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    Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa | Photo: Reuters

Correa bashed Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Tuesday that Republican front-runner Donald Trump is a "clumsy" candidate, and that Latin America's progressives would only grow stronger should the billionaire occupy the White House.

In an interview with the Ecuadorian Broadcasting Association, the left-wing Correa said a Trump government would be beneficial for Latin America as his divisive politics would prompt a leftist reaction in the region, similar to the backlash to right-wing excess that boosted progressive social movements in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Correa said a Trump presidency would be like the tenure of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who with his "primitive" politics alienated much of the world.

"I think it would be very bad for the U.S.," Correa said of a possible President Trump. "However, since Latin America is quite independent from the U.S., I think we may even see an increase in the progressive trend here. That would be a major positive of a Trump victory."

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Correa also said that both Democratic Party candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would be better for the U.S. and world security than a Republican government led by a reality television star like Trump. 

Ecuador's president singled out Sanders for praise, saying he is "breaking ways of thinking" with his anti-establishment politics.  

"He is 74 years old and has the support of young people. Why? Because he is iconoclastic, he is against Wall Street, against the big transnationals. He is saying what people want to hear," Correa said.

The president also said he admires Hillary Clinton but, unlike her counterpart, he said that she identifies "more with the establishment" and will not provide the radical change offered by Sanders.

Correa's comments came the same day that 12 states across the U.S. vote for presidential nominees. Both Trump and Clinton are expected to win big. 

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