Ecuador goes bananas

Dan Grech Oct 16, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: We had a surprise result in a South American election yesterday. Polls predicted a radical leftist would win the first round of Ecuador’s presidential voting. Instead, it looks like a banana billionaire will be the frontrunner in the second round. From the Americas Desk at WLRN, Dan Grech reports.

DAN GRECH: Alvaro Noboa is Ecuador’s richest man. His family runs the country’s largest banana plantation.

His fortune’s worth a billion dollars and he’s been giving out free wheelchairs and computers to woo voters.

But what kind of politician is he?

Analyst Patrick Esteruelas is with the Eurasia Group.

PATRICK ESTERUELAS:“Somebody who mixes a defense from the poor with a pro-business environment that will look to attract investment as the main buttress for domestic growth.”

He says Noboa’s first round victory goes against the conventional wisdom that Latin America’s leaning left.

ESTERUELAS: “Latin America has not been veering toward the radical left, and if anything has been turning more moderate.”

The runoff between Noboa and leftist Rafael Correa is November 26.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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