Last week, Rafael Correa, the president of ecuador gave a brief and hastily organized press conference in which he spoke out strongly against the actions of his brother, Fabricio, to create a new “Correaist” organization, called the RCD movement (citizens democratic revolution…but also Rafael Correa’s initials). This organization was organized in support of the president, with aims of participating in the constitutional assembly, but the president called it ridiculous and absurd, saying that the revolution needs to be based not on family ties and personalities, and not a cult of personality, but in the power of the people.
He repeated in a variety of ways about the need for unity and not dividing into new groups, as well as his rejection of the cult of personality, and his rejection of tying Ecuador’s “magical moment” up with his personality or that of his family, or with an organization, or with the government, insisting instead that Ecuador’s moment should be seen as a time for the people, once the people have awoken. He has also specifically said that he doesn’t want to hear anyone calling themselves “Correistas.” Hmmm….interesting.
I have said many times that I like this guy. Now I like him even more. Similar strategies and politics and bravery as Chavez, but very different stylistically, and I think it will have implications for the future.
But I should note something else interesting here, and that is the class differences between Correa and Chavez. Correa is Univeristy of Chicago educated, middle class. Chavez is a working-class ex-soldier. Correa’s style seems different, more moderated, more…well…middle class. Whereas Chavez speaks in a much more working class style…which can actually draw some comparisons with George W. Bush, style-wise…at least in that he is speaking to his base and not to the intelligentsia (although I don’t think Chavez is faking it). I enjoy listening to Chavez speak, because he packs a hell of a lot of substance into all of his speeches (he always seems to have a book ready to pick up and talk about…like it’s an episode of Reading Rainbow or something…I’ve never seen any other world leader do that), but his style can also be really annoying to me, and I want to think some more about why that is. It definitely irks me and my anarchist tendencies, but there is more going on than that, I’m sure.
But still, this press conference by Correa really interested me, although I’d bet there is some other stuff going on behind the scenes with his brother. Only time will tell.