Ecuador in 1960’s

By | December 14, 2021

History. – Back in power, Velasco Ibarra appealed to demagogy: he promised land, houses and high wages; at his inauguration he declared null and void (1 September 1960), in general exultation, the treaty reached with difficulty with Peru in 1949, which resolved a thorny question of borders. He appointed the philocastrist M. Araújo Hidalgo as his interior minister, while his vice-president CJ Arosemena, a brilliant lawyer and banker, went to Moscow to meet with Soviet leaders. Instead of the promised benefits, fiscal pressures and worse living conditions came, especially for the poorer classes, with manifestations of student discontent and unrest. In November 1961 an uprising promoted by the air force forced Velasco Ibarra to resign and seek refuge in Argentina, while Arosemena was first arrested and then installed as president. The new head of state declared himself ready to collaborate with Castro, Soviets and North Americans. This attitude of his aroused the distrust of Latin American governments, so much so as to cancel the XI conference of the OAS, which was to meet in Quito. A few months later (April 1962) Arosemena changed course, trying to improve relations with the USA and breaking diplomatic relations with Cuba. During a visit to President Kennedy, Arosemena publicly betrayed her weakness for alcohol; but this “virile vice” of his (as he himself had to confess) cost him the power (July 1963) which was assumed by a military junta, formed by the commanders of the three weapons. For Ecuador 1997, please check

The new regime, chaired by cap. Ramón Castro Jijón, considered himself provisional, acted in moderation and did not lack good intentions. However, he did not get the support of the students, who soon expressed their discontent, inducing the junta, to quell the riots, to decree the closure of the University of Quito (January 1964) and to arrest numerous dissidents. The visit of de Gaulle (September 1964) gave rise to a singular diplomatic incident: four members of the junta were awarded the Légion d’honneur, but, knowing that other Latin American heads of state had obtained a higher degree of the same honor, they felt offended and returned the decorations to France. In 1965 the junta, accused of favoring certain regional interests (the eternal question between the freighter Guayaquil and the capital Quito) found itself in difficulty; but the military resisted, strengthened by the confidence acquired in international financial circles. However, the crisis caused by the collapse in the price of bananas (E. to export to Europe must pay a tribute to the Panamá canal, an obligatory passage) and the increase in import duties caused general strikes and unrest in Guayaquil, where they were hundreds of students and trade unionists arrested. Lost control of the situation, the junta was overthrown by air force officers (March 29, 1966) who installed C. Yerovi Indaburu, a wealthy owner and economist, liked by businessmen and the military but disliked by the people, as president. In fact, in November, Yerovi was deposed and the Constituent Assembly appointed O. Arosemena Gómez (cousin of the former president Arosemena) as president.

The elections of 2 June 1968 once again recorded the victory of JM Velasco Ibarra, who found the country in a state of serious tension, both for the contestation of the electoral results and for the student demonstrations in various cities. The new president, while declaring that he did not intend to restore relations with Cuba and the countries of Eastern Europe, clashed with the USA, by having six US vessels caught fishing within 200 miles of the Ecuadorian coast (June 20, 1969). The legislative elections of 1970 reduced Velasco Ibarra to a minority in Congress. The military decided to intervene in his support and ordered him to assume full powers (June 22, 1970) and to dissolve the Chambers. The coup, promoted by the Minister of Defense, J. Acosta Velasco, nephew of the president, caused a wave of indignation and the arrest of the rector of the university of Quito, Manuel Aguirre, accused of supporting student protests. Even the armed forces were not compact and some garrisons, suspecting that Acosta Velasco was aiming at the succession of his uncle president, rebelled (March 31, 1971), obtaining the expulsion of the Minister of Defense and the release (April 7) of the officers involved in the riot. A classic they rebelled (March 31, 1971), obtaining the expulsion of the Minister of Defense and the release (April 7) of the officers involved in the riot. A classic they rebelled (March 31, 1971), obtaining the expulsion of the Minister of Defense and the release (April 7) of the officers involved in the riot. A classic pronunciamiento (February 16, 1972) restored a military junta to power and dismissed President Velasco Ibarra, who, for the fourth time in his career, took refuge unscathed in Buenos Aires. The new government, made up of the commanders of the three weapons and chaired by gen. Guillermo Rodríguez Lara, suspended the elections of 4 June for which Assad Bucaran, the leader of the Concentración de fuerzas populares, was a candidate, disputed because of Lebanese origin. The new regime, not hooking itself to any model, promised a social policy free from the “chaos created by privileged groups”.

The Ecuador, intending to join the group of major world oil producers, inaugurated (June 24, 1972) the trans-Andean oil pipeline that flows from the production area to the coast, and was admitted as the 12th member of OPEC, the world organization of oil exporters met in Vienna on June 28, 1973. A coup attempt to overthrow gen. Rodríguez Lara, promoted by gen. Raúl Gonzalez Alvear, went bankrupt in Quito due to the non-adhesion of the troops stationed in the capital (1 September 1975).

Ecuador in 1960's