The Ecuadorian province of Guayas has become ground zero for the coronavirus in South America, which has intensified in recent weeks. Its capital, the city of Guayaquil, has a disproportionate number of cases with respect to its size. It is home to most of the country's diagnosed cases and deaths. With funeral homes saying they are out of space and coffins, there are corpses in the streets and others in cardboard boxes distributed by the authorities. With the morgues filled beyond capacity, the government has organised refrigerated trucks as makeshift morgues. The responsibility for this disaster lies with the government's neglect and the crisis of capitalism.

In this article for America Socialista (published 17 January), Jorge Martin looks back on the tremendous ‘Red October’ that swept Latin America last year, with insurrectionary movements in one country after another. Where did these eruptions come from? What were their limitations? What lessons were learned? And what is the perspective going forward?

After twelve days of heroic struggle by the indigenous working-class masses of Ecuador, the first victory of the movement was achieved. At a negotiation between the indigenous representatives, the UN in Ecuador, the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference and government representatives, it was agreed to repeal Decree 883 (the IMF funded austerity package). The government has now promised to draw up a new decree, however it was not clarified what terms it would include. A commission has been set up to discuss the new decree this week.

What began as a protest against the IMF package imposed by President Lenin Moreno has become a national insurrection that poses the question of who rules the country. The enormous mass mobilisation has forced the government to flee the capital Quito and close the national assembly. It has also begun to open cracks within the armed forces. To move forward, the movement must raise the issue of power.

The announcement by the government of Lenín Moreno of a US$2.2bn package of economic counter-reforms on 1 October has led to mass demonstrations and strikes. The government, which fears losing control of the situation, has responded with brutal police repression and yesterday, 3 October, declared a state of emergency for 60 days.

On 12 June, the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid certified the request from the US to extradite Julian Assange for allegations of hacking and sharing classified American government documents. We wholeheartedly oppose his extradition and defend Assange’s freedom of speech.

The arrest of Julian Assange is a vicious assault on basic democratic rights. Through WikiLeaks, Assange has exposed the hair-raising crimes of US imperialism and its allies, including the UK. While war criminals like Bush and Blair walk free, Assange now faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in a US prison. A defence of Assange is a defence of the right to freedom of expression and the right to information, against imperialist aggression.

The President of Ecuador, Lenín Moreno, is threatening to expel whistleblower and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been for the last nine years, “within hours or days”. Moreno has accused Assange of leaking photos of the president and his family, along with intercepted private calls and correspondences. Moreno claimed on national radio that there were even “photos of my bedroom”, but has provided no evidence to substantiate his claims. This threat of expulsion is an assault on freedom of expression and should be


Elections in Ecuador on February 19 were seen as a test both for Rafael Correa’s “Citizen’s Revolution” and for the general trend of the right wing winning elections and coming to power in several Latin American countries. Here are some initial comments from José Pereira from Lucha de Clases Bolivia. At the time of writing it was not clear whether a second round would be triggered, which is now the case.

Dramatic events unfolded in Ecuador yesterday, when a sizeable group of the country's police forces tried to overthrow the left-wing government of Rafael Correa. The official reason for the rebellion of the police forces was a law passed by Congress on Wednesday that would end the practice of giving members of Ecuador's military and police medals and bonuses with each promotion.

There is plenty of evidence that the workers and peasants in Ecuador have shifted radically to the left. Opinion polls, surveys and the real movements on the ground indicate that more and more people are turning against capitalism. This has produced the new Correa government. But again, we see temporising and vacillation. The masses want action, not talk.

On Sunday, April 15, the masses of Ecuador delivered a blow against the oligarchy and imperialism by voting massively in favour of calling a Constituent Assembly. In the face of opposition of all the parties over 81% voted Yes. The situation in Ecuador is going in the same direction as that in Venezuela.

With a resounding victory over his rival, Rafael Correa was elected president of the Republic of Ecuador in the elections on November 26, 2006. The Ecuadorian people have obtained an important victory over the groups which hold economic and political power. However this is just a first step. The masses must be ready against any attempts of the counter-revolution.

Governmental crises, general strikes, mass movements and revolutions have characterized the situation over the last six or seven years in Ecuador. Now national attention has been focused on the presidential elections where former Finance Minister Rafael Correa has emerged as self-proclaimed standard-bearer for the downtrodden masses.

The magnificent revolutionary movement in Ecuador has risen once again forcing the government to declare a state of emergency in four main provinces. What we are witnessing is the early beginnings of a movement that could develop towards a new insurrection.

Almost one year has passed since Lucio Gutierrez was ousted from power, overthrown by the rising of big sectors of the Ecuadorian population. His replacement, the former vice-president Alfredo Palacio, has not managed to solve any of the fundamental problems that led to the April 2005 rising. Great contradictions are accumulating and will sooner or later explode in new revolutionary events.

Once again the masses in Ecuador have risen up. As we predicted, the President, Lucio Gutierrez, has been overthrown by mass opposition. Before him Bucaram and Noboa were chased out of power by revolutionary uprisings of the masses. The pressure of the masses is unstoppable and reflects the revolutionary developments unfolding across the whole of Latin America.