A Leftist at the Helm in Ecuador

Is Rafael Correa just paying lip-service to defaulting on foreign debt or is he serious? Washington is taking a wait-and-see approach

A leftist economist who has vowed to break off free-trade talks with the U.S. and advocated defaulting on the country's foreign debt has been elected president of Ecuador. But there is no telling whether 43-year-old Rafael Correa will remain in office long enough to carry out the platform that swept him to victory: Ecuador has had seven presidents in the last 10 years, several of them removed by its congress or forced out by violent street protests after just days or months in office.

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