Tens of thousands of Ecuadoreans celebrated Sunday 10 years of the Citizens' Revolution, the leftist shift of the country since the government of President Rafael Correa took office in 2007.
"The greatest achievement of this revolution is having recovered pride and hope. We recovered our country," said Correa while speaking in the coastal city Guayaquil.
This will be the last anniversary with Correa as president, as the next government will be selected in general elections on Feb. 19.
Correa celebrated the fact that public investment in Ecuador is three times higher than any other government in the past 10 years and that the country has used its oil revenues to reduce poverty and inequality.
Correa waves to supporters. | Source: Secretariat of Communication
Tens of thousands flocked to downtown Guayaquil. | Source: Telegrafo
Presidential candidate Lenin Moreno greets supporters. | Source: Andes
"We achieved in this 'earned decade' that close to 2 million Ecuadorians are no longer poor," said Correa. “We will pass on to the next government a growing and stable economy.”
The Correa government has won all democratically held elections and will end its constitutional term on May 24.
“We are supporting him because he is the only president that has taken the country forward,” said supporter Jazmin Muñoz. "We have better education, roads and our disabled are finally heard."
Lenin Moreno, Correa’s former vice president, who is running for president in the upcoming election, praised the fact that Ecuadoreans recovered their dignity during this government.
“Ten years ago, Ecuadoreans thought this was the worst country in the world,” said Moreno, who is in a wheelchair after being shot in an assault in 1998. "All that changed with the Citizens’ Revolution in the country.”
“Fighters of peace and of life,” said Moreno. “The mission continues, it’s eternal, and now it's the whole country.”
In the past 10 years, Ecuador has lifted more than 1.5 million people out of poverty, doubled the minimum wage, doubled health spending per person, cut unemployment by over 4 percent and expanded social security to hundreds of thousands of people for the first time, among other social and economic gains.