Quito protest
© Reuters/Ivan Alvarado
A demonstrator throws a tear gas canister during a protest against Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures in Quito, Ecuador. October 12, 2019.
The protests that have engulfed Ecuador and nearly brought the country's oil industry to a halt are triggered by economic policies imposed by the IMF, guided by none other than US foreign interests, an expert told Boom Bust.

"The IMF is heavily guided by the hand of [US] Department of State and Department of the Treasury. Basically, what the IMF does in Western hemisphere is US foreign policy," Andres Arauz, former official of the Ecuadorian Central Bank, has told RT's Boom Bust. The economist stated that while the IMF program endorsed by his country some time ago already significantly damaged Ecuadorian economy, the latest hikes in gas prices became the final drop and forced the people to mobilize.

"The [IMF] austerity package is about 6 points of [Ecuador's] GDP. The package has implied weakening of the Ecuadorian economy and led to people suffering, [...] but with the most recent decision to hike the prices of diesel and gasoline by over 120 per cent people said this is enough and mobilized."
Asked to shed light on how an initially leftist leader - Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno - ended up securing an IMF loan agreement in the first place, Arauz said he is simply a wrong kind of leftist.

"Moreno is a 'charity' kind of leftist, one that supports giving charity to disabled or the poor, but not the 'transformative' kind of leftist that wants to overhaul the national economy, or the power structure and society," the economist stated. He added, that now Moreno is seen as "a person that likes to seek approval from the [...] hegemonic powers around the globe" [instead of defending his country's interests.]