• Monica Smit

Australian girl stuck in Ecuadorian Revolution

Updated: May 8, 2020

I’m an Australian in the midst of an attempted revolution. You can’t plan this ‘tour’ on Trip Advisor. It’s like I’m living a real-life news headline, or I’m a character in a short news video. Experiencing this with the people and seeing it first-hand is a memory I will never forget. It’s not the type of tourist activity you particularly want, or plan for. I didn’t ask for this, I didn’t see it coming…no one did!

I’m not staying in a hotel where the receptionist lies and pretends everything is normal, I’m in Guayaquil staying with a proud Ecuadorian Family. The perspective I have is not shadowed by the media or foreign influences. My tale is based on first-hand, real-life observations of a significant moment in South American history. I’m in the middle of a political war using innocent people as its’ soldiers. This is not an honorable battle; it’s fuelled by greed and its’ mission is power. The suffering it creates along the way is of no consequence to the generals.

It’s common knowledge that Latin American politics has always been unpredictable. There are constant revolutions and strikes. Corruption flows through the streets with the blood, sweat and tears of the people. In my opinion, this is the number one reason why countries stay in a third world status.

I have seen with my own eyes how erratic life can be here. One day, everything was normal, the next day it was the opposite of normal. I had a bus ticket from Guayaquil to Quito that suddenly became useless…all the major roads were blocked. The next option was to fly, but the roads from the airport were closed. Stuck in a beautiful exotic country against my will is not something I was ready for. However, I am making ‘lemonade out of lemons’ and sharing the truth.

The kindling for the unrest was a decision made by the president (Lenin Moreno) to stop subsidising the gas prices in an attempt to repay the huge national debt. In fact, this is a brave decision and possibly Ecuador’s only option. However, for many Ecuadorians who live paycheck to paycheck, this is detrimental to their livelihoods. They don’t recognise the ‘bigger picture’ because they can’t afford to. The middle-class and upper-class Ecuadorians seem to agree with the president and actually admire him for it…but they can afford to have a different point of view.

The price rise was the ignition, other forces are pulling the trigger. The ex-president, Rafael Correa, has been in communication with the failing president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro. This is not speculation, this is fact. It’s with his support, and financial aid from Narcos (drug cartel), that he has been able to exploit the situation in an attempt to restore his power. Together, they have re-enacted history by creating chaos in order to play the hero. Most Ecuadorians are not ignorant to this, and it’s my opinion they will repel this socialist invasion with dignity.

In saying that, there are millions of people who are supporting this revolution. The past president, Rafael Correa, was in power for 10 years. During this time, he seemingly did a lot of great things which won popularity with the lower classes.­­­ They don’t seem to know, or care, that he stole unmeasurable amounts of money from them, and from their future.

The socialist control is rapidly failing in Latin America, the people have become less ignorant to their intentions. Only 5 years ago, socialism ruled 9 out of the 10 countries in South America. Currently, they only control 2, Venezuela and Bolivia. They are desperate to re-gain power…at any cost! Nicolas Maduro is on the verge of losing power in Venezuela and is working with Rafael Correa because he thinks Ecuador is ‘ripe for the picking’. Their plan is simple, and I’ve said it before…they will create chaos and then be the hero. So far, in the first step of their plan, they have succeeded.

How do we know they are behind it? Corruption is not hidden here; they don’t care enough to hide it. The proof we have is that the protesters couldn’t possibly strike for this long without financial support. These people live day-to-day, it’s impossible for them to stop working for this long. They are being paid and fed by the socialist leaders using stolen and dirty money. I repeat…this is not speculation; this is not a ‘conspiracy theory’…this is fact!

I will leave Ecuador soon and remember this as an ‘interesting experience’, but the Ecuadorians have to stay and live through these historic events. The government has officially moved from Quito to Guayaquil, which hasn’t happened in 100 years. The grocery stores are running low on food, gas supply is being diminished and not replenished, schools are shut, transport has stopped, tourists are fleeing and there is no resolution in sight. Think for a moment how you would feel if this was happening in your country, what would you do? Parents are trying to stay positive; grandparents are shocked because they’ve never seen this before, children are mostly unaware but would feel the tension. It doesn’t need to be said out loud, but everyone is concerned that this is the beginning of a revolution that will look like Venezuela does today.

Anxiety has become visible to the naked eye, but so has hope and faith. Communities are supporting each other and praying with more conviction. Churches are full. The government has implored the church to negotiate with the protestors. People are positive that this will be resolved, and that Ecuador will be stronger because of it. ‘Out of every adversary comes an equal or greater opportunity’ (John Smit).

Yesterday I attended a peace march with over 80,000 people. It was the largest group I have ever been amongst. The whole event was peaceful, and the attitude was hope. They sang their national anthem, they cheered for restoration and they encouraged each other to be strong and have faith. Being in the middle of this crowd was a euphoric feeling that cannot be explained. At that moment, I was proud to be a part of their struggle.

In South America, governments prove power by numbers. The violent groups in Quito were not expecting Guayaquil citizens to disagree with them in such a big way. This march has hopefully changed history…and I was a part of that! It proves that peace will always triumph against violence.

Ecuadorians are extremely religious and have a special devotion to Our Lady. In 1599 there was an apparition called ‘Our Lady of Buen Suceso’. She predicted chaos and disaster would strike the church, and the world. Many Ecuadorians are talking about this apparition in recent days and wonder if this is the turmoil she spoke of. These types of events bring Ecuadorians closer to each other and closer to God. Their response to these events has inspired me, and I hope they’ve also inspired you.

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