Plutocrat Defeated By 21st Century Lenin In Ecuadorian Elections

Photo: Former President Rafael Correa celebrates with his successor, Lenín Moreno

Ecuador’s so-called Citizens’ Revolution is set to continue for another four years after the socialist-leaning government’s candidate for president, Lenín Moreno, won Sunday’s election with 51.16% of the vote. Moreno defeated Guillermo Lasso, managing director of Ecuador’s third-largest bank and unsuccessful candidate in the 2013 elections.

The government was always favored to hold onto the presidency and maintains a majority in parliament. However, the shrinking of the economy by some 3% between January 2015 and April 2016 due to the collapse in the price of oil fueled calls for political change.

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Leftist Lenín Moreno Achieves Inconclusive Win In First Round Of Ecuador’s Presidential Election

Ecuador’s presidential elections will proceed to a one-on-one final round on 2 April after Lenín Moreno, leftist successor candidate to President Rafael Correa, fell agonizingly short of victory in the first-round on 19 February. From a field of eight candidates, Moreno won 39.33% of the vote, just below the 40 percent required for outright victory.

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How Will The Latin American Left React To A Trump Presidency?

Judging by past statements, South America’s socialist presidents look set to receive Donald Trump’s election with equanimity, arguing that power and politics in the United States is much deeper and more consolidated than any one government.

Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, said that since Obama’s presidency, he had been disappointed in his hopes for a more respectful US foreign policy.

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MDMA For Soldiers? An Interview With Dr Stephen Bright On MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy For PTSD

Could returned servicemen with war-ravaged hearts and minds soon be given MDMA to smooth their way back into society? Is using MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a legitimately good idea, and is it ever going to be common practice? ImportantCool spoke to Dr Stephen Bright of Curtin University to learn more about this Huxley-esque development.

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Half Revolutions: Stalemate & Secession In Spain

The stalemate in Spanish politics has entered its second month and shows no sign of resolution. The 20 December 2015 general elections ended in a four-way stalemate, with no single party or likely coalition achieving a majority.

On 22 January, Spain’s king invited conservative (PP) leader Mariano Rajoy to form a government. However, Rajoy strategically declined the offer, as he had no realistic prospect of winning the parliamentary vote necessary to confirm his position as president.

The conservative PP was the highest-voted party, winning 123 seats in the 350-seat parliament. However, their right-wing fellow-travelers Ciudadanos (Citizens) won only 40 seats, leaving the likely coalition and favorite of Bloomberg short of the 176 seats necessary to form a majority government.
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South American Soundscapes: An Interview With Ecuadorian Folk Electronica Artist Nicola Cruz

Nicola Cruz’s debut album Prender El Alma was released last month on ZZK Records. The Buenos Aires-based label is the perfect fit for Cruz, as since 2008 they have made the combination of digital beats and folk samples their signature sound. ZZK has been dubbed “a laboratory of dance”, and you don’t have to spend long on their Soundcloud to see why. Bolivian Quechua vocals float over UK bass- influenced remixes and Argentine ballads break bread with digital cumbia. It’s a fresh take on electronic dance music, where sadly these days sophisticated tracks are often let down by melodies you could play on the keyboard with one finger.

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Sydney to CELAC: The Poverty Of Western Politics And The Rise Of The Third World

I’m writing from Sydney, a city that is one of the world’s richest in material terms and yet most impoverished in its political debate. The press has been filled with talk of a possible third party-room overthrow of an elected prime minister in the last five years. The governing Liberal-National Coalition has been considering removing its parliamentary leader, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a public relations move made by the previous Labor government when it removed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in 2010, then reinstated him in 2013. Continue reading

India vs Pakistan: Inside The Biggest Sports Match You Never Heard Of

Even though the 2015 Cricket World Cup is just now moving into the quarter-finals, it has already served as a stage to the biggest sporting event in history: to wit, the India vs Pakistan match played at South Australia’s Adelaide Oval.

Most Westerners assume the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup are the world’s biggest sports fixtures. Yet the last India vs Pakistan Cricket World Cup game, played in 2011, was watched by an estimated 988 million people. The audience figure eclipsed that of both the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final (figures for the 2014 Final have not yet been released). Continue reading

The Murder Of A Man I Knew And The Guardian’s Quest Against Ecuador

ImportantCool‘s Important Editor, Christian Tym, talks about the murder of José Tendetza, a man he lived with and knew, and how this indigenous leader’s death has been exploited by The Guardian in their campaign against one of Latin America’s most dynamic and defiant leftist governments.

Recently I came across a report in The Guardian about the murder of José Tendetza, a Shuar indigenous leader, in a remote region of the Ecuadorian Amazon near the Peruvian border. The Guardian gave the impression that Ecuador’s left-wing government had turned murderous in an obsession with exploiting mineral wealth; the death of the indigenous leader was all but explicitly blamed on President Rafael Correa. Continue reading

From Ferguson to Finance: Understanding America via Matt Taibbi’s ‘The Divide’ (2014)

Matt Taibbi invites readers to compare how US law enforcement selectively enforces the law based on class and race
Matt Taibbi shot to fame in 2009 as Rolling Stone’s white-collar crime correspondent. Documenting Goldman Sachs’s role in the 2008 sub-prime mortgage scam, Taibbi dubbed the bank “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

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