Saturday, November 27, 2010

Musings on coups & political instability

Three weeks before we were to enter Ecuador there was a mini or pseudo coup in Ecuador. Borders and airports were closed for one day. Yet one month after that we were taking a free tour of the Presidential Palace in Quito in all its glory. All it took was our passports.

Sun-Ling chats with our tour guide on the balcony of the Presidential Palace in Quito, Ecuador, where at the same spot one month earlier, President Correa had addressed a cheering crowd after thwarting an attempted coup.
Balcony - Presidential Palace - Quito, Ecuador

The two of us near the end of our tour of the Presidential Palace.

Presidential Palace - Quito, Ecuador

We happened to have our passports that day because we had to gone to get our yellow fever shots at a public health clinic. The shots are required for a Bolivian visa and they cost $100+ in the US. We had expected to save some money in Quito, but were amazed that they were completely free foreigners and citizens alike. BTW, they were giving tetanus shots for free too.

Why is there such political instability in a civilized society that gives free vaccinations for all? Ecuador and especially Colombia have far exceeded my expectations. They are nothing like the developing countries in Asia that we are used to. People here are polite and have respect for each other. Children go to school and do not beg. We constantly come across civic parades. Students have hunger strikes for international justice. The public transportation systems are efficient and affordable. I could go on and on. It is mind boggling to me why anyone would want to disrupt instead of advancing such civilized societies -- power hungry men. (:

Diabetes Awareness Parade - Latacunga, Ecuador
Independence Day Parade - Latacunga, Ecuador

Cuenca - Parade with Igelsias de San Blas in background.
Parade - Cuenca, Ecuador


Crash Eddy said...

Stability? I'll advance one theory. Once you start giving the populace things for free, there's no end to what they'll want. The insurgency is after something else not yet given. To each according to his need, from each according to his ability; doesn't Socialism ultimately break down? Off the soapbox, I'll accept your greed theory, power-greed that is.

Sun-Ling said...

@Ed, if free vaccination and public education equal socialism, then give me socialism!

Crash Eddy said...

S-L, you're picking the low hanging fruit. Free medical? Who pays the doctors' grocery bills. Free automobile for every citizen? Who pays the factory workers? Like I said: breaks down and sooner of the populace is greedy.

Sun-Ling said...

@Ed, who says socialism is free everything?! I am still not sure how we got on socialism from my original blog. If you'd like, we can hash out socialism when I get home.