Ecuadorian President-elect Guillermo Lasso has said he will invite Venezuela’s self-proclaimed President Juan Guaidó to his inauguration ceremony on May 24, not dictator Nicolás Maduro.
In an interview with a group of foreign journalists by video conference, Lasso stressed that “Venezuela is a dictatorship”. “We recognize President Guaidó and we will wait until the start of our mandate to coordinate our actions vis-à-vis this country.”
He said the position also applies to Cuba and Nicaragua. “We will analyze these situations and we will always support measures in favor of democracy.”
The banker was declared the winner on Sunday evening (11) and represents 52.4% of the vote, with 99.5% of the ballots counted.
Lasso said he was surprised by the show of courtesy from his opponent, Andrés Arauz, who called to congratulate him after admitting his loss on Sunday. He also said he was surprised by the message from Rafael Correa (2007-2017) published on social networks on Monday (12), in which the former Ecuadorian president wished “good luck to Guillermo Lasso, his success will be the success of the ‘Ecuador’.
“[As manifestações] they give me hope that everyone can change, that we live in a less polarized time. Both have shown that reconciliation is possible, and with that our democracy is stronger, ”he said.
The president-elect also said that there will be no increase in taxes or tariffs at first, but that there will be a gradual transition, as an adjustment in the economy is needed. The country has an external debt of US $ 17.4 billion and its GDP, which fell 7.8% last year. In foreign trade, Lasso said he intends to be very proactive in seeking free trade agreements between his country and the United States, Europe and Asia.
On the relationship with the press, which during Rafael Correa’s years was complicated, with episodes of lawsuits and pressure, he said there would be complete freedom of his inauguration. He promised press conferences every 90 days and ministers at least once a month.
The president-elect also added that he would sell the state media because he believes it is expensive and of little benefit to the people.
Lasso said he does not see himself as a right or a left, but as a Democrat, and that he will welcome and protect Venezuelan immigrants, although there is “a stress on the Ecuadorian economy, in which today it is difficult to have jobs for all Ecuadorians, it is necessary to create programs to create more jobs in the country “.
Asked about abortion, he reiterated that he was personally opposed to it, but that “as president of a secular state, I cannot impose a point of view on Ecuadorians and therefore this issue can be debated in his government”.