By Emma Emeozor
Ecuador has defended the decision to recall its Charge de Affairs from Brazil following the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff by the Senate on Wednesday.
Ecuador’s ambassador to Nigeria, Leopoldo Rovayo told Daily Sun in an exclusive interview that the action of his government is a diplomatic measure that demonstrates it does not support the process.
“We have a strong friendship with Brazil and we think that democracy is a supreme value that has to be supported and defended,” he explained. Rousseff’s party, the Worker’s Party is leftist just as the ruling party in Ecuador is.
Rovayo described the impeachment as a ‘coup,’ insisting that there was no political balance in Brazil’s National Assembly. “They should not have accepted the process.,” as “the charges against Dilma were not proven”. He strongly believes the sack of Rousseff was not a popular decision. This is because of the popularity of Rousseff and her mentor and predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silver. “Lula and Dilma Rousseff won the elections in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, in the last elections Mrs Rousseff was elected by 54 million of Brazilians,” he stressed.
When reminded that it took the National Assembly nine months to conclude its investigation and therefore the process could not have been rushed just to kick her out of office, the envoy quipped: “If you had observed, the members of the right wing party in the Senate were checking the events going on in Brazil like a soccer team that is eager to win Olympics bronze medal by all means”.
Rousseff was removed from office for budget padding. She was also accused of failing to bring to justice members of the ruling party involved in corrupt practices. But Rovayo dismissed the charges. “Giving the situation in Brazil, I am a diplomat and I cannot talk about this issue but we must remember that the fight against corruption as well as money laundering and the financing of terrorism is becoming a global issue that concern all the states,” he said.
On efforts made by Ecuador to resolve the crisis, he said: “We had often been in touch with other countries to try to support the democracy.” He also drew attention to efforts made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH). “CIDH which depends on the Organisation of American States (OAS) demanded explanations in August from the Brazilian Government concerning the impeachment process.
“Yesterday (Thursday), Secretary of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Ernesto Samper had consultations with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs on how to convene a meeting to discuss the development in Brazil. We shall see what happens,” he said.
Rovayo made a cautious comment on the role of the United Nations in resolving the crisis.
“UN is to protect especially the peace and international security. At the moment, it seems peace has not been broken in Brazil”.
The envoy has a message for Brazilians, Latin America and African countries. Hear him: “Speaking at our National Day on 10 August, 2016, I said Africa and Latin America have to improve the quality of our democracies – giving our societies peace and security, inclusive development, respecting the law and human rights and remembering that this path could be followed by every society.”