The Latin American left had its fifth electoral victory of the year on November 26, when Rafael Correa, a supporter of Venezuelan socialist President Hugo Chavez, won Ecuador's presidential run-off election with the largest margin in almost 30 years.
Correa, a former finance minister and economics lecturer, received
57% of the vote, defeating Alvaro Noboa, Ecuador's richest man, a fierce
anti-communist, banana-plantation owner and advocate of neoliberal
economics, and despite a slander campaign and outright bribes (including
hand-outs of cash, computers and wheelchairs).
The mass mobilisation against Noboa by numerous social movements, and
accusations by the New York-based Human Rights Watch and other
organisations that the billionaire used child labour and strike-busting
gangs on his plantations also helped to turn what looked like a close
race into a rout.
Against the right-wing Christian populism of Noboa (who claimed God
had sent him to defeat the "communist", "terrorist" Correa), his
43-year-old leftist rival advocated a platform for radical change — a
"citizens' revolution" that promises to fundamentally change the
Ecuadorian political landscape.