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Rafael Correa accuses U.S. of using Assange as a warning

London, Sep 22 (Prensa Latina) Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on Thursday said the United States wants to set a warning example with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, for releasing war crimes committed by U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US government want to set a warning with him, so that others notice what may happen to them if they dare to reveal US secret actions, Correa said in an interview published on Thursday by the British platform Declassified UK.

According to Correa, who in 2012 granted Assange political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the world should thank Assange for revealing those war crimes, but instead, he said, “they are killing him.”

Correa, who ruled Ecuador from 2007 to 2017, cleared up he personally does not agree with Assange´s actions, because all governments, Correa stated, have the right to handle confidential information.

War crimes cannot be hidden, Correa remarked, after pointing out that in Assange’s case there are also double standards, because as the information was published by powerful newspapers including The New York Times, El País and The Guardian, then they chose the weakest link in the chain to give a lesson.

Correa commented that the main reason for granting asylum to Assange 10 years ago was the certainty that he would never get a fair trial in the United States, whose prosecutors requested his extradition to the United Kingdom following Correa’s successor, Lenín Moreno, withdrew diplomatic protection in April 2019, and allowed London police to enter the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest him.

Correa also condemned some pressures he received from the British government to hand over the Australian journalist, including threats to forcibly enter the Ecuadorian embassy.

The British are used to being obeyed, not to negotiating with a Third World country, Correa stressed, who after leaving power in 2017, moved to Brussels with his wife and family, while his enemies in Ecuador opened a judicial process against him for alleged corruption.

In this regard, Correa considered such a political pursue was partly due to his protection to Assange, who if extradited to the United States could be sentenced to 175 years behind bars, and also to his call to shut down the US military base in Ecuador.


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