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    Ecuador President cuts gasoline price amid Indigenous strike

    QUITO, ECUADOR (AP) – Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso announced a cut in gasoline prices on Sunday that appeared to fall short of the reduction demanded by Indigenous leaders to end a strike that has paralysed parts of the country for two weeks.

    The reduction cuts the price of gasoline by 10 cents per gallon. The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador has demanded compliance with a 10-point agenda, including the reduction of the price of extra gasoline from USD2.55 to USD2.10 a gallon and diesel from USD1.90 to USD1.50.

    Speaking on national television late Sunday, Lasso said the price of fuel “has become the cornerstone that maintains the conflict”.

    “Ecuadorians who seek dialogue will find a government with an outstretched hand, those who seek chaos, violence and terrorism will face the full force of the law,” he said, emphasising that the country must return to normality.

    There was no immediate reaction from the Indigenous confederation.

    The move comes shortly after Lasso lifted a state of emergency he’d imposed in six provinces and government officials held initial talks with protest leaders. It also comes as lawmakers discuss an opposition request to remove Lasso from office amid the strike, which has caused food shortages and hurt the economy.

    Indigenous protesters are demanding a cut in gasoline prices, price controls on agricultural products and a larger budget be set for education. Lasso had accused the leader of the at-times violent strike of seeking to stage a coup.

    A protester dressed as a llama during a rally to show support for the recent protests and national strike against the government of President Guillermo Lasso, near the National Assembly in Quito, Ecuador. PHOTO: AP
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