Roughly a dozen protesters gathered in front of the Ecuadorian consulate in New Haven Friday, responding to days of anti-government rallies in Ecuador against President Lenín Moreno, who slashed the country's fuel subsidies prompting gas price hikes and protests. Demonstrators in Ecuador have clashed with police causing turbulence and chaos throughout the country.
The New Haven group said police brutality and economic reforms by the Ecuadorian government are hurting indigenous nations and working people.
“The subsidies are the only way people survive these days,” said John Lugo, an immigration advocate with New Haven’s Unidad Latina en Accion. “Since the dollarization of the economy, people are getting poorer. They produce their own gasoline, it’s their own oil. That belongs to the people of Ecuador. So, the least they can do is put the subsidies back on the gasoline and diesel in Ecuador.”
Lugo said he would like to see Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy take a stand and is urging the Ecuadorian community in Connecticut to mobilize.
Meanwhile, Ecuador’s president claims he dropped the subsidies, which have been in place for the last 40 years, as part of an austerity measure and a stipulation in a loan agreement by the International Monetary Fund.