and that its destiny is to live as a democratic republic.”
To do that, he said, his administration will be guided by the principle of “not amassing power in the presidency” and governing with the agreement of all sectors of a country with rich social diversity.
He urged all Ecuadorians to strive for full and real equality, including gender equality, among the “points of encounter” that his government will encourage.
The nation must “recognize that the struggle for gender equality is not only that of women, but also that of society and that it must be supported by the Ecuadorian government,” Lasso said, recalling that women are discriminated against more than men in terms of unemployment and income.
“When (a woman) is attacked, it transforms us into a less fair and a morally stained country,” he said after promising “not to leave anyone behind,” a reference to the defense of children and the elderly and the need to solve the problems of poverty and malnutrition.
He also acknowledged that the country is suffering serious economic problems, but he said that one way to move the country along the path of progress will be to open Ecuador to the world, always seeking “free and fair trade.”
Lasso also said that in the shortest possible time, Ecuador intends to become part of the Pacific Alliance, a regional integration initiative comprising Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
He also mentioned that one of the most significant challenges he will have in his first 100 days in office will be to get nine million Ecuadorians vaccinated against Covid-19, although he admitted that that task will demand a tremendous logistical effort.
“The country has to mobilize itself” to fulfill that objective, Lasso added, tasking his vice president, Alfredo Borrero with heading the effort while strengthening the Health Ministry.
He also called for the support of the National Electoral Council for his vaccination plan, in particular because that organization has a list of all citizens, at least those of voting age.
Lasso said that all this is about “getting Ecuador, once and for all, onto the path of prosperity” and moving the country down “the irreversible road toward full democracy.”
But he remarked that this requires the commitment of the public, and thus he issued a call “for national unity,” including from the political groups opposed to his plan.
“Democracy is not the absence of differences or even of conflicts,” but rather sustains itself by “peacefully dealing with those differences,” the new president said.