April 11, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Correa threatens to quit

Ecuador's brash new leader Rafael Correa has threatened to leave his post as president if voters in Ecuador reject his proposed constitutional assembly in the referendum to be held on Sunday. See CNN.com. There is much yet to learn about Correa, but this much is clear: He is nothing if not vain. This situation reminds me of Brazil's President Quadros, who resigned in 1961, expecting the people would beg him to return, thus giving him a mandate to issue decrees over the objections of Congress. The ploy didn't work, and his weak successor failed to cope with the simmering socio-economic tensions, culminating in the military coup of 1964.

Coincidentally, or not, Correa warned of an ecological emergency on the Galapagos Island, saying that he might suspend the issuance of tourist visas. That is not the main problem, however, as BBC makes clear:

Last month, several rangers of the ecological reserve in the islands clashed with members of the Ecuadorean Armed Forces over what the rangers say was illegal fishing in protected waters.

In less-developed countries, to be perfectly blunt, feeding poor people takes precedence over preserving endangered species of wildlife.