Latin America woke up on Monday, February 18th with two happy reports that touched its peoples: the return to Venezuela of President Hugo Chávez to continue recovery in his homeland, and the incontestable re-election of President Rafael Correa for another 4-year term which will guarantee the continuity of the Citizen Revolution in Ecuador: an event that consolidates the nation in the vanguard of the struggle for identity and Latin American unity.

The positive recovery of the Bolivarian leader after two months of medical treatment in Cuba is of great significance because of the role Chávez plays in the front line of the great endeavor began in Cuba in 1959, continued with the Sandinista victory, and multiplied through his leadership of ALBA, an emblematic formation born to promote the unity of the countries in Our America and based on the defense of the independence of each one of its nations.

“This Revolution cannot be stopped, compañeros,” was the first thing Rafael Correa said from the balcony of the Palacio de Carondelet to the multitude of Ecuadorians who had gathered at the Plaza Grande in Quito to celebrate the official information of the first results. The voting that gave Correa the triumph and reelection in the first round with a substantial margin unprecedented in Ecuador.

“We are making history, we are building our homeland and the Big Homeland, Our America,” he added. More than 11 million Ecuadorians were called to vote for the President, the Vice President, the members of the National Assembly and the representatives to the Parlamento Andino.

“Bureaucracy is no longer in command here, neither is a “political party democracy”, or the media, or the [International] Monetary Fund, or any international bureaucracy; no hegemonic countries rule here,” emphasized the re-elected president who now has the backing of seven victories in three presidential elections and four popular consultations since 2009.

The return of Ecuador in 1970 to what Correa defined as “political party democracy” opened a period characterized by the growing discrediting of traditional politics and evidence of the corruption of politicians, their lies and disappointment. In only a decade, 5 presidents were elected and 4 were removed by popular pressure.

Ecuadorian citizens peacefully marched several times to remove inept, corrupt or traitorous presidents like Abdalá Bucaram, in 1997; Jamil Mahuad, in 2000 and Lucio Gutiérrez, in 2005.

Therefore, there were those who hoped that the wearing down of power suffered by former presidents would act against the candidate for re-election; mostly due to the smear campaign of the corporate media –both domestic and international– that harassed him during his term.

Those who expected such a scenario did not take into account the fact that this is what happens when power is used to benefit the powerful or when the processes of social transformations to benefit the majorities are stopped, when they hesitate or they cannot show evidence of their revolutionary progress.

Although permanently harassed by the media at the service of oligarchs and financial interests, Correa never gave in. He always faced them with determination and courage. His action was paradigmatic for other popular leaders chosen by masses through votes or other non-violent means of revolutionary struggle.

Freedom of the press is a euphemism used by oligarchs and the superpower in the hemisphere to defend their private ownership of the media they use to make information a commodity that can be bought or sold, and used as an instrument of domination by the richest.

With the unquestionable victory of Rafael Correa and the majority of the representatives of Alianza País in Parliament nobody can doubt that the role of Ecuador in the future of Latin America is as outstanding as the civic demonstration its people gave in this popular consultation. Many will be the programs for popular benefit, and intense will be the laying of foundations for the impetuous economic and social development the citizens deserve.

Information –as Correa suggested- should be a public asset, free as the air we breathe, like water, land, space and all the resources nature offers us; and nobody should have the right to own it and use it against the people.

February 2013.

A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann