'Assange's days in Ecuadorian Embassy in London are numbered' – Correa to RT

The days of Julian Assange’s residence in the Ecuadorian embassy in London are numbered, the country’s former president Rafael Correa, who was still at the helm when he offered the WikiLeaks founder asylum, has told RT.

Correa’s remarks came amid speculation that his successor, Lenin Moreno, may soon kick Assange out, probably to be arrested by British authorities. According to Assange himself, this would lead to the unsealing of a secret US indictment against him and his extradition to America.

Moreno this week said that, sooner or later, the whistleblower will have to leave the diplomatic mission. However, Ecuador wants to make sure that nothing “poses danger” to the whistleblower's life, the president stressed.
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FILE PHOTO: The Ecadorian embassy in central London © Toby Melville Assange will eventually have to leave our embassy in London – Ecuador President

“You can be sure that he [Moreno] is a hypocrite. He already has an agreement with the US about what will happen to Assange. And now he's just trying to sweeten the pill by saying he's going to have a dialogue” about conditions of the transfer, Correa told RT Spanish. “I'm afraid ... that Assange's days in our embassy are numbered.”

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno, has made no secret that Assange’s refuge was a nuisance for his government, which he inherited from Correa. The Australian has been living at the compound since 2012 and has lately been barred by his Ecuadorean hosts from any communications.

Accusing the incumbent Ecuadorian president of “reducing [Assange] to a hacker who snooped in private emails,” Correa pointed out that Moreno cannot grasp the complexity of Assange's role in exposing human rights abuses by the US government, or the harsh punishment the 47-year-old will face if extradited to the US.

Correa, who now hosts a show on RT’s Spanish service, noted that unless Assange secures safe passage guarantees, he is likely to be prosecuted for espionage and treason “which may carry the death penalty.” While Moreno said on Friday that he is trying to negotiate Assange's security guarantees, Correa believes that the activist’s fate has already been sealed.

“[Moreno] talks about a dialogue, but everything has already been agreed with the UK government, especially after Vice President Pence's visit to Ecuador a few weeks ago,” Correa said.

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Rafael Correa and the Ecuadorian Injustice

Just as they have done with Lula in Brazil, Rafael Correa is being victim of the political persecution in a judicial path to terminate him in many ways. They have come at him so hard that I dared say it holds personal grudge at different levels.

For Correa "the strategy towards me is to kill me, put me in jail or prevent my return to Ecuador. We must stop the judicialization of politics. Let them try defeating us at the polls, not with their tricks!", said the former Ecuadorian president.

The order of imprisonment without bail was passed against him by judge Daniella Camacho who accused him for the alleged kidnapping of former legislator Fernando Baltra, that took place in 2012, but the controller assigned as well as the attorney that pursues him was finger picked, without proceedings, which is illegal, but that doesn’t matter, because the question was, or rather is, to put him in jail.

The order of imprisonment without bail was passed after the former leader didn’t show up at the headquarters of the National Court of Justice in Quito, but he did show up in the Consulate of Ecuador in Belgium, where he lives with his family for a year. Besides the detention order, the judge accepted the request of the Attorney’s Office of asking Interpol his arrest and extradition.

Commenting the case Balda’s kidnapping, Correa denounced that it’s a "huge ridicule with no perspective of success at all in the international arena". “Balda was at large from the Ecuadorian Justice" and “he was running illegal actions in Colombia", and he highlighted that “it’s clear that it was a police abuse". “A few policemen tried to arrest him and saw that with false testimonies could involve the very President of the Republic", he denounced.

“They know I live in Belgium. The District Attorney asked me to show up in the Consulate of Belgium every 15 days, but the judge establishes that I must show up every 15 days in Ecuador knowing that it’s impossible", says the former leader.

“There is no evidence, not a hint against me", emphasizes Correa while he brands the detention order as "an absolutely illegal mechanism that would be impossible in any country". "But the world looks the other way. If this had happened during my government with a political opponent, I would already be in the International Court of The Hague", he highlighted.

PLOT

Ten years of Civic Revolution in which great social achievements and a decrease of the poverty were part of an honest policy that made more equal the sharing of wealth. It was really a thorn on the side for the national oligarchy, while imperialism saw with concern the style of government of a leader who did not work for his interests.

That’s why is annoying to think how the current leader, Lenin Moreno who was always supported by Correa, has acted according to the enemies of the former President and obeyed rules that jeopardize the achievements of previous administration, nothing clear and that seems moved by desires of vengeance, I don't know the reasons why.

Undoubtedly, this action against Correa is part of the imperialistic task of coapt justice to pursue left-wing leaders.

At regional level, the case against Correa is not the only one, because there are the results of accusations against former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, the former Argentinean president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and the Ecuadorian vice-president Jorge Glas. Let’s remember that the former President of Ecuador had already been accused fruitlessly of wrong oil pre-sales, wrongfully negotiated contracts in that field, organized crime, traffic of influences, and everything in the last months, because they saw the strategy of judicializing politics.

All this has contributed to the boost of the right-wing in South America and the breaking of an institutionality that is essential for a good life.

Meanwhile, several personalities and world leaders have already expressed their solidarity with former Ecuadorian leader. Bolivian President, Evo Morales has criticized the "politicization of the Ecuadorian justice" and has also denounced the "interference of the U.S. in an attempt to incarcerate an innocent". Other people who expressed their solidarity with Correa the former leaders Ollanta Humala, from Peru, and Ernesto Samper, of Colombia, something necessary, even insufficient, to get the attention on the so-called Ecuadorian injustice.

Rafael Correa to teleSUR: 'We're Heading to Economic Disaster'

“I hope I am wrong, but this administration is leading the country to another crisis,” stated the former president.

In an exclusive interview for teleSUR, Ecuador's former President Rafael Correa shared his views about the current administration one year after his successor and Lenin Moreno took office, denouncing the “betrayal” of his political successor.

RELATED: 'Self-Sabotage:' Ecuador Embraces Neoliberal Reform and US Interests

Correa recalled that only a few weeks after the administration started, he acknowledged the political rupture: “They made a pact that they never mentioned to the party Alianza Pais, not even to the board, to Ecuador, for instance, the pact with the Social-Christian party, and gave the banks, the media, and everyone their share (of demands).”

But the former head of state said he later took the real measure of the “betrayal,” when members of Alianza Pais were probed on corruption charges, governing and using “political power to favor private interests” while “taking away subsidies for the poorest.” “This is the real corruption,” he added.

As for the economic policies, Correa said they were “a disaster.”

“Despite the drop of oil prices, despite losing trials in international courts, despite the devastating earthquake, we managed to recover the economy without increasing poverty and inequality in a record time.”

Quoting a recent report issued by the International Monetary Fund, Correa said the economic growth was positive with 3 percent by the end of 2013, denying Moreno's allegations that the national economy was going through a deep crisis when he took office.

However, at the beginning of 2018, the country started a recession despite the increase in oil prices. “I hope I am wrong, but this administration is leading the country to another crisis.”

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Venezuela Protests against Ecuador for Interventionist Positions

Caracas, Jul 6 (Prensa Latina) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela today delivered a protest note to the business manager of Ecuador, Elizabeth Mendez, for interventionist expressions by that country's government.

According to a press release published by the Foreign Ministry, the Deputy Foreign Minister for Latin America, Alexander Yanez, held a meeting with Mendez to express Venezuela's position on the ideas expressed in the letter delivered to his government on July 4.

The Deputy Minister highlighted Venezuela's respect for the people and institutions of Ecuador, and noted that the protest note states that President Lenin Moreno offered statements and interviews with the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, some of which refer Venezuela's internal affairs.

'It is important to note that the representative of the U.S. government has threatened Venezuela with a military operation and has imposed unilateral coercive measures against the Venezuelan economy and people,' said the source.

The protest note also stressed that the Bolivarian Government has never questioned the legality and legitimacy of the last Ecuador's electoral process, and therefore it urged that country's authorities to respect the will of the Venezuelan people, who constitutionally re-elected the President Nicolas Maduro.

Deputy Foreign Minister Yanez said that former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa is considered a friend of Venezuela, where he is admired and respected for his ethical, political and humanistic qualities.

In this regard, for the Venezuelan Government it is a duty to express sincere solidarity with Correa and his family, given the circumstances and the manner in which unsuspected and undeserved acts against his person and political environment have been developed, he pointed out.

The Deputy Minister assured that the Executive of Venezuela is aware of the importance of the bilateral relations between the South American peoples, so he ratified the will to develop deep relations of high strategic interest for the Latin American integration.

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Ecuador: Rafael Correa Supporters March To Protest Detention

Thousands of Rafael Correa supporters marched through one of Quito's main arteries on Thursday in defense of Ecuador's former president, accused of orchestrating a failed kidnapping attempt in 2012 – a charge he vehemently denies.

Carrying giant 'No, Neoliberalism' signs and shouting "a people united will never be defeated," demonstrators marched along Quito's 10 de Agosto Avenue towards the Plaza Grande, outside President Lenin Moreno's executive offices, but were blocked by police forces.

Moreno has been accused by political opponents of betraying Correa's socialist-leaning Citizens' Revolution by favoring big business and private enterprises. He had previously served as Correa's vice president.

On July 3, Ecuador's National Court of Justice ruled that Correa should be taken into preventive detention. The court is accusing the former president – a popular, progressive politician who governed for a decade until he was replaced by Moreno last year – of 'illicit association' and being involved in the failed kidnapping of opposition lawmaker Fernando Balda in Bogota, 2012.

Balda claims that five people tried to kidnap him in the Colombian capital, but police stopped the attempt. Evidence supporting the allegations has yet to be made public.

The arrest warrant came shortly after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Ecuador on June 27. "There is a whole roadmap, there is a whole plot," Correa told AFP from Brussels, where he now lives with his family, insisting that Moreno "is behind this."

The Chief Prosecutor's office has requested that Interpol be notified of the request for Correa's arrest and extradition, but Correa told AFP he doubted Interpol or Belgian authorities would act on the warrant.

"Interpol takes its time, analyses the case and, if it is political, rejects it. We have a deep conviction that this is going to be thrown out because what is going on is nothing more political," said Correa. "The Belgian authorities will never process this nonsense."


In Quito, marchers carried a giant banner bearing the faces of Kristina Fernandez, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff, Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales: nearly all former progressive presidents in Latin America who are now being prosecuted by their respective right-wing governments.

A Correa supporter holds an Ecuadorean flag in front of the national police that prevented thousands of Thursday's protesters from entering the Plaza Grande. July 5, 2018. Photo credit: Marco Varese
In Brazil, former president turned candidate Lula has been in jail since early April, accused of having accepted an apartment as a bribe in the wide-reaching Lava Moto ('Car Wash') scandal.

Lula was jailed on the basis of testimonies alone, with no evidence submitted, and his lawyers have been denied due process to appeal

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Rivadeneira: Justice is Being Manipulated Against Rafael Correa

“An enormous challenge has arrived; the manipulation of the justice system with the payment of political favors is evident," Rivadeneira said.

Leader of the Citizens' Revolution movement, and former leader of the National Assembly of Ecuador, Gabriela Rivadeneira, has said that the justice system is being manipulated to wage a political war against former President Rafael Correa and the movement he led.

RELATED: Ecuador Suspends New Ambassador Trip to Venezuela

“The hardest hit is the effort to diminish, de-legitimize, not only the leader of the Citizens' Revolution, but an entire project that began from below, that had strength for ten years, that had made itself one of the biggest political forces of our day. This is what they want to end through judicial processes because they can't arrive to power through the popular vote,” Rivadeneira said in an interview with teleSUR's Enclave Politica.

Rivadeneira, a key Correa ally, said that the current government has reversed the gains of the Correa administration.

“It's been thirteen months since the government changed, and in thirteen months we have seen a backstep in national policy in economic terms, social terms, and sovereignty,” she said. “The economic elite of Ecuador have taken the public debate once again, through control of media corporations, and of the mouthpieces for the current government.”

“An enormous challenge has arrived; the manipulation of the justice system with the payment of political favors is evident.”

She also affirmed that Ecuador already has one political prisoner, Jorge Glas, regarding whom they “still have not presented a single bit of evidence that would demonstrate that he was indeed implicated in the crimes they claim.”

Ecuadorean lawyer Eduardo Franco Loor was invited to the discussion, where he pointed out that “there is no part of the conviction that determines that Rafael Correa was a participant, author, or accomplice (to said crime).”

“Rafael Correa has every right to request international protection... as a citizen that is being politically persecuted by his government.”

Ecuador's chief prosecutor requested a preventive detention of Correa for supposed involvement in a kidnapping, charges which he vehemently denies and says there is no evidence for.

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Free Universe, Yoko Ono's Exhibition, Opens in Ecuador (+Photos)

Quito, June 24 (Prensa Latina) ''Free Universe'', a retrospective exhibition by the Japanese artista Yoko Ono, the widow of the former Beatle musician John Lennon, opened in this capital.

Inaugurated at the Metropolitan Cultural Center (MET) by the curators Gunnar B. Kvaran and Agustín Pérez Rubio, and the director of the exhibit, Pilar Estrada, 'Free Universe' is composed of more than 50 works and will be opened until September 16.

The exhibition is composed of objects, installations, videos, films and sound records that come accompanied by instructions written by Ono that invite the public to be part of the work.

Her production is inserted in conceptual art, performance, the neo-avant-garde group Fluxus and the happenings of the fifties and sixties.

On this occasion, the artist invited 12 Latin American female artists, including six from Ecuador, who joined the project 'Water Event', which is part of the exhibition.

On display are some of her first works with instructions from the artist, including 'Piece of Lighting' (1955), 'Piece Laughter' (1961) and 'Smile' (1968).

 

    

   

  • Published in Culture

There is no censorship in the “Free World.” Does anyone challenge me on this fact?

Wikileaks’ founder cannot surf the Internet and no one knows when he will. Ecuadorian chancellor, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, suggested such fact last Monday. She stated that her country has not set a deadline so that Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange, can browse the Internet again at the Ecuador embassy, where he lives since 2012.

As we know, the activist who champions freedom of speech lost his freedom first with the political asylum, and he now loses the opportunity to exist in the Internet. According to the current government in Ecuador, the punishment is justified as he broke the agreement of not making comments on certain subjects of the international arena.

An official press release of the government led by Lenin Moreno warned that Assange’s behavior with his messages on social networks were jeopardizing Ecuador relations with the UK, the European Union, and other nations including the US. Shortly before Assange were deprived of his right to going online, he had declared he supported the Catalan independent movement and according to some news, he even “messed” with Trump’s family.

This is what we know. The new fact is that the chancellor, in statements to the AP, cleared up that “Ecuador is basically demanding a guarantee for securing its rights and welfare in the framework of respect for the international right,” and added “It is not about censorship.”

No, of course not. There is no censorship in Ecuador-like “democracies.” Censorship, as Goebbel’s repetitive story spread by some I-don’t-like-censorship media and some “naive” that still play into such media’s hand, only exists in those pro-Stalin communist regimes or “populist” dictatorships like Rafael Correa’s. By the way, Correa was labeled as a censor who pretended to limit the news monopoly of the so-called “free press” in Ecuador.

As I do not like to tire you out, I just have few example of such “imaginary” censorship. This is the case of Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, 24 years old singer-songwriter from Palma de Mallorca, aka Valtonyc, whose whereabouts are still unknown. He was sentenced to 2 years for releasing songs in the Internet that “praised terrorism, mocked Spanish royalty, and threatened a Spaniard politician with the use of violence.”

Another story is the one related to the Spanish actor Willy Toledo. Toledo was summoned by a court in Madrid due to a message where he championed three women who were prosecuted for alleged “blasphemy” as they ran amid a procession in the streets of Sevilla with a giant vagina that read “Rebellious Pussy.”

The punishable heresy of Toledo was to write a message in the social networks that read: “I shit on God and there are enough shit to expel on the dogma of the Saintliness and the virginity of Virgin Mary.”

There is no one better to explain the absence of censorship in the “Western World Heaven” than the Nobel Prize in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, who said when referring to the assassination of more than 100 journalists in Mexico: “There is more press freedom in Mexico than 20 years ago, no doubt. Such press freedom is responsible for the assassination of more than 100 journalists as they publish now things that were forbidden before.”

Translated by Sergio A Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

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