AFRO-ECUADOREANS JOIN NATIONAL DEBATE ON WEALTH DISTRIBUTION - CVIEW NEWS

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Monday, 3 August 2015

AFRO-ECUADOREANS JOIN NATIONAL DEBATE ON WEALTH DISTRIBUTION

  • Teresa Suarez said her organization has participated actively in the national dialogue (teleSUR)
  • Teresa Suarez said her organization has participated actively in the national dialogue (teleSUR)
Wealth redistribution and social equality will be debated until September 15, when results will be presented to the public.
More and more conversations over social equality and wealth distribution are being held Ecuador, with an increasing number of people and groups opening themselves to debate.
Teresa Suarez is the President of the Afro-Ecuadorean Association of Ecuador, which represents nearly two million Afro-Ecuadoreans in the country, who are among the poorest groups of society.
Her organization has participated in dialogues, which have largely focused on educating the public on the inheritance tax and capital gains bills, in the face of what has been a right-wing misinformation campaign surrounding these measures.
“I can tell you that I live with honor and in dignified conditions,” Suarez told teleSUR English on Wednesday. “But I do not have a property valued at US$300,000, at US$200,000 because the inheritance tax has a base. And no poor person, and especially someone from the Afro-Ecuadorean community, has an inheritance.”
The dialogue meetings hosted by the national government have had favorable results since they began in mid-June.
The national debate called for came in response to acts of violence by opposition groups over the inheritance tax and wealth redistribution bills. The governing PAIS Alliance Party has also committed to promoting this dialogue, and has held hundreds of meetings and debates in neighborhoods across the country.
“We are widening this dialogue, with all of society. And to date, PAIS Alliance has sponsored more than 400 dialogues in the whole country. There have been about 22,000 participants already in these dialogues,” said coordinator for the national dialogues of PAIS Alliance Alvaro Saenz.
Authorities have made it clear that the dialogue is open to all citizens, but the opposition continues to refuse participation. They have opted instead to organize an indigenous uprising and national strike for August 10 and 13, and are demanding that the wealth redistribution bills are discarded.
National Secretary for Planning and Development Pabel Muñoz told the press,”We cannot have double standards, that on the one hand the government says it is not setting conditions for this dialogue, and in practice there being conditions. So in this way I think we need to keep in mind that we are not willing to support this type of dialogue, and we are also not open to participants setting conditions on the government.”
While the opposition continues organizing action, which the government has classified as destabilization attempts, dialogues are set to continue throughout the country.
Afro-Ecuadorean, indigenous and campesino organizations, business professionals, students and homemakers are some of the groups who have, and will continue being, key participants in this national debate.

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