“Treason!” “Sedition!” “Spies!” “Bullshit!” “Fraud!” and “Civil war!” Such was the response of the presidential “stable genius” to the ongoing drama unfolding on Capitol Hill concerning impeachment proceedings against him. Trump’s hubris appears to have caught up with him at last as a sprawling investigation spills messily into the headlines. The American president is a wretched reactionary—to put it mildly—and billions worldwide are understandably delighted to see him get some form of comeuppance. But what’s behind the smoke and mirrors? Whose interests are served by this charade?

The announcement by the government of Lenín Moreno of a US$2.2bn package of economic counter-reforms on 1 October has led to mass demonstrations and strikes. The government, which fears losing control of the situation, has responded with brutal police repression and yesterday, 3 October, declared a state of emergency for 60 days.