At this moment we are connecting with Victor Hugo Bossa, who will begin the interview segment. Victor Hugo, welcome, good morning, go ahead.
Victor Hugo Bossa: Thank you. We are beginning this dialogue with attorney Álvaro Noboa Pontón, to ask whether this process of renovation which you started some 40 days ago is bring about results?
Álvaro Noboa: Good morning. At the moment we are putting out a call in the Press, where all young people, 18 years and older, are called to become pre-candidates for Assembly Members of the Republic of Ecuador. In order to do so, they should send their résumés to the following address: Wilson Sánchez Zúñiga, PRIAN Youth Director, Wilson Sánchez’s e-mail is [email protected]
Also, those same people from the 24 provinces across the county who should send their résumés, are invited on Thursday, September 20 of this year, at 7 pm to the PRIAN offices located in Esmeraldas 123 and Piedrahita, to a Youth Assembly which I will be attending.
Victor Hugo Bossa: You are centering your hopes on the strength of the young.
Álvaro Noboa: Totally. I ask, as a requisite of those young people that they are ethical, that they are patriotic and have economic, political and cultural formation. I think that, unfortunately, the current Assembly is replete with burned-out people and that many of them are corrupt; many of them go about changing their stripes for personal gain – there’s a lot to be desired. And so, I believe that the new Assembly of 2013 should be made up of young people, and many from the PRIAN.
Victor Hugo Bossa: Counselor, in the way of this new Assembly that you are hoping for are the old political forces that they are going to have to contend with, including you. Some of them are also in your party.
Álvaro Noboa: Look, today, what you call the old political guard is dying. Those who are leading don’t have the greatest acceptance, according to the surveys. There is Alianza País, which is a new political force, with 36%; PRIAN with 21% – I have never governed, and so I am new – and there is Guillermo Lasso with 3%; Lucio Gutiérrez with 2%, Alberto Acosta, 2%; so the fight is going to be an all out gamble.
Victor Hugo Bossa: Counselor Noboa, you’ve just pointed out an issue which is that of the surveys. As we were saying to the people, each candidate appears with a survey, Lasso appears with a survey that puts him as the second-rank option on the electoral table.
Álvaro Noboa: Look, I should have mine, because remember in 2006 that Rafael Correa said that he was going to win in only one round? Roldos, that he was in first. Cinthia Viteri said that she was first, and my pollsters told me that I was going to win, and I won. So, I should believe my pollsters, because when they tell me I am going to lose, I lose.
Victor Hugo Bossa: So, Counselor, taking into account the situation with the surveys, this renovation that you are hoping for via the youth forces, what is the panorama that we are going to be facing in the next months. We are practically three months from an electoral campaign that is not going to be easy at all.
Álvaro Noboa: Look, what the people are looking for is a cement house, it’s a car, it’s a job, university education, and that’s what we are going to offer. And just to give people an idea, on Saturday, September 22, at 4 pm, here in the patios of the Industrial Molinera, we are going to hold a national-level Popular Assembly, and at the same time, we are going to raffle off a cement house, a car, a scholarship to study at any university, and a job in one of the Grupo Noboa companies.
Victor Hugo Bossa: Counselor, you’ve just pointed out something that I have known in particular for the whole of your political trajectory, and that is the formation of the young: technical degrees that unfortunately has not come to be and that can be offered as a real and true alternative for the young.
Álvaro Noboa: Not just technical, but that have to do with the products that we develop in this country. We are the biggest banana producers in the world. Here, and not in Honduras, is where the best university for banana production in the world should be, and the biggest shrimp producers in the world, and here is where the best university for shrimp production should be. A huge amount of our Ecuadorian coast is seeded with rice. There should be great universities dedicated to that product, just like the products of the Sierra: vegetables, flowers. In regards to fishing, in regards to tourism, there should be a lot of good schools. One person is employed for each tourist that you are able to bring to the country. So it’s very good. There is a school for tourism that develops very good hotels and recreation centers and relaxation centers here. We have marvelous beaches, an East, the marvelous Galapagos, that we should develop touristically in an exceptional manner.
Victor Hugo Bossa: The proposals, Counselor, in the fact that suddenly they don’t have, or that they are not truly taken into account so that they take effect of developing the entire country, taking into account what you want.
Álvaro Noboa: Look, I want all Ecuadorians to become part of the middle class, like it is in Chile, like it is in the United States, like it is in Spain, like it is in Italy. What does the middle class of your country have: a cement house, that you pay for with a mortgage over a long time, or that you get through Social Security, or a bank loan; they have cars that today are also very easy to finance. Today the Ecuadorian bank can easily finance that. They have a privileged education from good technical schools and university. For each $60,000 that you invest in the education of citizens, the citizen, over their life time, earns ten times as much: $600,000 dollars. The man who has no education, earns zero over his lifetime. He earns to live, to eat, nothing more. So education is very important. Investment is very important. Capital. We should give a huge welcome to national or foreign investors. We should allow them to come to the country with less income taxes, so that it’s an attractive sweetener. We should require the knowledge that you have of them by all possible means. Wether it’s a cellular phone manufacturer, whether it’s a camera manufacturer, whether it’s a shoe manufacturer and that this knowledge is passed onto the worker so that that worker with that knowledge and that university degree can demand a salary of $1,000 dollars, of $2,000 dollars, like the middle classes earn.
Victor Hugo Bossa: We are running out of time, Counselor. I believe that you feel it like that, that suddenly the situation can be achieved of recuperating investors who perhaps have left, of recuperating the people, the human talent that this country has.
Álvaro Noboa: It’s important. A lot of damage has been done. In that sense I am one of the few investors left in this country, and I continue to be here investing despite all the crazy persecution that they have carried out against the companies I work in, which the Superintendent of Companies has interfered with at the request of the IRS, which goes continually to the Court and threatens the judges, who one way or another find in our favor, are then criminally charged, they are thrown out. You can only be a judge in this county if you say that the government is right. If not, they run the risk of ending up in jail.
Victor Hugo Bossa: It’s a campaign of proposals, no of face-offs, that you are going to initiate, Counselor Noboa?
Álvaro Noboa: It’s a campaign of proposals, but it’s inevitably a confrontation. Economist Correa is playing his all. Economist Correa’s government is at an end, and he’s going to have to go to Belgium, like he himself offered, and well, his party has obviously lost power, so therefore politics is a fight against power on behalf of the people and there are also confrontations in that fight.
Victor Hugo Bossa: That is to say that you to are going to confront him?
Álvaro Noboa: Well, I prefer to die standing than to die kneeling.
Victor Hugo Bossa: Thank you very much, Counselor Noboa.
Álvaro Noboa: Many thanks to RTU, which is an extraordinary channel and to all the TV viewers who are watching this program. Thank you, Ecuadorians, may God bless you.
Victor Hugo Bossa: Counselor Álvaro Noboa Pontón, already a pre-candidate for President of the Republic, his proposals, his ideas for the next electoral campaign.