Merida, May 10th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez talked to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa via telephone on Sunday to congratulate him on his referendum victory on Saturday in which a majority of Ecuadorians voted yes to all ten questions. The two also discussed bilateral relations.
Chavez said both presidents “interpreted the results of this victory as an undisputable sign that the will of the Ecuadorian people is to continue building the Citizens’ Revolution of Rafael Correa”.
“Among the extremely important decisions that were adopted by the Ecuadorian people within the framework of a new democracy that they are building in this brother country, was the regulation of media content in favour of the citizenship, the limiting of bank participation in the property of that media, and the transformation of the judicial system,” Chavez said.
In August of last year, Venezuela passed a reform similar to one of the questions voted on in Ecuador regarding bank ownership of media, and vice a versa. The Ecuadorian government faced attacks similar to those faced by the Venezuela government in its attempt to regulate the media on issues of racism, violence, and sexual explicitness – question number nine in Saturday’s referendum.
Ecuadorians also voted to make bull fighting illegal, something that is still legal and practiced in Venezuela, but which many grassroots sectors have been campaigning against for many years.
The Venezuelan government’s press release on the phone call stated, “Within the framework of the optimism after these results, presidents Rafael Correa and Hugo Chavez ratified the development of joint meetings [between the two countries].”
Chavez was planning on visiting Ecuador this week to discuss deepening and maintaining various bilateral agreements, but due to a knee injury, has had to postpone the trip.
Satuday’s Referendum in Ecuador follows a new constitution passed there in September 2008 acknowledging indigenous rights, people’s land rights, and the rights of nature.
Since Correa, who defines himself as a “left wing humanist”,became president in 2007, economic and political cooperation, as well as solidarity between Venezuela and Ecuador, have been profoundly deepened. One important development has been the use of a new currency, the sucre, for trade between the countries, as an alternative to the U.S. dollar.