Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa raises his hand during his inauguration at the National Assembly in Quito August 10, 2009. Correa vowed on Sunday to favor Ecuador's poor and Indian people in deep social reforms he plans in his second term.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
QUITO, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian President
Rafael Correa, who took office on Monday for his second term, faces the
challenges of strengthening the "citizens revolution" and addressing the ongoing
international financial crisis.
Correa was the first Ecuadorian president re-elected
in the past 30 years after serving two years and eight months in office since he
lunched what he called a "new socialism" in 2007.
His first four-year term was to end in 2011, but
after winning a constitutional reform earlier this year he gained re-election
With his "citizens revolution," Correa plans to
strengthen his economic and social policies aimed at achieving social inclusion
and equality in the country.
Correa has announced he will strengthen the state's
macroeconomic function so as to guarantee the social welfare and defend the
country's sovereignty in all aspects.
His new administration vowed to improve the life of
the most needed by "creating economic process to confront an economic model that
monopolizes the wealth in hands of few."
During his first term, Correa reinforced the state,
changed the Constitution and improved the living conditions of the poor by
giving them subsidies.
Although the poor in Ecuador see Correa's policies an
opportunity to improve their lives, the entrepreneurs do not agree with them as
they said his anti-neo-liberalism vision scares away foreign investment in the
Correa had forged distant but cordial ties with the
United States despite his refusal to renew a lease with Washington to use the
Manta military base.
He won re-election amid a Colombian accusation
linking him with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) by receiving
"U.S. dollar support" from the Colombian largest rebel group during his
presidential campaign in 2006.
Cuban President Raul Castro (R) addresses the audience as Ecuador President Rafael Correa looks on during a rally to celebrate Correa's new presidential term at Atahualpa Stadium in Quito August 10, 2009. Correa was sworn in for a second term on Monday vowing to deepen his socialist "revolution" but he did not spell out how he plans to jump-start the country's slow economy. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
Ecuador severed diplomatic ties with Colombia in 2008
after the Colombian army crossed the border to crack down on the FARC rebels.
However he had close ties with the Venezuelan and Bolivian governments.
During his new term Correa has to decide if he will
stop the payments of Ecuador's external debt or if he will re-negotiate the
credits that multilateral organizations have given the country in the past.
Correa promised not to tolerate foreign companies and
local private economic groups, including media, banks and entrepreneurs, who
have "abused" the country.
Ecuador has a credit of some 2.5 billion dollars from
different regional multilateral organizations. The crisis could prompt Correa to
default on part of its debts because of falling oil revenues and remittances
sent by the Ecuadorian migrants.
On Monday, Correa also received the rotating
presidency of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) from Chilean
president Michelle Bachelet.
The 12 member countries of Unasur agreed to
strengthen regional integration.