Mérida, April 27th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) — In a telephone call, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez congratulated Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa for his "decisive and historic victory" in Sunday's presidential elections, in which 51% of Ecuadorans re-elected Correa to a second term.
According to Chávez, Ecuadorans showed their support for "a leader who does not hesitate in defending the interests of his country, and who does not back down when confronting the pressures and tricks of the oligarchy."
Chávez also said the process of electing a constituent assembly to re-write the Ecuadoran constitution last year strengthened the people's faith in revolution through democratic means.
Correa's closest competitor in the multi-candidate presidential race, Lucio Gutiérrez, received 28% of the votes.
Correa said his victory shows "a great backing for the political project of 21st Century Socialism at the national and regional level," using a term that Chávez also uses to describe his political program.
"More than change the pace, this is about deepening the changes that we have already initiated, to accelerate them and make them more radical," said Correa in an international press conference Monday.
Correa also said he is willing to "dialogue" with any individuals or groups who "wish to enrich the national project," including opposition groups in the banking and business sectors, but that such dialogue must be based on "ethical foundations."
"They mustn't pretend to continue defending their particular interests, ideologies, or strongman rule, with these types of groups we cannot have dialogue," the Ecuadoran leader clarified. "We are here to combat these mafias that have done so much harm to Ecuador."
According to the Ecuadoran Consulate in Venezuela, 5,951 Ecuadorans currently reside in Venezuela, and the majority voted in Sunday's election.
Correa also received congratulatory wishes from presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia, Cristina Fernández of Argentina, Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Colombia's Alvaro Uribe, the government of Costa Rica, and the Organization of American States (OAS).