On President’s Rafael Correa of Ecuador’s visit to the United States

In recent days the dictator of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, announced that on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of April, he will be giving lectures at Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, and at the Massachusetts Institute of technology. On the 12th he will be broadcasting from New York his propagandistic weekly program "Linked citizens", which is transmitted by radio and television in Ecuador.

In June of 2013, sponsored by the Executive himself (Rafael Correa), Ecuador adopted a new communication law which has been rejected not only within the country but by the Inter American Press and Human Rights Watch, as well as by the more influential media from around the world, such as the Washington Post and the New York Times. Everyone could assess that such media law (known as the gag law), has set a precedent of how it has harmed and backlashed historically the freedom of the press and of expression in Latin America.

The authoritarian traits of the dictator have been accentuating over the years; intentions to immortalize himself in power become more evident every day; persecution of the journalists and critics to his Government using the judicial system subordinated to the Executive branch. We have examples of the above as the cases of journalists Emilio Palacios and of Fernando Villavicencio, as well as the legal action against the cartoonist Xavier Bonilla "Bonil", not to mention his attempt to destroy the newspaper El Universo.

The media, intellectuals, and academics from the United States of America, defenders of human rights and of fundamental freedoms of man, will have the opportunity to remind the obligations and commitments that democratic Governments assume.

Being a Democrat is not only to reach the Presidency of a country through multi-party elections: being a Democrat is to maintain and extend the principles and pillars of democracy, and not using the system that helped them reach those positions to cast the destruction of those democracies, as it is happening and has happened in several countries in the Latin American region.

Reminding the above to the dictator would be the best message that could be transmitted.

* Political scientist, Sociologist, Associate Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.