Tuesday, August 11, 2009


QUITO (Reuters) - President Rafael Correa starts a second term yesterday. Correa, a popular former economy minister, was re-elected in April for a four-year term under a new constitution that expanded presidential powers. The first re-election of a president since democracy was restored 30 years ago is a sign of stability in a nation where three presidents were toppled in the last decade. But Correa will struggle with falling oil revenues, the mainstay of government's finances, and fallout from a foreign debt default that shut Ecuador out of international capital markets. He has benefited from constitutional reform that put the central bank under his control, empowered him to redistribute idle farmland and widened his authority over key sectors like mining and oil.

Correa's heavy social spending and frequent outbursts against business elites, who he blames for the OPEC country's sharp divide between rich and poor, have helped consolidate popular support, pollsters say. But the U.S.-educated economist could now face resistance in Ecuador's legislature where his party managed to cobble together an alliance. That majority may crumble, some analysts say, unless Correa tones down his confrontational style. Pollsters and analysts say joblessness and other hot-button issues could also erode support as the economy flags. An ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Correa has already rattled investors by hiking taxes, defaulting on debt and expelling foreign firms over tax or legal wrangles. Like Chavez, he uses the "21st century Socialism" slogan to describe his campaign to bring more equality to Ecuador. After winning re-election, Correa said he would steer Ecuador toward his new brand of socialism by "radicalizing" and "accelerating" changes introduced after he first took office in January 2007.

The living entity's desiring is like dreaming of a golden mountain. A person knows what a mountain is, and he knows also what gold is. Out of his desire only, he dreams of a golden mountain, and when the dream is over he sees something else in his presence. He finds in his awakened state that there is neither gold nor a mountain, and what to speak of a golden mountain. The different positions of the living entities in the material world under multifarious manifestations of bodies are due to the misconception of "mine" and "I." The karmī thinks of this world as "mine," and the jñānī thinks "I am" everything. The whole material conception of politics, sociology, philanthropy, altruism, etc., conceived by the conditioned souls is on the basis of this misconceived "I" and "mine," which are products of a strong desire to enjoy material life. Identification with the body and the place where the body is obtained under different conceptions of socialism, nationalism, family affection, and so on and so forth is all due to forgetfulness of the real nature of the living entity, and the whole misconception of the bewildered living entity can be removed by the association of Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Mahārāja Parīksit, as all this is explained in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 2 - Chapter 9 - Verse 2"

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