Lenin Moreno: Ecuador’s New Socialist President

Socialist candidate Lenin Moreno celebrated victory in Ecuador’s presidential election, changing the shift to the right in South America, but his conservative challenger demanded a recount over scattered protests.

Moreno’s triumph is a big relief for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after former banker and losing candidate, Guillermo Lasso had vowed to remove him from Ecuador’s embassy in London if he won the runoff.

It was also a boost for the struggling leftist movement in South America after right-leaning governments recently came to power in Argentina, Brazil, and Peru.

The region’s high-profile Socialist leader, President Nicolas Maduro of the desperately struggling Venezuela, congratulated Moreno on Twitter and Bolivian President Evo Morales as well.

“Congratulations Ecuador, the citizen’s revolution has triumphed!” said Maduro.

And Morales tweeted, “21st century Socialism always triumphs,” Congratulations brother @Lenin!”

Moreno, who lost the use of his legs two decades ago when he was shot during a robbery, will become a rare head of state to use a wheelchair when he takes office next month. He put rights for disabled Ecuadorians at the heart of his campaign.

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Lasso had promised to denounce the embattled Maduro, who some say has turned his country into a dictatorship.

Moreno, a former vice president, secured 51.17 percent of the votes, compared with Lasso’s 48.83 percent, with over 99 percent of votes counted, the electoral council tally showed on Monday afternoon.

 “I’m warning the world that in Ecuador procedures are being violated, and they’re trying to swear in an illegitimate government on May 24,” he said on Monday. “This is a clumsy fraud attempt.” Said Lasso.

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Lasso tweeted photos showing what he said were original votes for him that were changed by electoral officials and on Monday presented his complaint to the Organization of American States, which has a mission in Ecuador.

But the OAS later said in a statement it had seen no discrepancies between results collected by its observers at polling stations and official results. They denied fraud allegations.

Ruling Country Alliance party officials scoffed that Lasso was a sore loser who was inciting violence.

But Lasso persevered on Monday, holding a rally under the pouring rain in his coastal hometown of Guayaquil and vowing to keep battling what he said was fraud.

Hundreds of his supporters had swarmed in front of electoral council offices in the capital, Quito, and in Guayaquil, on Sunday waving yellow, blue and red Ecuadorean flags and chanting “No to fraud!” and “We don’t want to be Venezuela!”

Moreno will need to cultivate support from many in the polarized country who view his narrow win with suspicion.

The 64-year-old celebrated in mountainous Quito overnight with the flag-waving crowd chanting, “Lenin President!”

A big hug to those who believed in our proposal as well as to those who did not vote for us; we’ll work for them too, Moreno tweeted.

Moreno, will be under pressure to create jobs and crackdown on corruption scandals at state-run oil company PetroEcuador and Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht.

Moreno has the advantage of a legislative majority, but his government will have to confront fiscal restraints, a stagnant economy, and the burden of last April’s earthquake.”

 

TEORIA QUINTUPLE: THE RE-DEFINITION OF ROMANTIC ROCK

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Is there room in the Latin music world for anything not Bachata these days? Well, there is of course. However, when a single musical genre is elevated and dominate the winds of change, many artists get caught up in it and often follow the popular trend. But for those artists who stay true to themselves, they endure. They are the true creatives. Such a band resides in New York City. They are Teoria Quintuple, owners of the Premios Latinos Fama Cancion Rock/Pop award in 2016.

They are as hot as that imaginery line that runs through their home country, Ecuador, where they are revered winning several awards such as the Premios Control. They are the label, the artists, and the song. People respond to their ability to express a romantic style supported by rock undertones that are the trimmings of their coat of diversity in the city that never sleeps. “We want to leave a mark in this industry but most of all we want everyone to respect the fact that every goal we accomplish hasn’t been handed to us, but came with hard work and dedication and respect to our community,” The Band conveyed.

During Hispanic Heritage Month in particular they are much more aware of their place in the Latino diaspora. “We feel a sense of pride and responsibility everytime we perform,” T.Q. explained, “It is important that we represent our culture the best way possible, letting our audiences know that we are New Yorkers and Latinos that represent our roots everywhere we go.” They have left such an impression that they were chosen to open for South American Band, “Vilma Palma e Vampiros” at La Boom in Woodside, New York this October 29th.

These five men, who refer to their self-defined brand of modern Ecuadorian music, which they fused into a new genre, as “Latin Power Pop” can be compared somewhat to American bands like Green Day and Bon Jovi but comparisons end there.

“What makes us different is most Latino Pop Music tends to be romantic, but ours is both that and aggressive at times.”

These players that bring that atmosphere to life are Pablo Cubillo and Irvin Vera on guitar, Miguel Vera on bass guitar and drummer Gustavo Cabezas setting the tempo.

This well-organized, very neat arrangement of vocals wrapped in pulsing riffs and heavy beats completed by the bow represented by their front man, Juan Carlos Lainez, is best displayed in their latest single “La Cuerda Floja” unique in look and feel. “If you listen to our songs you’ll notice lots of climaxes in our songs,” T.Q. explained,

“We use distortion together with a dramatic touch of our lead vocalist.”

You can feel the emotional content that defines this groups collective life journey. It’s laced throughout the material they present. By extension, it attracts fans who can identify with those moments of heartbreak and struggle. “That’s why our followers love us and we continue to grow because our lyrics are real and anyone who listens identifies themselves immediately to our songs,” T.Q pointed out.

In the end you can see singer and audience interwined in a bubble that transcends race but is yet a bi-product of the shared experience, a message sent and received and returned. “To sing what comes directly from our heart and to make our audience transport themselves to that moment, that’s when we become one. Us and them.” That is what Teoria Quintuple is all about.

EL ROMEO SANTOS ECUATORIANO TRAE SU BACHATA A ESTADOS UNIDOS

 

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Humilde, tímido y agradeciéndole a Dios al final de cada frase, ese es Jordy Quintero, un joven cantante procedente de la ciudad de Guayaquil, Ecuador. De tez oscura, sonrisa amplia y mirada inocente, Jordy quien imita a la perfección al cantante Romeo Santos, nos ganó el corazón desde el primer momento por su simpatía y naturalidad.

Considerado por sus fans, un aún mejor cantante que Romeo, este talentoso muchacho se hizo famoso en todo Ecuador por su participación en el Reality Show “Yo Me Llamo”. Jordy, mejor conocido por todos como “El Romeo Santos Ecuatoriano”, se encuentra de visita en Estados Unidos realizando su primera gira internacional donde recorre las principales ciudades del país.

“La gente aquí, me ha dado un gran apoyo incondicional. Es un privilegio y gracias a Dios porque él me dio el talento y el carisma”

nos dice feliz este ecuatoriano de tan solo 21 años.  Quintero comenzó a cantar desde niño y se hizo famoso entre sus amigos y en la escuela por cantar y bailar las canciones de Michael Jackson, hasta que en el 2001, escucho por primera vez la música del famoso grupo de Bachata “Aventura” y se aprendió todas sus canciones.

“Todos me decían pero tu cantas igual que Romeo y los amigos y familiares me empezaron a llamar Aventura y luego Jordy Romeo”.

El éxito y la popularidad del este artista coincide con la fuerza que el ritmo dominicano, se ha expandido por toda Centro y Suramérica, y donde intérpretes como Prince Royce y Romeo Santos se encuentran en los primeros lugares en la preferencia del público.  Jordan nos comenta un poco apenado,

“aun no conozco a Romeo Santos personalmente pero espero con ansias que cuando sea la voluntad de Dios no podemos ver y le pueda decir cuanto lo admiro”

Por terceros, Quintero ya escucho que Romeo conoce de su existencia y que aprueba su trabajo. Con numerosas canciones propias, a Jordy le gusta también interpretar salsa, pero en todas las presentaciones la gente aclama que cante las canciones de Romeo. La similitud en el tono de voz es realmente asombrada y sería imposible reconocer la diferencia sino fuera por las evidentes diferentes físicas de este Romeo de la costa ecuatoriana con el Romeo original, que es un poco más bajo de estatura y con la piel más oscura que el famoso bachatero.

Este nuevo talento es representando por empresarios dominicanos y existen grandes planes de promoción entre los que se encuentran una gira por toda la Republica Dominicana, País que Quintero considera ya su segunda patria, por la bendición de conocer y enamorarse perdidamente del ritmo de la bachata.

Jordy Romeo o el Romeo Ecuatoriano cuenta con un talento evidente, gran carisma y un ángel muy especial que llama la atención de los fans de la bachata. El reto de este largo camino hacia la fama, será demostrar que es un cantante con luz propia más que el imitador de una estrella internacional

 

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ARGENTINA VS CHILE: 2015 COPA AMERICA FINAL REVIEW

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The 44th edition of the Copa America, South America’s premier national tournament this Saturday afternoon, will be most intriging. We have Argentina, World Cup Finalist, who are hungry for a trophy they have not held since 1993. Their opponents will be the hosts, Chile, La Rojo, who have been quite impressive in this competition and historically a tough opponent for “La Albiceleste.”

Argentina, led by Lionel Messi, are a talented bunch who started slowly from Group B, drawing with Paraguay 2-2 in the opener. Then they squeezed by Uruguay, the defending champions, 1-0, followed by another close one, 1-0 over Jamaica. They topped the group but offensively had not shown the potential.

Chile, from Group A, set the tone early with a 2-0 win over Ecuador. They had an exciting 3-3 draw with Mexico, and then blew away Bolivia 5-0 to win the group.

The knockout stage was a revelation as Argentina played its best game in years, outplaying Colombia throughout but not on the scoreboard. It ended 0-0 and in penalty kicks it took Carlos Tevez to hit the winner that put the Argentines over 5-4. In the semi-finals, Lionel Messi was the facilitator as he set up a lot of the goals and after a close first half leading 2-1, Argentina opened up and won going away 6-1 in their rematch with group opponent Paraguay.

Chile disposed of Uruguay 1-0 with a 81st minute goal from Mauricio Isla and put away Peru 2-1 in the semifinals with two Eduardo Vargas tallies and four for the tournament lead thus far. The crowds have made a major difference and it has increased with each victory. But Jorge Sampaoli of Chile recognizes the final hurdle will be the hardest.

“We have achieved something great as a group of players, achieving the dream of playing the final here in Chile.”

Sampaoli shared,

“Now we must be well prepared for what is coming.”

That something is the quiet storm, Argentina, who has Messi and scorers in Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, or even Angel DiMaria who scored twice against Paraguay. But often it has been the misses that has defined Argentina and not the goals. But they are playing an excellent brand of football now. Chile is motivated by its home cooking and the desire to win their first ever Copa. However, experience and Messi will be the difference as Argentina will win, by a goal most likely, and raise their first Cup since the days of Gabriel Batistuta.

Jeyro’s Red Carpet Debut is about ‘Solo Tú’

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For those who say they are not familiar with Jeyro, I’m here to say you you should! ‘Solo Tú‘ is a song you have heard, hummed or pretended to know. The single has been downloaded over 50,000 thousand times in a time span of less then 48 hours. It may not have been you, but it was surely by someone you know.

Now is the moment where we can finally see the face of this bachatero. A Dominican singing bachata one would assume to be typical production decision. Well in Jeyro’s case that is not so! ‘Solo Tú’ was a song creatively collaborated with a talented artist named Maykel from Ecuador. These two young talented artists put their letras and melodies together and made a hit. They joined forces of cultural background and fused a song that landed Jeyro at the Latin Grammy’s in Las Vegas on November 20th.

From an early age Jayro’s perseverance, and passion gave him the foresight to pursue a degree in music. His determination strengthened his ability to not only read, write and understand music theory, it opened doors that top producers still can’t open in New York City.

This Dominican bachatero is bringing something special to the Latin Grammy’s this year. While most artists priority is to pose with smiles and speak about themselves, Jeyro is making his initial red carpet debut about the fans, about you. ‘Solo Tu’.

Five Fall Travel Essentials

Fall Essentials
Even if you’re planning a fall vacation somewhere tropical, like Chile, Ecuador, or Venezuela, truth is, you can’t go wrong with a few fall must-haves. This way you’ll be comfortable and warm on the plane!

1. Fashionable scarves: whether infinity scarves or the traditional kind can be soothing throughout a long flight. Macy’s has an array of scarves starting at just $28.

2. Trench coats are always in! Don’t be afraid to add a little color and showcase your personality.

3. Leggings are kind of magical. They’re comfortable enough to wear casually, but also easy to dress up.

4. Combat boots add a little oomph to any outfit and comfort to your inevitable travel strolls.

5. Let go of fruity summer fragrances (if you’re tired of them), and build memories with a sophisticated, musky fall fragrance.

What are some of your fall travel must-haves?

Planning A Getaway With The Right People

Cotopaxi in Ecuador (Image via Wikimedia)

Cotopaxi in Ecuador (Image via Wikimedia)


Whether you’ve traveled with family or friends, chances are at one point or another you’ve clashed with someone. Maybe this person interrupted your alone time or simply had a hard time letting go of a pet peeve. Whichever the case may be, there are a few things you should take into consideration before traveling with others. Ask yourself the following questions:

Do I enjoy spending time with this person? If you don’t, you’re in trouble. Don’t assume for a second that traveling will change your dynamic. On the contrary, it will only emphasize it.

Is this person organized? Sure you’ve mentioned traveling together, but is this someone who can budget accordingly and keep track of spending? You should travel with someone who has a sense of what s/he would like to do.

Is this person reliable? If you’ve previously planned something with this person, then you know if s/he is someone you can count on.

Who have you traveled with recently and what was it like?

Fight against censorship: The Latino President vs. Ecuadorean Americans

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Since becoming president in 2006, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa is steadily becoming known as the tyrant with a smile. On Capitol Hill, Correa has been referred to as a tyrant with an “irresponsible tongue” that abuses his power within his country.

As president of Ecuador, Correa has used his power to stifle with the news media and ignore the country’s nongovernmental groups when it comes to the interest of the people.

Correa comes from that virulent reaction of people not just sensing that they were getting screwed over, but seeing it,” said J. D. Bowen, an assistant professor of political science at Saint Louis University.

Like neighboring countries Brazil and Venezuela, Ecuador has never shied away from protesting against a president the people feel does not have their best interest at heart. And while it’s only been nine years since he’s been in office, the president has drawn noticeable criticism stateside.

Last Saturday, Correa visited New York City and decided to attend a town hall meeting at the New York Hall of Science. The Hall of Science is located in Corona, Queens and happens to be one of the largest Ecuadorean communities.

So, taking the moment Ecuadoreans living in NYC stood outside to protest the president for his actions back in Ecuador.

The group of an estimated 60 protestors or so surrounded the building to bring attention to Correa’s criminalization of social movements, the condemning of any new media, and the recent exploits he made in the oil expansion into Yasuni Park located in the country’s Amazon.

The activists also aimed to bring attention to three political prisoners who Correa has imprisoned under his order. Assemblyman Cléver Jiménez of the Pachakutik Party—a left-wing indigenist party, Activist Carlos Figueroa, and former labor leader Fernando Villavicencio were sentenced to prison in 2013 after being charged for slandering the president.

In 2011, the three political prisoners came out against Correa after he ordered an armed assault on a police hospital after he had been held captive by striking police officers during a strike back in September 2010. While the suit was dismissed against the three men, the president moved forward filing a countersuit for slander.

Correa censors and represses those who do not favor his politics,” said Vicente Mayorga, an activist for immigrant rights. “We demand a true democracy and freedom of expression. We are not in the time of the dictatorship, when you couldn’t fight censorship.

Among the protestors fighting for the political prisoners, there were activists also demanding a stop to the proposed drilling of Ishpingo, Tambococha, and Tiputini, in Yasuni National Park to reach the oil reserves that are there.

What’s fair is that the people decide through the ballot box. A dishonest Congress doesn’t represent our voice,” said Antonio Arizaga, president of the United Front of Ecuadorian Immigrants.

Yasuni National Park is estimated to be about 2.4 million acres and considered one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. Last October, Ecuador’s congressmen approved Correa’s petition to lift a constitutional ban on extracting natural resources like oil from the area.

In Latin America, analyst of the region have connected Correa to being opposite to Venezuela former president Hugo Chavez, stating that he maintains a strong connection with the business sector while his presidency has sustained a period of economic growth and low unemployment. This success may be due in part to his possible educational upbringing in economics.

Analyst believe that Correa represents a new model of Latin American leadership. What this model means is that Correa exhibits traits which include being economically populist, socially conservative, and quasi-authoritarian. While he has received protests and criticism as a tyrant, according to polls his ratings stand between 60 to 85%. This percent makes him a popular leader within the region.

Last March, Correa was re-elected to a third term winning the election with a huge margin for him to keep his presidency. Despite the result, and the polls, Correa has announced that he will not run again when his current term end s in 2017.

In an interview with El Telegrafo, a government newspaper in Ecuador, Correa commented on his decision to not run again stating: “It’s very damaging when one person becomes indispensable.

While Correa has said he will not run again, those who do not trust nor believe the Ecuadorean President believes the decision is merely his tactic. Protestors and opponents against the 50-year-old president do not believe he has any interest in an early retirement.

Those who do not agree with Correa connect his political ambition to being that of the new 21st century socialism with an added touch of contemporary Latin American caudillismo. What this means is that, while he may appear understanding before cameras he is merely aware the cameras are on him and subduing his authoritarian thrive of power.

Whatever his stratagies are to keep rule, Correa will not be avoidant of protestors until 2017. The protests held last Saturday in Corona are just a small portion of the Ecuadorean people’s motivation to make themselves heard.

Activists continue to protest against the president despite a Communications Law approved in 2013 that allowed for the imprisonment of “slanderers” there are those in Ecuador still stepping out against the president. Xavier Bonilla is just one of those protestors. A cartoonist by trade, Bonilla was penalized under the law that has censored the protestors outcry. The incident has drawn international attention, and possible an unsavory focus on Ecuadorean President Correa.

14th Havana Film Festival NY (@HFFNY) Opening Night

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The 14th Annual Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) runs April 12-19

The Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) collaborates with Havana’s International Festival of New Latin American Cinema to introduce its audience to prominent and emerging filmmakers by showcasing the latest award-winning films and classics from and about Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S. Latino community. HFFNY seeks to cultivate audience-artist dialogue through panel discussions designed to give a behind-the-scenes look at an industry that continues to gain global recognition. The festival program offers directors, actors and producers an opportunity to exchange ideas, enriches and expands the vision of Latino culture and provides a multi-cultural experience for a diverse audience.

Havana Film Festival New York (HFFNY) is an internationally recognized film festival celebrating Latin American cinema. In its 14th anniversary, HFFNY features more than 40 films from the most current cinematic talent from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, U.S. and Venezuela.

HFFNY upholds the reputation for which it is known: enriching and expanding the vision of Latino culture here in the United States. The films chosen each year reflect strong cultural and social identities rooted in their respective cities and countries. Our audience has an opportunity to see award-winning full-length feature films, documentaries, shorts, animation and classics as well as new independent films that are rarely screened in the U.S.

All foreign language films are subtitled in English.

For further information visit: www.hffny.com/2013

Featured Artist: HELADO NEGRO (@Heladonegro)

Helado Negro

Musician Roberto Carlos Lange, aka Helado Negro, recently released his latest record “Invisible Life”. Negro is of Ecuadorian descent, born in Florida in 1980 and currently resides in Brooklyn. This is the first time the musician is singing in both English and Spanish since the majority of his albums are in Spanish. Collaborators on the album include Bear in Heaven’s Jon Philpot, Mouse on Mars’ Jan St. Werner, Devendra Barnhart, and more. Recently Negro created a new group with Julianna Barwick called OMBRE and released their album called “Believe You Me” in 2012. He has worked with Bear in Heaven mixing their Pitchfork’s Best New Music album “Beast Rest Forth Mouth”. He also produced Prefuse 73‘s 2010 album Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian.

Invisible Life tracklisting:
01. Llumina Vos
02. Lentamente
03. Dance Ghost
04. U Heard
05. Catastrophe
06. Arboles
07. Relatives
08. Junes
09. Cuantas
10. Catch That Pain

To read more about Helado Negro visit:
http://www.heladonegro.com/
https://twitter.com/heladonegro
https://www.facebook.com/HeladoNegro