Ecuador President (Rafael Correa) and vice-president (Lenin Moreno) are Socialists ruling this country since 15 January, 2007.
Rafael Correa represents the head of the executive branch of the Ecuadorian government.
He was born April 6, 1963 and is the President of the Republic of Ecuador and the current President pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations.
He is an economist educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States.
A graduate of the Catholic University of Guayaquil, Correa went on to study economics at the Catholic University of Lovaina in Belgium and obtained a PhD from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the United States in 2001.
He briefly served as his country's Finance Minister in 2005. He was elected President in late 2006 and took office in January 2007.
In December 2008, he declared Ecuador's national debt illegitimate because it was contracted by corrupt/despotic prior regimes, pledging to fight creditors in international courts, he succeeded in reducing the price of the debt letters and continued paying all the debt.
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In the summer of 2008, Ecuador President Correa dismissed the Ecuadorian Congress and convened a constitutional assembly, which wrote a new Ecuadorian constitution.
The proposed constitution went to referendum in September of 2008 and was approved by a significant margin. He brought Ecuador into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas in June 2009.
His first mandate was due to end on January 15, 2011, but the new approved constitution written by the new National Assembly mandates general elections for April 26, 2009.
In these election Rafael Correa won in the first round with 51.9% of votes accounting, achieved for the first time since 1979, a representative be elected without having to face the second round. Therefore, his first mandate will end 2013.
This Ecuador President is considered a left-leaning or a socialist president.
But has not gained notoriety for the kind of anti-United States sentiment expressed by Venezuelan leftist president Hugo Chavez, or Bolivian leftist president Evo Morales, both considered to be Correa's allies.
Rafael Correa's party, Alianza PAIS, is a nationalist party that declares itself to be part of the 21st Century Socialism that is taking hold of Latin America and the Caribbean to restore Ecuador from 500 years of exploitation.
Its statement of principles, makes references to the pan-Americanism of Simon Bolivar and the struggle of Ecuador's native peoples, and calls for the formation of a new order based on equality between the ethnicities, ecologically sustainable development and the renegotiation of external debt.
Ecuador President Correa opposed the trade pact with the US on the grounds that it would open the door to subsidized US agricultural products and harm the interests of Ecuador's peasants and small farmers.
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Correa initially proposed that the movement of short-term capital in and out of the country be regulated, and called for suspension of debt payments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other international agencies, pending renegotiation of terms.
He subsequently backtracked on both of these proposals under pressure from the business sector.
During the campaign in the second round of the elections, Rafael Correa made efforts to reassure international lenders that their investments would not suffer under his administration.
Ecuador President Rafael Correa joins a layer of Latin American left leaders who, to varying degrees, have challenged US demands that they further open their economies to US capital and sacrifice social programs to the demands of foreign bondholders.
Among these are Brazil's Lula da Silva, Argentina's Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Bolivia's Evo Morales.
All of them came to power on wave of popular resentment by combining nationalist demagogy with assurances to business interests that they would protect profits and capitalist property.
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