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21 Oct, 2010 05:00

Coup d’etat in Ecuador happened due to misleading information – President Correa

Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa has given an exclusive interview to RT's Spanish channel. During the conversation he spoke about some inside facts of the recent coup attempt in Quito.

The violent drama left five people dead. Its details are still unclear.

“There’s no doubt it was an attempted coup, I will support my position with arguments a bit later,” said Rafael Correa. “In our country the opposition can say whatever they like. It is believed here that being in the opposition means denying obvious things, they are even ready to argue that a circle has right-angles, and if I had died that day, they would have said that I committed suicide.”

“Presumably, a certain part of society – in this case, armed people, national police – expressed their discontent with the new law they haven’t even read to the end,” the president added. “The law is a good one, all this has happened because of misleading information.”

Speaking on how the takeover was organized, he emphasized that the attempt was well-planned. “They were not acting on their own. Their actions were co-ordinated by political groups – that’s what I would like to stress. Those groups stayed in the shadow, waiting for the outcome of this attempted coup d’etat. But the attempt failed.”

The Ecuadorian president went on to share some details of that tragic day.

“They blocked the presidential cortege and pinned the tires. Therefore, it was evident from the very beginning, that it was a political trap, and there was no wish to carry out dialogue. We heard no demands to raise salaries. It was a political scenario. ‘Long live Lucio Guttieres’ – this is the country’s former president, who is behind all this. That’s why I opened the window and tried to explain the situation, but they continued interrupting and insulting me. As we knew about the looting and as we realized it was a political trap, I said: ‘If you want to kill me, kill me, but don’t destroy our homeland.’ They didn’t have the guts to do so. Later on, when the coup failed, they did try to kill the president, which can be seen from the recordings and was confirmed by numerous pieces of evidence. The room I stayed in was attacked by gunfire, as well as the presidential car – anyone can take a look at those shots.”

Rafael Correa spoke about some international ties that played their role in the event.

“A few days before the clashes on the 30th September, seven opposition members of the National Assembly made a trip to the United States where, in Washington, they met with the ultra-right who, as we know, finance the opposition groups’ activity,” he said. “We do not have proof that they financed the events of September 30th, but we can prove that they finance the opposition’s activity. Interests of different people meet here: the tough core of the corrupted police – there are 42,000 people working for the police, and this group counts less than 200 – and the Ecuadorian political groups, who know that they will not win over at the election, and who want to defeat us using arms, and also there are foreign groups who are constantly making efforts to destabilize work of progressive governments."

The president also talked about the impact the tough experience had on him.

“I would say I am the same person I was before September 30th. But it was certainly an experience. Five people were killed and I can’t stop thinking about that. I keep asking myself what I could have done to avoid it. The fact that I was so close to death has left an imprint on me of course. I am still worried. Children write to me, asking me to start smiling again. I have to do that,” the president said.