Ecuador’s president-elect Guillermo Lasso said he would invite Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president, Juan Guaidó, to his inauguration ceremony on May 24, and not dictator Nicolás Maduro.
In an interview with a group of foreign journalists by videoconference, Lasso reinforced that “Venezuela is a dictatorship”. “We recognize President Guaidó and we will wait for the start of our term to coordinate our actions in relation to this country.”
He said the position also applies to Cuba and Nicaragua. “We will analyze these situations and we will always support pro-democracy measures.”
The banker was declared the winner on Sunday night (11) and accounts for 52.4% of the votes, with 99.5% of the ballots counted.
Lasso said he was surprised by the demonstration of civility of his opponent, Andrés Arauz, who called to congratulate him after acknowledging his defeat on Sunday. He also said he was surprised by the message from Rafael Correa (2007-2017) published on social media on Monday (12), in which the former Ecuadorian president wished “luck to Guillermo Lasso, his success will be the success of Ecuador” .
“[As manifestações] they give me hope that everyone can change, that we live in a time with less polarization. Both gave a demonstration that conciliation is possible, and with that our democracy is stronger “, he affirmed.
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 necessary. The country has an external debt of US $ 17.4 billion, and its GDP, which has shrunk 7.8% in the 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 the years of Rafael Correa was complicated, with episodes of legal proceedings and pressure, he said that there will be total freedom from his inauguration. He promised press conferences every 90 days, and of ministers at least once a month.
The president-elect added that he will sell the state’s media, as he thinks they are costly and of little benefit to the population.
Lasso said he does not consider himself a right or left, but a democrat, and that he will welcome and protect Venezuelan immigrants, although there is “a stress on the Ecuadorian economy, in which it is difficult today to have jobs for all Ecuadorians, it is necessary to create programs to create more jobs in the country “.
Asked about abortion, he reaffirmed that he is personally against 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”.