Alvaro Noboa thinks that if the poorest people in the country earns $2 a day, they should receive a monthly bouns of $60, and this is his proposal. But, the most important matter is “TO END POVERTY IN ECUADOR.” “My worst enemy is not Rafael Correa, is poverty.”
The greatest failure of Correa, 6 years in power, has been “governing a rich country with a majority of poor people“, for that reason “I keep repeating my proposal of turning Ecuador in a middle-class country, where people can earn a decent salary which will allow them to have access to houses, cars, superior and technical education; an opportunity to improve his quality of living.” I KNOW HOW TO DO IT, he said, while exposing his government plan based on local and foreign investment, free commerce and mandatory training for workers and countrymen carried out by the companies investing in Ecuador.
Regarding the two regulations issued by the National Electoral Council, preventing his candidacy, he was emphatic to point out that he has no interdiction trials or any enforceable sentence. “My political party, PRIAN, has the largest ammount of affiliates, more than 200.000 signatures were approved by the CNE, which outnumbered the 6 qualified parties.”
He seemed confident and hopeful with the renovation undertook by PRIAN; his announcement to support and promote the young people candidacies to turn PRIAN into a political party for the youth, had a great response
RADIO FOREVER INTERVIEW OF ATTORNEY ÁLVARO NOBOA
Washington Delgado: Today, Thursday, October 11, 2012, we’ve made telephone contact with Attorney Álvaro Noboa, with whom we are going to talk about some issues of great importance and to which we invite you, our listening friends, to wait for it.
Counselor Álvaro Noboa, good morning. Washington Delgado greets you, giving you also a welcome for today to talk with us via the microphones of Radio Forever. The citizens on a great part of the coast are listening to this greeting. Welcome, good morning, we are listening, Counselor Álvaro Noboa.
Álvaro Noboa: Good morning, Mr. Washington Delgado, thank you very much for this interview and I am very happy to have you and to go ahead and respond to whatever question the people would like to listen to.
Washington Delgado: Yes, precisely yesterday in a new public speech to the Press, Economist Carlos Marx Carrasco said that they had carried out 156 audits against your companies, or the companies of the Noboa business group, and that those audits had discovered 30 evasions by the business of the group with a total amount in taxes of $262 million dollars. That is to say, that the original amount of $98 million has increased to $262 million. What is your comment, Counselor Álvaro Noboa, regarding this new amount and do you believe that, more than a tax issue, this really is political persecution?
Álvaro Noboa: I am convinced that it is political persecution. We don’t owe one cent. Of the $268, $98 million is in court litigation, as you well know. Regarding the rest, I don’t know. I don’t know where he’s got that number from.
Washington Delgado: Surely your internal auditors, your experts in finance, in the payment of taxes, will be checking the situation, but, what is your explanation in regard to the IRS having taken on the challenge, some time now, these audits and specifically against your group of businesses?
Álvaro Noboa: Well, there is an ambition on the part of the Chief of State, Economist Rafael Correa, for me not to take part in the upcoming elections, because having beaten him in the first electoral round of 2006, and later in the second electoral round; having had the support of Pachakutik, MPD, the free electorate of Sociedad Patriótica, PRE and now those parties and movements are not behind him, he’s afraid of losing the second electoral round against me.
Washington Delgado: Counselor Álvaro Noboa, Carlos Marx Carrasco also said that he was going to begin auctioning off those goods that he has taken possession of until now. You, I imagine, in regards to the legal aspect, have already got your plans?
Álvaro Noboa: The goods have not been repossessed…
Washington Delgado: Last week, cars were taken from…
Álvaro Noboa: No, no, no… they weren’t repossessed. They were, it’s called seizure. Seizure is a precautionary measure, just like they imposed the measure that I shouldn’t leave the country so that future cases, if Bananera Noboa were to lose in this case, so that those goods were to prove to belong to Bananera Noboa, etc., etc, well, only then, could they proceed with a repossession, only then could they proceed to auction. Therefore, Economist Carlos Marx obviously doesn’t have a good legal adviser and therefore that’s why he’s been doing this for three years already, because everything is taken out of context. What worries me most is the following: 15 days ago there was a meeting between Mr. David Murdock, the sub-director, David de Lorenzo with Economist Correa and Ivonne Baki in Quito and the company Dole, an foreign company which somehow has an exception from the IRS, because exporting more than us, they don’t have a bill of $99 million dollars, because they paid $700,000 dollars in 2005 and that’s what it appears to have been in the other years of 2006, 2007, and 2008. Therefore the question publicly, for Economist Rafael Correa and for Economist Carlos Marx is: when are you going to answer why they don’t carry out these same audits that they talk about so much, and why they don’t want to collect $99 million, and even $120 million which would correspond to the size of the company? If they think that Bananera Noboa owes those amounts, if they think that Dole is $700,000, then Bananera Noboa should owe somewhat less than those $700,000 because it exports less, it has the same costs, it exports to the same countries, it exports all over the world to the same markets. I believe, perhaps, that there is fear on the part of the Press to touch upon this topic with Economist Correa, thinking he’s not going to like it.
Washington Delgado: But it’s also that there’s a situation that perhaps for that reason it’s better that you yourself explain to us, the Press and for the public’s opinion. You state that in 2005 you exported less than the multinational company and that they are demanding $98 million dollars in taxes from you and $700,000 from the other company. In light of this, well obviously something is not working right. Your lawyers, your accountants, have presented the bills, the exportation declarations, the tax declaration to the IRS, Counselor Álvaro Noboa, so that this is also evidence before the Press, and so that public opinion may be made aware of it?
Álvaro Noboa: There are books and books with regard to this, but we could ask you… why doesn’t the Press speak to Economist Correa regarding the meeting he held with Ivonne Baki and with David Murdock and David de Lorenzo in Quito 15 days ago? It’s important that the Press asks Economist Carlos Marx and Economist Correa this every day so that finally the Press will get a clear answer.
Washington Delgado: Excellent, fine. Let’s leave that and I, personally, will commit myself to making those queries because, really, the numbers that you have presented now do draw attention. Moving to the purely political topic, it’s understood, it’s obvious that your maintain your ambition to become President of the Republic. Nevertheless, the National Electoral Council has declared 2 Resolutions: the first, prohibiting the candidacy of anyone with a judicial prohibition against them. And from there comes the first question: do you, in any instant, fear that via these cases that they have brought against you with regard to taxes that some judge might declare a prohibition against you?
Álvaro Noboa: There is no judicial prohibition declared by any judge…
Washington Delgado: At the moment….
Álvaro Noboa: At the moment. A judicial prohibition is when someone is declared insane, or is lacking in mental capacity, and the other reason for which one is not allowed to participate is if they are bankrupt and I am not bankrupt. Not only am I not bankrupt, but I am also the largest taxpayer in Ecuador. I pay…. not even the Eljuri family, nor Mr. Egas, nor Isabel Noboa, none of them, who are very well known, wealthy people in Ecuador, pay as much in taxes as a personal taxpayer as I pay and Grupo Noboa pays millions of dollars in taxes every year, thanks to which there are hospitals, there are roads, there are schools, which are constructed with our taxes via the State.
Washington Delgado: The other disposition by the National Electoral Council, is that in order to register one’s candidacy, the candidate should be present. The call for elections will be on October 18, and a few days, the inscription of candidates. When that occurs, is your plan to return to the country? To come before the CNE in order to register your candidacy, or will you do so from abroad?
Álvaro Noboa: No, no, no, I will be present. I left for abroad by coincidence, at the moment of the prohibition to leave the country. But I leave the country every month for business, and I also leave to conduct international interviews. I have been twice on CNN, I have also been contacting presidents of the republics of Latin America, denouncing all the electoral cases that there are, this is persecution. I think that these elections are not going to be valid from the moment in which Economist Correa takes part. He desires to run only against Correa himself.
Washington Delgado: And now moving to the electoral campaign, the electoral choices, Counselor Álvaro Noboa. You know that two candidates have offered to raise the Development Voucher to $50 a month, and in the speech on October 9 by the President of the Republic, here in Guayaquil, he announced that he is going to raise it immediately to $50, and even that he’s going to finance it with taxes from the financial system. What opinion do you have with regard to the Development Voucher?
Álvaro Noboa: On the Development Voucher, half the world lives on $2 a day. Or, that is to say, that the unemployed should receive at least $2 a day, which would be $60 a month. That is my plan: $60 a month. But most important is to get them out of unemployment and for this I have a plan, which is to attract national and international investors, a thousand times more than there is now in Ecuador, a thousand times more than there is at this moment in Ecuador. Because there are only 20 large companies in Ecuador. The rest are small firms, and well, the largest number of people work in the agricultural field. But the cities are full of the unemployed or those employed part time, or quarter time, or jobs in which the people aren’t earning an income in order to live like the middle classes. So… but so that this investment comes to the country, in order for jobs to be generated, there has to be legal security, which doesn’t exist in Ecuador because Economist Correa controls the courts, he already controls part of the Press, because, well…. there is a lot of the Press which is in the hands of the State. He controls the National Electoral Council, and now he’s got the ambition to control the Constitutional Tribunal and when I… these are not my words, when I go to another part of the world, they say: “Oh, you come from Ecuador. There’s a dictatorship, right?” That is the international perception, it’s not what I say. But in any case, we are experiencing one of the blackest phases in the history of Ecuador and the greatest, the greatest failure that this government has had is never having been able to eliminate poverty in Ecuador. There are the very same poor from six years ago; they’re still there. With my plan, which is via investment, and via my educational plan that includes obligatory training provided by the investors for their workers so that they become specialized workers, and by giving the worker or the peasant a better level of education, to open the doors of universities and technical colleges so that they become technicians and university graduates. That will raise their educational level, which will allow them to demand better wages and so like you, Mr. Journalist, thanks to your profession, thanks to the investment by your radio, you can have a cement house, a car, you can have a good job, you can give your children a good education, likewise, I aspire that all Ecuadorians – who today are unemployed and many of whom are in a state of poverty – will have the same. That has been achieved, those results of changing the poor into a middle class have been achieved in Brazil by 50%, in Chile at nearly 100%, and in China, where there are 300 million who belong to the middle class. These are proposals, therefore, with recent historical proof, and that can be achieved, and that I can make, because I know how to do it, make it happen in Ecuador.
Washington Delgado: Nevertheless, I am going to suggest, from not only a national vision, but also Latin American one: what you propose as results, effects of a system of government, political, economic, social system, the legal security that you state. If we look at the results of previous Sunday in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez was re-elected to round out twenty years in government. What do you think of your message, for example, and that of other politicians, not making quite an impression as Socialism in the 21st century has, which has just re-elected Hugo Chavez for the third time?
Álvaro Noboa: Look, my ambition isn’t to reach power, my ambition is to do away with poverty. My message, my plan is the only one that will get rid of poverty in Ecuador. My enemy isn’t Correa, my enemy is poverty. Therefore, I have to continue with my plan until the people listen to me, because, just because the people make a mistake, doesn’t mean that I am going to change my plan for a mistaken plan in order to take Ecuador, like Economist Correa wants to do, to the levels of Cuba where there is communism and such totalitarianism that there is absolute poverty and lack of freedom. I’m not going to do it. I prefer not to be President than to be an accomplice of such harm to a human being or an entire nation.
Washington Delgado: In order to reach the Presidency, Counselor Álvaro Noboa, besides your message and this proposal that you are putting forward, above all to the great majority to whom you are promising to eliminate poverty, and you say you know how to do it, what about the National Institutional Renovation Action party, the PRIAN? In light of the recent desertion of some current Assembly Members, how will they be replaced and how is the issue of the new affiliations going. Who among them will work with you on the electoral campaign and then later in an eventual government?
Álvaro Noboa: I have excellent news for you. Despite the number of registered voters that the National Electoral Council eliminated, on this very day, according to the very same National Electoral Council, the PRIAN is the number one party in terms of party affiliates in Ecuador. It has more than 200,000 affiliates. Only Alianza País outnumbers us in terms of affiliates. I respect… remember that I have already announced that there was going to be a complete renovation of individuals because the previous ones had not met with my aspirations in regards to the work in Congress. Today, the PRIAN was approved with 209,939 signatures, that’s in first; Avanza, 184,006, second; Socialista, 180,000; Sociedad Patriótica, 187,000; PRE, 176,000, CREO, 163,000; and Partido Social Cristiano, is last with 161,000. That is the truth, we are the second political force in Ecuador, and we will be in the first round of 2013.
Washington Delgado: In the electoral campaign, Counselor Álvaro Noboa, if you will allow me, there will be a kind of face-off between Alianza País, according to the numbers you are sharing with us, and your party, the PRIAN, and with you as leader of the PRIAN. But that base of people, especially the majority, who are hoping for jobs, who are hoping to get out of poverty, is going to have to choose between your proposal and the proposal of the current President, Rafael Correa. Yet yesterday, and as something new, I don’t know if you have been informed of it, employees, or ex-employees of one of your businesses, El Café, from the Grupo Noboa, were holding a demonstration, and supporting Carlos Marx Carrasco at the IRS against you, including hugging him and shaking hands with him. One of the directors of the National Federation of Agro-Industrial Workers, Free Peasants and Indians of Ecuador (FENACLE) also met with him, supporting the IRS and manifesting in opposition to your position. What is your response to the workers and peasants, Counselor Álvaro Noboa, with those whom you should count on?
Álvaro Noboa: Let’s see, Mr. Journalist, once more the Press hasn’t left the things clear. Those are ex, ex-workers; they are not workers.
Washington Delgado: For that reason I said: ex-workers…
Álvaro Noboa: The workers went to the demonstrations, our workers went to the demonstration and were free. We have tens of thousands of workers and they are going to continue going to the demonstrations in favor of Álvaro Noboa, in favor of free enterprise, in favor of the free market, in favor of transforming themselves into the new Ecuadorian middle class. They are going to continue working, like they have been working, and we are thousands and thousands of workers who get along very well. We get along very well among ourselves. I am also an employee of those companies, and my colleagues have supported me all the time. In the Noboa companies there are all the obligations. All of the requirements that the state demands are paid and furthermore, we also give free medical attention via the Medical Brigades of the New Humanity Crusade Foundation: medicine, commissaries, dining halls, we also give assistance in the educational sphere, in all the areas. So, I, what I can tell you is that I have the best relationship with my workers. And it shocks me and this makes it even clearer that this is a technical problem, not a political one; that Economist Carlos Marx has become like a small neighborhood leader, riling people up, getting people up against those who pay taxes to the Treasury. That’s not been seen anywhere else in the world. It’s shameful, it’s shameful.
Washington Delgado: Is it not true, then, that there are a number of unpaid benefits due to workers , like Carlos Marx Carrasco says?
Álvaro Noboa: That’s demagoguery by Economist Carlos Marx Carrasco. I’ll tell you again, the largest taxpayer in Ecuador is Álvaro Noboa. Among the 10 largest taxpaying business in Ecuador is the Grupo Noboa, and they pay their taxes and their employee benefits to the Treasury in accordance with the law.
Washington Delgado: Are you afraid that because of the offers…. Fine, all right….
Álvaro Noboa: It’s just that you like to talk about Carlos Marx. I prefer to discuss my economic proposal.
Washington Delgado: It’s just that those are precisely the journalistic concerns.
Álvaro Noboa: The poor man who is dying of hunger doesn’t want to hear about Carlos Marx. The poor man wants to hear how I am going to resolve his problem. There is another serious problem with security, it’s with the problem of crime in Ecuador and I want to tell you that I also have a plan for that of contacting Mr. Giuliani, who was the Mayor of New York, so that he will give us his proposal, given that in New York there had been a high level of crime that was lowered thanks to Giuliani’s great administration in the area of citizen safety, and that’s what we want. We want there to be no crime in the poor neighborhoods, so that people aren’t afraid of getting on a bus in order to, well…. get assaulted in that bus. We don’t want anything like that….
The other problem is the high cost of living. When there is no national production, the cost of living shoots up and that raise a man just got doesn’t help because food, basic necessities, transportation, education, books, etc., etc., the computer, everything went up. So, since everything went up, it’s caused a beastly rise in the high cost of living that continues to impoverish Ecuador. We…. I would also like to tell how the New Humanity Crusade Foundation and on the private level, we have the Medical Brigades working full time, and more now than ever, because of the lack of attention, above all in the agro, of doctors and of medicines. All the time, we are developing micro-businesses in order to create jobs; we are donating computers to schools, because the computer is a modern tool that helps students get ahead and it’s the tool that further down the line he or she will use in their work. We are also helping the handicapped. We are assisting people daily and we are going to ask for help for operations in SOLCA and in other places. I am also a patron of the arts who supports Ecuadorian art via the Luis A. Noboa Naranjo Museum, where we hold biennales and, for the first time in Ecuador, Ecuadorian artists are given attention.
Washington Delgado: In the part about security, you said that you would contract or would incorporate as your adviser the former Mayor of New York, Giuliani, who reduced crime in that city. In the area of healthcare and in the area of education, specifically, how would you attack those areas so that they would no longer be recurrent problems that the country has experienced for decades?
Álvaro Noboa: In May 29, 1969, they opened the doors of the Central University so that everyone in the world could attend who took the entrance exam, and I think that education in Ecuador should be depoliticized. Hundreds of thousands of students have been left without being able to enter the University due to the number of requisites that they impose and that is very serious. The other is that in the educational arena, we are going to promote technical and agricultural professions which will attend to the educational development and the students in the areas in which there is work, for example, in banana production. The best university for banana production is in Honduras, while Ecuador is the principal exporter of bananas in the world, and therefore it should be in Ecuador, not in Honduras. We should have a great school to do with shrimp, we should have a great school dealing with floriculture in the sierra. We should have a great school for agriculture dedicated to vegetable and other types of production. We should have a great school for petroleum production, because we are a petroleum producing country; a great school of mining, because we are a great mining country. Therefore this is very important to develop, and as those thousands of investors come here – if we want to attract them, we have to lower income taxes. The treasury chests are going to expand by 100 times because it won’t just be 20 big groups who pay taxes, but 1,000 big groups who pay taxes, and so, overall, the taxes should be a little less. When one gets into government, one should also consider whether one has reached it with a majority. Let’s say, of an electorate of 55%, there are 45% who don’t think the same way, but they are Ecuadorians who have the same rights of repatriation. Therefore one needs to work with the left and with the right. With the right in the area of business, the area of production and with the left in the social arena. I also want to say…. I want to tell the country that more than 15 movements that represent at least 600,000 or 800,000 signatures of affiliates remained excluded from the National Electoral Council, and that we are inviting those movements and parties to unite with the PRIAN. Those are the new people of the PRIAN, and the other new people of the PRIAN are those young people who have been called upon nationally to submit their résumé. That has taken place in Guayaquil, Quito, and the other provinces, because half of the population of Ecuador is made up of young people. They should be represented in the Assembly. There should be more people 18 years old and above, of 20, 30 and 35 years of age in the Assembly, just as there is today an equality between men and women. There should also be the option for young people to participate in the next Assembly and we are going to fill our lists, too, with young people.
Washington Delgado: To conclude, Counselor Álvaro Noboa, and I thank you for having attended on this day, the topic of your candidacy. The registration is very important because the people are watching. Will there be an opportunity to talk to you again about your electoral offers during the electoral campaign? And it would be a real pleasure to end on this note with you. I would like to ask you for your final message, today, previous to the electoral campaign, to those great majorities who are waiting precisely for your plan of work.
Álvaro Noboa: I want to thank Ecuador for having listened to me today, and to you, Mr. Radio Announcer, I would like to thank you for this interview which you have conducted with great standing and great professionalism, and in February, when the elections will be held, Ecuador should elect between heading towards where Cuba is now with regards to poverty and totalitarianism and the dictatorship of Cuba, or towards a regime based on freedom, freedom of the press, freedom of production, freedom of exportation, the liberty of the free market and of generating work, work and more work compensated by $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 dollars so that with that work Ecuadorians can buy cars and houses on credit given by the state banks or credit given by private banks. Thanks to the development of the country, when Ecuadorians will be able to earn like the middle classes in Chile and in other countries around the world, they themselves will be able to leave poverty behind through their work, and to buy themselves their cars, to buy their own houses on loans and with support from the state, and to raise their level of education via technical colleges and universities. Thank you, Ecuadorians, may God bless you all.
Washington Delgado: Thank you, too, Counselor Álvaro Noboa. We are going briefly to a short commercial and then we’ll return in order to in some way annotate this presentation by Counselor Álvaro Noboa via Radio Forever, as a future candidate, because he is going to maintain expectations towards the Presidency of the Republic.