Andrés Carrión: Counselor, good evening, long time, no see. How would you read, how would you comment, or reflect upon the vote that was carried out today, Counselor? Good evening, we are listening.
Álvaro Noboa: Good evening, Andrés, I voted in favor of the NO public. Just as I said in the media for days before the election. I believe it must be very uncomfortable for economist Rafael Correa to govern in a country where half of the people are in favor and half against. That brings, on other occasions in history, that has brought with it terrible social and political maladjustment. I think that is in no way a victory. Victory would be to have gained 90-100%. In that little exit poll that they have conducted, half are for the YES , and half against the YES, or, that is to say, NOs, nulls and blanks. I think that in a democracy it’s a terrible defeat for a government that has used all of its political power, that has used all of the communications media, both their own and of others, to carry out a campaign, while, to use an example, the PRIAN party had a restricted space and wasn’t allowed to use more money, if one wanted spend more money using one’s own funds, it had a space that came to something like 1% of what was used by Rafael Correa’s government.
Andrés Carrión: Counselor, we have listened to the President of the Republic. He has indicated that this is a new triumph for his proposal, in his theory, to carry forward the destiny of the country, and he has indicated that his initiative and proposal is to radicalize governmental procedures. What are the fears that the opposition could have in regards to this announcement by the Head of State and Alianza País to make the transformations more radical?
Álvaro Noboa: Well, radicalizing poverty which is increasing all the time in Ecuador is very bad; radicalizing crime which is increasing all the time Ecuador is very bad; radicalizing corruption which is increasing all the time in Ecuador is very bad; radicalizing his state of arrogance is also very bad. That is the road that García Moreno took and look where that government ended. That road has been taken by many other leaders throughout the world. We see it today in North Africa where they are being taken out of their positions of power by force.
It’s very serious, I repeat, to radicalize things. One has to look for consensus, agreements with the MPD, with Pachacutec, with PRIAN, Liberals, Conservatives, and aim for the country, together with government, to work towards that new Ecuador that I have always dreamed of, in order to truly leave poverty behind, to leave the crime, the corruption and those absolute states of power, where on this very day the Head of State has very nearly become like a king, Rafael I. He would be the first king of Ecuador, where he is in control of the Court, controls Congress, controls the Executive Branch. That is bad; it won’t last long, sadly. Even more so with a rebellious people like the Ecuadorians, where if you tread on them, they react badly.
Andrés Carrión: Counselor, in one way or another, the action, or the governmental strategy has been to silence you, to eliminate you from the field, to eclipse you in the competition via the issue of taxes. Up to what point have they achieved that and from your perspective is this a political action by the regime?
Álvaro Noboa: Well, it’s part of the modern tools that they use, as you have just said, to try to sideline their opponents. He’s also done it with foreign governments, he has removed ambassadors, he has done it with his allies, with his own Alianza País, he has done it with whoever has said “I don’t agree with what you are saying, Economist Correa, because the road you are taking us on is towards greater poverty, greater crime, greater corruption which all of us Ecuadorians are experiencing.” They are the ones who have voted No against Correa. It hasn’t even been a response to the questions, it’s been a reaction against him, against his arrogance, against this state and the wrong style of governing.
Andrés Carrión: How do you come to the conclusion that half of Ecuador is not with the government of President Correa?
Alvaró Noboa: Because you have to add nulls, blanks and the NOs. Then, when you add all those together you will get half of Ecuador, and in the end, if it is 5.1 persons against 4.9 persons, if so, then he’s the President of the Ecuadorians, or the Chief of State, if not then he’s the President of the Ecuadorians, or the Chief of State of the Ecuadorians or the King of the Ecuadorians, but it’s not more than 5.1.
Andrés Carrión: Counselor, what fear do you hold for the moment in which they begin implementing the decisions of the Ecuadorian people from the questions that were asked? Are there issues, like that of unverified private enrichment, where there are risks, for example, of this being implemented as the will of the Ecuadorians.
Álvaro Noboa: Economist Rafael Correa himself said that if there’s anyone for whom there is no doubt from where his wealth stems it is me, therefore, I’m not the issue. The risk is that there are many people in the current government who live in the bigwig neighborhoods of Samborndón, and they were people who didn’t have a cent. Therefore those people are the first who are going to be audited. In my case, well, everyone knows of the fortune that my father made, everyone knows my work, everyone knows what I have created during my life time, it’s transparent. You, Andrés, can send your auditors, given that the government does it on your behalf, let’s see where the money comes from. As we all know it comes from wheat, from bananas, from coffee, and, well, from many automobile businesses that have been operating for many years.
Andrés Carrión: Counselor, there is another question that is probably the central issue of this referendum and it has to do with the possibility of restructuring the entire judicial system, not only the appointing of judges, but also of notaries, of registrars, in short, fiscal appointees, in short, all of the judicial structure, and in order to do so they are going to create an authority, or transitional entity that will have go ahead with the restructuring and the designating of all those new judges. What are the concerns, the risks regarding this issue, if you would be so kind?
Álvaro Noboa: Well, by coincidence, there we already have examples. Is it possible that, today, the court is not under the sway of the regime? The IRS sent one Economist Cordero to a tribunal attacking one of our businesses in order to turn over an earlier decision by one of the judges. Who is this Economist, or perpetrator Cordero? The right hand man to the head of the IRS. That is already happening now. We have had the courage to denounce it and well, if only they don’t do more damage than they’ve done already, but tomorrow someone else will come in, a judge who you would like to have give his clear and transparent opinion and they will say that you have enriched yourself illegally, and they will say that you are a corrupt journalist and you will be put in prison by the judge nominated by this very government, by the same King, by Rafael I.
That is the danger he runs. It’s not just a danger for Ecuadorians, it is a danger to him. One day he should wake up in the morning, take a good shower, calm down and say, what mess have I got myself into? I am going to change and I am going to work for all Ecuadorians, not just for himself.
Andrés Carrión: Now, Counselor, with this the President will have absolute control of all the branches, of all the authorities under governmental power. Do you believe that the structure of the state now depends on one person?
Álvaro Noboa: But definitely. He is in Congress, he is also in the Electoral Tribunal, he is also in the Constitutional Tribunal, he is also in the Executive. What he has been missing is a part of the Court, but I have already given you an example of one of the Courts.
So from then on he will have, like Trujillo had, like Charles V had, the Sun King, sorry, the Sun King, the King of France, Rafael I will have all the powers. It is dangerous, from that stems the French Revolution, serious problems stem from there. That is also what happened with García Moreno. It’s a danger, Andrés, it’s dangerous for Ecuador.
Andrés Carrión: Clearly in the case of García Moreno there was also a Faustino Rayo.
Álvaro Noboa: Yes, and I don’t wish any of those things on Economist Correa, but rather that he takes a shower, he gets up in the morning and he says, “What mess have I got myself into?” And that he changes, via inspiration from God, to begin serving all of Ecuador. I don’t wish anything bad on anybody, I want what’s good for Ecuador.
Andrés Carrión: Thank you very much, Counselor, greetings from afar.
Álvaro Noboa: Thank you, Andrés. Greetings.
Andrés Carrión: Thank you. That was Counselor Álvaro Noboa, head leader of the PRIAN, this evening, here in this program, Popular Referendum 2011.