forgetting that Moreno won on a leftist ticket. The right supported Moreno in the February 4, 2018, referendum, but abandoned him the day after the election. The right wants a total overhaul of Correa’s economic and foreign policies. Moreno promised that he would not adopt neoliberal adjustment policies or slash social spending. But he does aim to establish trade deals with the United States and the countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The right also dreams of a reversal of Correa’s foreign policy and hopes that Moreno will rid the government of all of Correa’s former collaborators. Moreno aims to keep a leftist identity while engaging in dialogue with the right and potentially offering them some concessions. For its part, the right could use the opening of the political system and the end of confrontation to build strong political parties. One hopes that the right understands this political moment as one of transition to democracy, in which all sectors of society need to compromise in order to rid the country of Correa’s authoritarianism.   

Looking toward the future, the left could use the opening of the political system to push for many repressed demands. Social movements need to regroup and become stronger after ten years of cooptation and repression. Moreno’s democratic opening and the end of fear of repression are likely to encourage people to march in the streets and protest. Indigenous and environmental groups might protest against mining projects, public sector workers might demand a reinstatement of their right to strike, and so forth.

Correa’s future is uncertain. He is temporarily banned from a future attempt at reelection; but laws in Ecuador are made in the interest of those in power.  It is thus possible that Correa could resurrect his political career and try to become yet again his nation’s redeemer.

*Carlos de la Torre is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kentucky and a former Wilson Center Fellow.