Elections are the orchestration, the theatrical antics with which the 21st Century Socialism pretends to justify their dictatorial regimes as if they were democracies under the banner “people vote and we win elections”.

Demonstrating once again his condition as a 21st Century Socialism´s dictator, Rafael Correa Delgado fired the Ecuadorean Army´s Chief of Staff, General Luis Miguel Angel Castro Ayala, with a two-fold political purpose.  First, as punishment for hindering the commission of electoral fraud to favor the ruling party´s candidates Lenin Moreno and Jorge Glas in the first round of voting and second, to have the way paved and controlled to commit electoral fraud in the second round of voting this coming April the 2nd, that will enable Correa to retain power and ensure his impunity.

Elections are the orchestration, the theatrical antics with which the 21st Century Socialism pretends to justify their dictatorial regimes as if they were democracies under the banner “people vote and we win elections”.  These shenanigans, however, have been uncovered and have been seen starting several years ago in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, where elections end up as the ruling party´s manipulated proceedings from the cradle to the grave.  “Fair and just elections” are one of the fundamental principles of democracy established by the Interamerican Democratic Charter, but the Castroist-Chavez regimes of the region violate all of these principles, including this one.

Elections in Ecuador, and in each of the countries that comprise the 21st Century Socialism, are unique because; they have changed their constitution and electoral laws, they have replaced electoral institutions, have appointed and designated officials who are akin to their ideology and are subservient to the regimes thus negating any “impartiality”, have counterfeited electoral registration, have modified voting district`s demographics and the system for tallying the votes and selecting the winners, have allowed voting to take place outside of the country by ineligible foreigners, have manipulated voters´ records.  These elections are unique also because these governments through judicial persecution, jail, or exile, have done away with several candidates, have split the opposition through pressure or the granting of favors, have either suppressed or restricted the freedom of the press, have eliminated electoral funding and transparency, have magically made appear more voters than possible inhabitants of voting age, use unlimited resources procured through corruption or from the state.  In a nutshell, they have stripped the elections´ fundamental feature “to be free, fair, and just based on the principles of universal and secret balloting as an expression of the people´s sovereignty.”

The manipulation of elections has become “an institutionalized process of fraud” and allows dictators of the 21st Century Socialism to manipulate the results adding in excess of 10% of the votes for themselves and decreasing the people´s real backing to the opposition by a similar percentage.   Only landslide results such as those from the 2015 elections for the Venezuelan National Assembly and the Bolivian referendum of 21 February 2016 with the people´s “strong electoral control and the citizenry´s mobilization” avoid fraud from happening.  Success from fraud ranges from those elections allegedly won by Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela or the one won by Evo Morales in Bolivia and the uncountable referendums and elections in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Nicaragua to the most recent fraudulent elections recently held by Daniel Ortega´s Nicaragua.

On this scenario Rafael Correa acting as Campaign Manager and main spokesman for Lenin Moreno and Jorge Glas had everything set up to win (in other words to do as if they had truly won) in the first round of voting, but his level of fraud was not enough due, basically, to the mobilization of the Ecuadorean people and the institutional actions of General Castro Ayala (now fired) who the day after the elections sent a letter to the Joint Command of the Armed Forces stating; “Given the past recent events seen at a national level after the citizenry exercised their constitutional right to voluntarily elect their government this past Sunday, 19 February of 2017, through this letter I would like to ask you, my Lieutenant General, to please call on the Armed Forces´ Joint Command to analyze the current situation and –if the case merits to be needed- issue an official pronouncement, on an urgent basis, on the Institution´s participation and responsibility during this electoral process, keeping in mind the respect of our constituted rule of law and the will of the people expressed at the ballot boxes.”

The text of the letter says it all; it was an institutional request to the duly appointed Chain of Command charged with the fulfillment of constitutionally mandated responsibilities from a Commanding General who owes loyalty to his country, his people and not the government.  Following his firing General Castro Ayala proved there had been fraud demonstrating that “the Armed Forces did not handle the entire chain of custody of the ballots in these last elections”.  The military take an oath to their flag as a symbol of their nation and this is why they are the Nation´s Armed Forces (the forces of the sovereign people who are the nation), they do not take an oath of loyalty to the regime or the Head of State.  To shame other military high commands from Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador, only one Ecuadorean General Castro Ayala fulfilled his oath and this is why the dictatorship fired him –and if they fraudulently win the elections- they will surely continue to persecute him seeking to murder his reputation.

Beside his vengeance and the “precedent” established, the firing of General Castro Ayala by Correa has the fundamental objective of removing obstacles in order to commit fraud during the second round of balloting.  Without an institutional Commanding General subordinated to the “rule of law” and not the regime, with chains of command politically weakened and rewarded by the Castroist-Chavez regimes, with a fearful and subservient National Electoral Tribunal (CNE), the specter of fraud looms again ready and now all that is needed is to manipulate survey polls, exercise control of the press, keep the names of those involved in the Odebrecht and other scandals undisclosed, and have electoral observers who are sympathetic to the regime.  The world is watching but the difference is that NOW we know it is FRAUD.

Published in Spanish by Diario las Americas on Sunday March 12th, 2017.
*The opinions published herein are the sole responsibility of its author.*