The outgoing ambassador of the United States in Ecuador, Todd Chapman, believes that Socialism of the 21st century has “lost strength” and “credibility” and that President Lenin Moreno, with the changes he has made, has transformed this ideology into a vision of «Pragmatic left».
In an interview with Efe on the occasion of the end of his duties, which began in the time of former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017), Chapman believes that this current, “where it has been implemented, has created poverty, authoritarianism and economic stagnation” .
And he adds that the “model” is not working in Nicaragua, in Venezuela it has left a “disaster” and that, therefore, Moreno is “even more revolutionary because what he is doing is transforming this ideology, which did not bear fruit, into a vision of pragmatic left ».
“I think it is evolving towards a new model for the left in Latin America,” he says about a president whom he describes as “political philosopher” and “visionary and pragmatic at the same time”.
To Ecuador, who left this Friday after three years of mission, Chapman came after a long diplomatic career in several countries in Latin America, Africa and Afghanistan, but highlights the fact that the bilateral relationship was not “one of the most better »and, nevertheless, among the people, the United States was still« very popular ».
Asked by Efe whether he was surprised in 2017 by Moreno’s change, chosen as Correa’s heir, he confesses that “it was not that he was not surprised”, but people around him “who were not pure correistas” had already warned him that it was ” a man with another vision, another history and that would bring changes ».
“I did not know which ones!” He exclaims, but “it was he” who had “the initiative to improve the relationship with the United States.”
In that sense, he recalls a meeting with the diplomatic corps days after being named president in 2017, in which he said that “he was going to refresh his relations with the whole world, but he specifically identified the US.”
He also added, Chapman continues, that he did not define himself “as left or right”, that “for him his ideology is Ecuador”: “This phrase was quite strong! He demonstrated the pragmatism of a man on the left and this was revolutionary for the country. “
That is how political tension began to be transformed into a progressive approach at all levels, with US collaboration in those axes identified as priorities: to prop up democratic values and the fight against corruption, to support in security matters and fight against drug trafficking, to reactivate bilateral trade and assisting Ecuador out of the economic slowdown in which it was at the end of 2016.
«Now it is a relationship (…) that is growing very rapidly for the benefit of our countries. (We are) rebuilding what we had before, “he said.
One concrete example has been Washington’s crucial support for the recent acquisition of a series of $ 10 billion loans from entities such as the IMF or the World Bank.
Chapman also claims to have traveled “nine times” to New York to meet “with Wall Street people and big investors,” and “encourage interest in the changes that are taking place in Ecuador.”
A support that generated feelings of “betrayal” among the correístas groups, who accused his exaliado of “selling the homeland” and even ending the asylum of the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, by foreign interests.
With a well-polished diplomatic language, the former US Ambassador justifies it in a “political evolution” of Moreno because, although the subject was discussed, he assures that “in the end, it was a sovereign decision of the Government of Ecuador for its own interests”.
“Our relationship was already growing rapidly before the decision to end the asylum,” he stressed, and although “Assange was part of the discussion,” it is “just one of 20 to 30 issues that we are constantly working on.”
Coristas has also accused Moreno of submitting to IMF demands for economic and labor reforms that he considers antisocial.
For Chapman, recognizable in any act for his straw hat and who has lived 17 years in Latin America, including Brazil, the transformations respond to a need for change.
And he alludes to his last meeting with the Ecuadorian president, on Tuesday, in which he reiterated that he sees no problem in “making money with his right hand and dealing with the left”, in order to be productive and at the same time socially sensitive. .
“That’s his vision!” He proclaims about a “new pragmatic left” that “does not see the creativity and productivity of the private sector as a threat but as an opportunity”, but that “it also shows that it wants a home for all and more public health” .
“I think the president’s vision is going to create opportunities here in Ecuador and it will be a model for Latin America,” he concluded. (I)