DECEMBER 11, 2018
Otto Sonnenholzner took office today as Vice President of Ecuador with an appeal for national unity during a ceremony held in the National Assembly, which had recently voted for his appointment.
Read also: National Assembly appoints Otto Sonnenholzner as vice president of Ecuador
"I invite everyone (...) to work for the Ecuador of the future," Sonnenholzner said in his inaugural address after having sworn the post before Assembly President Elizabeth Cabezas.
He guaranteed that in his management the national interest will always prevail over individuals or any political or economic group.
35 years old, in his first words as vice president, said that in life experience is defined more by the trajectory than by age, and by concern rather than youth or lack of experience.
Appointed vice president with the vote of 94 of the 128 legislators present, Sonnenholzner recalled that he has fought for freedom of expression and in that role he met the now ruling, Lenin Moreno.
The head of state proposed it as the first of a list sent to the Assembly to replace María Alejandra Vicuña, who resigned last week involved in a scandal of possible corruption.
Sonnenholzner stressed that along with Moreno they are clear that freedom of expression is a "fundamental right indispensable to grow and live in democracy."
Economist, businessman and broadcaster, Sonnenholzner asked the assembly members "not to allow" that political differences divert the country from the development path.
He takes office at a "key" moment for democracy, ethics and the recovery of trust in institutions and people, he said.
"We have to believe again, we have to trust again because I guarantee that, if we do, we will move forward," he added, expressing hope that the consensus shown for his appointment "is the signal of a path that we can to travel together, in unity of objectives and for the benefit of all. "
Sonnenholzner took the Vice Presidency while the head of state is in China on an official visit.
"I dream, like all Ecuadorians in better days for our children, I promise to give everything to get closer to that dream together," said Moreno, who will be the third vice-president of Moreno, who will finish his term in May 2021.
Of German and Lebanese descent, Otto Ramón Sonnenholzner Sper, was the first of the list sent by Moreno to the Assembly, and completed by Nancy Fabiola Elizabeth Vasco Noboa and Agustín Guillermo Albán Maldonado.
As a note of humor, just start his speech, asked to refer to him as Otto "because we already know that the last name will not work."
DECEMBER 5, 2018
The Presidency of Ecuador today confirmed the resignation of the vice president, María Alejandra Vicuña, harassed by a complaint of alleged corruption, but stressed that it is the National Assembly that is responsible for accepting it.
Read also: María Alejandra Vicuña announced her resignation from the Vice Presidency of Ecuador
"(The president) does not have to accept the resignation, it is the National Assembly as the nominating entity and it is she who must make a decision about it," said the Minister of the Presidency, Juan Sebastián Roldán, at a press conference.
The counselor confirmed that the resignation had been received today and that throughout the day President Lenin Moreno will decide how to proceed for the election of a replacement, as well as on the two trips he plans to carry out this month to China and Qatar.
"President Moreno will have to decide how he handles travel," he said.
And he explained that, according to the mechanisms for these cases, the Assembly must choose the successor from a list drawn up by the Executive.
For the moment "no name has been discussed," said Roldán, nor a profile to integrate the short list that will be presented.
Vicuña, harassed since the week for the alleged irregular collection of contributions to an ex-adviser, came to the position of vice president in October 2017 after the prosecution of her predecessor, Jorge Glas, for corruption, and in January she was elected permanently.
Roldan explained that the process will begin once the Legislature accepts the resignation, despite the fact that the letter of resignation has the character of irrevocable, according to the vice president herself.
The Assembly, which released a statement on Friday calling for his resignation, should analyze the shortlist and choose the replacement.
The counselor said that it is premature to advance criteria, as President Moreno has just received the news about the resignation, at a time when he was participating in the Cabinet and presidential meeting with his Colombian counterpart, Iván Duque.
JANUARY 6, 2018
Ecuador’s National Assembly today appointed María Alejandra Vicuña as the new vice president of the country, replacing Jorge Glas.
With the vote of 70 assembly members, out of 106 present at the plenary session, the Assembly chose Vicuña, who was the first of a list of three female candidates sent to the Legislative by the president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno.
Vicuña is the second woman in the history of Ecuador to hold the position of vice president.
VICE PRESIDENT María Alejandra Vicuña
Vicuña, who is a clinical psychologist at the University of Guayaquil and has a master's degree in Business Administration, was born in Guayaquil on February 13, 1978.
She has more than ten years of experience in politics occupying different important positions.
In 2007, she was appointed Regional Human Talent Coordinator of the Internal Revenue Service. For the legislative elections of 2009 she obtained a seat as a national assemblyman representing Guayas by Alianza PAIS. In the 2013 elections, she was re-elected as an assembly member by the same party.
During her time in the National Assembly she was part of the Parliamentary Group for the Rights of Women and was coordinator of the Parliamentary Group for the Guarantee of Rights of Children and Adolescents. She was also vice president of the Permanent Specialized Commission on the Right to Health and sent from Ecuador to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
In May 2017 she was named Minister of Urban Development and Housing by President Lenin Moreno. Her main work from the ministry has been the implementation of the "Casa para Todos" mission, which aims to build 325,000 homes throughout the country.
On October 4, 2017, through Executive Decree No. 176, she was appointed Constitutional Vice President of Ecuador, in charge, and at the same time she was the one who promoted the process of popular consultation.
DECEMBER 28, 2017
Election Council Referendum Vote on February 4, 2017
February 4, 2018 Ecuadorians will vote on seven referendum questions President Lenin Moreno wants answered in the affirmative.
Among the questions is one that, if approved, would reverse a constitutional amendment introduced by former president Rafael Correa that eliminated term limits for some elected officials, including the president. A yes vote would mean Correa would not be allowed to run again for president.
DECEMBER 18, 2017
Impeachment proceeding begin for Glas
Ecuador’s National Assembly has taken the first step to begin impeachment trial for Vice President Jorge Glas. Glas was convicted of corruption by the National Court and sentenced to six years in prison. Other charges against him are pending.
DECEMBER 14, 2017
Vice President Jorge Glas sentenced to six years in prison after Wednesday’s verdict.
A three-judge National Court of Justice tribunal sentenced Vice President Jorge Glas to six years in prison for his role in the Odebrecht corruption scandal. The sentence, announced is the maximum penalty for the crime of illicit association.
Also given a six-year sentence was Glas’ uncle, Ricardo Rivera, who the court said collected $14 million in bribes on Glas’ behalf.
JUNE - NOVEMBER 2017
Federal Prosecutors in Ecuador Investigating corruption within the National government of Ecuador with outgoing President Correa, re-elected Vice President Jorge Glas along with numerous other government officials. Investigations uncover many years of bribes to government officials to contract with specific developers on major projects in Ecuador. In Manta, expanding the seaport, building of the new oil refinery and rebuilding of the old refinery north of Manta to name a few.
Ecuador has a new President. President Lenin Moreno & Vice President Jorge Glas.
Health insurance will be mandatory for all tourists arriving in Ecuador as August 6, 2018.
The requirement of having health insurance for visitors to Ecuador. Through an official communications, the Ministry of Tourism informs that the health insurance requirement for the time of permanence for foreign persons will be required once 180 days are counted as of August 6 of this year. The statement adds, in addition, that health insurance will guarantee your stay. “It will position Ecuador as a true tourist power, with the necessary conditions for world travelers who want to enjoy our attractions”. The willingness to demand health insurance is framed in the Organic Law of Human Mobility , which provides that every person entering the country “must have a public or private health insurance for the time of their stay in Ecuador, except the people who are mobilized in the zones of border integration, as foreseen in the international instruments ratified by Ecuador “. The regulation of the Law was based on the decree No. 111 that was published on August 3, 2017 to be effective as of February 2018, but now after the expiration of the Ministry of Tourism was postponed for six months. This requirement is defined in article 53, numeral 7 of the Organic Law of Human Mobility. In addition, Article 56 specifies the tourist status of the visitor and the obligations that must be met in case of prolonging their stay in the country.
Visitors have a number of options to contract health insurance
1. Travel agency. Advises to buy the insurance at the same time as the air ticket.
2. Insurance companies. There is service in offices or islands at airports and the visitor can acquire it upon arrival.
3. Search the internet. If the tourist does not like the above options, tourists can make their own consultation or buy from the country of origin.
4. Explain that some tourists already have some plan that includes insurance for international travel.
Manta’s airport is listed as an International Airport; however, "for cargo" only. Presently, there are NO civilian international flights in or out of Manta. Flights in and out of Manta are from Quito only.
In 2010, rumors were Manta was working towards an actual "civilian" international airport with flights to and from the US, Canada & Europe.
Manta's La Marea News 11/23/2018
The Ecuadorian Government has begun reconstruction of the international airport "Eloy Alfaro", of the city of Manta with an investment of 21 million dollars in order to reactivate the economy and strengthen tourism in the area. During the ceremony, President Lenin Moreno, said that the deadline to complete the work is 18 months. However, Moreno asked the Chinese contractors to try for 16 months. "It will have an eight-story control tower, the infrastructure will be two floors, loading and unloading terminals that did not exist before," said the governor. In addition, he expressed his commitment to the fulfillment of this work that will benefit 350,000 citizens of Manta, will boost the local economy and will allow opening doors to new entrepreneurs.
One of the new destinations planned with the rehabilitation of the airfield is with Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia.
From Wikipedia, Tahiti, French Polynesia population is 189,517 inhabitants (2017 census)
Destinations to the US, Canada & Europe? Well I guess we will have to wait & see. 2010 - Until?
Ecuador's largest hydroelectric plant was built by a Chinese construction company several years ago. Recently, inspections have found the plant was built with inferior materials and could suffer a "catastrophic collapse" due to numerous major cracks in the power generation chambers. The power plant cost $2.9 billion to build, repairs could cost upwards to $1.9 billion. Presently, Ecuador's government is arguing with Sinohydro company about their responsibility for the failures & repairs.