Supporters of the Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa rallied in the capital Quito Friday as a response to opposition protests the day before, when opposition supporters chanted “Out, Correa, Out.”
“The debate that Correa is proposing is what type of society we want, how do we change it?” one person at the rally told teleSUR.
"We want the opposition to reflect and not to seek the removal of the president … We mobilized to support the president peacefully, so we are ... happy," Andrea Benavides, who left work to join the rally, told the national El Telegrafo newspaper.
Nathaly Molina says she is convinced that Correa had done important work for the country and thus she did not agree with the opposition mayors of Quito and Guayaquil in their effort to "confront the government that cares about the disadvantaged sectors of the country."
"I come to defend the democratic process, because I do not agree with few people who want to get rid of the president for their own convenience," said Esteban Cordova, who at the pro-Correa rally.
Demonstrators said they were planning to stay outside the palace until late Friday night, after the opposition march yesterday tried to break through police cordons to reach government supporters and the palace.
The country has witnessed a series of pro-government and anti-Correa protests over the past few weeks after Correa proposed an inheritance taxation law that would affect the wealthiest 2 percent in the country.
"President Correa has done what the oligarchy never has. They had been in power for so many years, and what did they do? They caused hunger, and need. Because they put everything in their pockets. They never worried about our health, or medicine, they never worried about jobs," Aurita Chuquimarca told teleSUR correspondent Liz Scherffius outside the presidential palace Thursday.
The rallies in support of the redistributive policies of Correa on Friday came hours after a video calling on police to rebel against the government had surfaced. The footage is believed to be the work of certain right-wing opposition factions, which aim to see Correa ousted, in an attempt to stage a coup similar to the failed one against him back in 2010.
"Currently, we see that they are coordinating better. They are creating political leaders, who even though they are still regional, they will then have to debate over who is going to be the presidential candidate," said Ricardo Restrepo, a professor at the Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales in Quito.
On Thursday, opposition to the government of Correa in Ecuador held protests in the cities of Quito and Guayaquil. teleSUR reporters witnessed many upper-class protesters at the demonstration.
Some waved black flags and others draped the national flag around their shoulders. They chanted “Out, Correa, Out!” and held placards labeling the democratically elected and popular president a “dictator.”