QUITO – Former President Rafael Correa left Ecuador on Monday for his wife’s native Belgium, but not before voicing misgivings about some of the decisions made by successor Lenin Moreno since the transfer of power in May.
“I am certain ... that we defeated the opposition on April 2 (in the presidential runoff between Moreno and rightist Guillermo Lasso). I am not very certain about whether the Citizens Revolution won,” Correa told supporters at a rally near Quito’s international airport.
“Don’t tell me that the surrenders and the submissiveness are a change of style,” he said, without mentioning his party colleague and former vice president by name.
The 54-year-old Correa, who governed Ecuador for 10 years, has been critical of some steps taken by Moreno.
In response to appeals from the crowd to remain in Ecuador, Correa emphasized his responsibility to his wife and their three children.
“I have to give back to my family for so much sacrifice these years,” he said, admitting to “mixed feelings” of sorrow over leaving Ecuador and happiness for the chance to devote more time and energy to his loved ones.
Correa, a US-trained economist, presided over a reduction in poverty and a general improvement in living standards for the majority of Ecuadorians.
He survived a police mutiny that his government characterized as an attempted coup and twice won re-election as leader of the center-left Alianza Pais.
Correa may be best known internationally for his decision to grant political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent five years holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London due to British authorities’ unwillingness to let him board a flight for the Andean nation.