A Donald Trump presidency in the United States would be better for Latin America than if Hillary Clinton takes the top office, though the Democratic candidate would be a better option for the U.S. and the world as a whole, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa argued in an exclusive interview with teleSUR host Abby Martin.
“If you ask me what's better for Latin America, the answer I give may shock you—Trump,” Correa said during an interview with Martin in the Presidential Palace in Quito. “He is so basic that this will generate a reaction in Latin America which will build more support for progressive governments.”
Correa, a leftist economist who has championed the so-called “Citizen’s Revolution” since taking office as president in 2007, claimed that conservative U.S. politics under George W. Bush offered a boon to the socialist Pink Tide sweeping South America at the time and argued that history could repeat itself if Trump takes office.
“The rejection of (Bush’s) policies and ideas was so strong, that it actually strengthened our progressive governments,” he explained.
“I believe something similar would occur if Donald Trump wins the U.S. presidency,” he continued. “But for the sake of the USA and the world in general, I hope Hillary Clinton wins.”
The socialist president, who made a big move to combat the legacy of North American imperialism in Ecuador by shutting down the U.S. Air Base in Manta in 2009, argued that U.S. politics has a role in the resurgence of the right wing in Latin America that has already seen conservative, neoliberal governments elected in Argentina and installed in Brazil.
“Something that has promoted what we call the conservative restoration—the return of the most backward forces and neoliberalism—is the fact that we have a U.S. government that has changed little in its policies and has done practically the same as it always has, but has a charming president in Obama,” Correa explained.
But Correa added that the ultimate goal for Latin America and the pinnacle of regional and national sovereignty will be moving beyond being dependent on the balance of political forces in Washington.
“Latin America will learn to live and walk on our own two feet, with our caring much who is or isn't U.S. President, that’s what true independence means,” Correa said.
“We need to grow as a region and maintain bilateral relations between equals, and as such to maintain our independence and autonomy,” he continued. “We should not care who is or isn’t President of the United States. We care more about the American people.”