The first thing I want is to thank God for this patriotic spirit that is finally resurging in our country, and that call is coming from the young. More than half of the population in Ecuador are young people. That’s different from what is happening in Europe where the population is an old population, where even the birth rate is low. Here, the country is a country of young people. It’s a country where all of us Ecuadorians need to listen to those young people, with their new ideas, with their new concepts, with their vision. They are going to be able to contribute to in all that we aspire for the transformation of Ecuador. I would like for the next Assembly, that will be elected on February 17, 2013, to be composed, at least by half, of young people.
In that way, just like there should be equity between men and women in the Assembly, there should be also be equity between adults and young people because the Assembly does nothing more than represent the population, and if the population is composed of women, of men, of young people and adults, each one of them should have similar representatives.
We put this call out publicly via the newspapers and we had a very good reception. Until a little while ago, we had 250 résumés from people, of which many of you are here now. Young people who want to be Assembly Members, who want to change Ecuador, who are ready to fight for their ideals.
And if we look at the history of revolutions, the history of transformations, we will find many young people. It is the young people who take to the streets. It is the young people who set up a new State organization. It’s the young people who undertake new businesses. I want to say to all the young that, yes, you can, transform Ecuador into a middle class country. And for all of us who are present here, the middle class in economic terms is that which has a cement house, which has a vehicle, good attention in regards to healthcare, and as regards the intellectual, it is the most prepared, most highly trained, the best educated, and that is what we are going to be able to do. It’s been done in countries like Chile; Brazil is on the way towards it; China is on the way towards it. All the countries that are leading the global economies: South Korea is on the way to it. Singapore, the United States, Japan all got there many years ago. All of those countries, after having studied it closely, have the following characteristic: freedom exists. Without freedom, ideas can not develop. Remember medieval history. In medieval times – as the majority of you are young people, students or many of you are already at university – in medieval times, the freezing of ideas due to a lack of freedom, the church at that time wrongly sought that only religious ideas would rule, when it is possible – I am someone who holds a very strong religious faith and has his mind open to science, to art, to inventiveness. And so, it is freedom which permits us to develop new concepts, new products, new techniques in all areas, in the agricultural field, in the field of tourism, in the field of fishery, in the field of computing, which is so important today, in the field of communications. For that it is necessary to have the mind free to fly, and in that way there were young people who later became adults like Bill Gates in the area of computing, Steve Jobs with his Apple products, the guy from Facebook who is a young person like yourselves, but who had at university and in his life had the freedom to develop, to think, and the freedom to put up a business. In that kind of freedom, there also had to have been a welcome towards that businessman. That he wasn’t persecuted like he would be persecuted here in Ecuador. The guy wants to make money. We all have the right to make money. We all have the right to create a company. If that company brings work, if that company brings knowledge – here I am going to talk about knowledge – that business should be prized. How does a business bring knowledge? Registering. The national and foreign businessman has to prepare his workforce and employees through internal training within his business. If it is a cellular company, he has to teach them through training how to assemble a cellular phone, how to put it together a cellular phone, how to create a cellular phone. If it’s a banana producing company, they need to teach them how to plant, how to take care of plants, how to harvest, how to fertilize, how to fumigate the plants, how to protect them so that they have a good result. If it’s horticulture, or vegetable production, the same; in tourism, for each tourist who comes to the country, one person is required to attend them. There is a tourist population of a million people. That will be a million jobs, but that person has to be trained. He has to be trained for a hotel, he has to be trained for a boat, if it’s a tourist ship. He has to be prepared as a guide in order for him to give good service. Once that person is trained, the business has to give a hand in obtaining training in technical centers and high level universities. How is it possible that Ecuador is the biggest banana producer in the world, and the best school for banana production is in Honduras? How is it possible that Ecuador is one of the top countries for shrimp production, and yet the great schools for training in regards to shrimp production are in France or China and not here in Ecuador? How can it be that we have here one of the biggest mining centers in the world, here there is gold, copper, silver, gas, petroleum, and yet we don’t have great training centers in mining. The moment in which you young people are going to get to the Assembly, promote those educational centers. Automatically all that you invest in that education – the man who receives that education is going to earn in accordance with his studies, between 10 and more times what he invested over his lifetime. That is to say, neither real estate, nor any other business, is a better business than the investment in knowledge. Your parents, or you yourselves using your savings, invest $30,000 in educations, and when you are older you are going to earn $300,000 because you are going to value that knowledge. You are going to go to that company and you are going to say, I am a technician, I am a banana technician and I am going to double your banana production, so pay me this amount or I’m going somewhere else, and the man who is an investor, who wants a return, is going to pay you what you deserve because it’s the best way for him to earn more. And that’s an easy rule of free enterprise.
Class struggle also needs to come to an end. The struggle between classes has to come to an end. The worker should be the business owner’s biggest ally, and the business owner has to be the worker’s best ally, because no one wants to work with enemies. A worker doesn’t want his boss to be his enemy, and the boss doesn’t want his employee to be an enemy. The worker and the business owner have to work hand in hand, and the state also has to be taken by the hand, helping that business to produce more all the time. Producing more all the time they pay better salaries and there is wealth in the country. It’s better to lower taxes on income a little so as to attract 10,000 companies. Here in Ecuador there are big companies; you can count them on your fingers, 30, the rest are middle and small businesses. And here, and I know the world over hundreds of thousands of people who have the money to set up million-dollar companies.
But that person, in order for them to come here, has to have judicial assurance that they aren’t going to be expropriated, that they are not going to take his mine away, nor are they going to take away his factory because nobody takes his money to another country in order for it to be taken away. If you take your money to another country, it’s to generate more money and for that reason it’s so important to have judicial security where a citizen can go before a judge without any problem, whether a worker, whether a laborer, whether an owner of a business to say that their rights are being abused and where they can receive justice. Today we watch in shame that every time a judge reaches a decision against the interests of the government he is put in jail, they humiliate him, they suspend him and that is what we have experienced lately. They hound – to use a creole Ecuadorian word – opposition journalists. There are journalists who are out of the country, like political exiles. In this kind of atmosphere there will never be production. For the current government, the ideal is Cuba. They have never been interested in production. What they’ve been interested in is that everybody should receive the same thing, even if everyone ends up equally poor. That how Cuba ends up with cars that are 50 years old, the houses are old and about to fall down. Cubans are well-prepared people with a good education, but you have to say that no investor is going to go there.
For that reason the program of business development should go hand in hand with education, together with training. You are young and I feel young, and I have children who are young and I identify totally with my young children. I have Daniel, a businessman; Juan Sebastian, who is not present here. He’s a man who likes the agricultural world and is studying agricultural administration. Carla, a girl, who likes the industrial part, is in Paris finishing a course in French and already has her professional degree. Santiago, a young schoolboy who loves Ecuador, like the Noboa family loves Ecuador, all of them are tri-lingual. Each language that you learn is 30% more income. Why? Because if you work for Citibank, in New York and speak French, and Citibank wants to send a staff member to France to work: “I’ll go if you give me 30%, if not, I’ll just stay her in New York.” But more than that, languages are so important to business, languages are so important in tourism, in education. Now, many of you young people study a lot via the internet, and a lot of that material comes in different languages, above all in English.
Therefore, I know how to transform this country into a middle class country. I know how to achieve all Ecuadorians who today have a cane house having a cement house. I know how to achieve them having a family car in every one of the homes of all Ecuadorians. I know how to bring about that everyone can have a university degree or a degree in a technical specialization. I know this but I need you, the young people, who are the future of Ecuador. So that in the Assembly we bring in the laws and we work together in this transformation, and so that we can finally transform Ecuador, which is now full of poverty, into one of the wealthiest countries in America and one of the wealthiest countries in the world, where one can live in a state of security, of well-being, of wisdom and in health.
I ask the young women and the young men, the adult men and women to submit their résumés with pride and with patriotism here to Wilson Sánchez so that those résumés can be studied and so that you can be forwarded as pre-candidates for all the provinces of Ecuador and to proudly achieve that the PRIAN is the party of the young.