Ben Norton discusses Ecuador’s 2021 election results, and how the US government and intelligence-linked billionaire foundations spent decades funding and cultivating liberal environmental groups and rightist Indigenous leaders to divide the left and weaken the socialist Citizens’ Revolution movement launched by former President Rafael Correa.

State Department cables released by WikiLeaks show how the US embassy recruited members of the Indigenous confederation CONAIE and its political arm Pachakutik, which has been directly supported by US government soft-power weapons like the NDI. CIA cutouts USAID and the NED poured tens of millions of dollars into building a fake “left” opposition to Correísmo, using “anti-extractivism” as a cover.

The result was Pachakutik/CONAIE and its coup-supporting neoliberal candidate Yaku Pérez got more than 1 million extra Ecuadorians to vote null in the April 2021 vote, compared to previous elections, thereby handing the victory to right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso.

After left-wing candidate Andrés Arauz conceded losing by 400,000 votes, Pérez boasted of “burying Correísmo.” The US-backed fake “left” had succeeded in defeating a real leftist movement.

Norton documents how these tactics mirror US imperialist strategy targeting Bolivia, Nicaragua, Mexico, and more.

(We apologize for the very grainy image quality — when they recorded the Zoom call they didn’t record Norton’s individual video.)


0:00​ Context for Ecuador election
55:42​ WikiLeaks cables: US embassy cultivated Indigenous opposition
1:11:58​ USAID funds anti-Correa environmental groups


Audio / podcast


– Norton’s article at The Grayzone, “How Ecuador’s US-backed, coup-supporting ‘ecosocialist’ candidate Yaku Pérez aids the right-wing”: