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Julian Assange on his way to court following his arrest at the Ecuadorian Embassy, London, April 11, 2019

Seven years ago, Julian Assange seemed at the height of his powers—a superstar information warrior behind the biggest leak in history—when he faced his first major legal blow. He had lost a long fight against extradition to Sweden, where two women had accused him of rape. The possibilities for the rootless WikiLeaks founder, who was used to working from other people’s sofas and hotel rooms around world, narrowed rapidly.

Fearing that the Swedish investigation could lead to his extradition to the United States, in June 2012 Assange walked into the London embassy of Ecuador and claimed sanctuary. The country’s larger-than-life president who had an ego to match, Rafael Correa, was only too happy to oblige.…  Seguir leyendo »

En una marcha del 16 de abril, en Quito, algunos protestantes llevaron máscaras con el rostro de Julian Assange, fundador de WikiLeaks. Credit Dolores Ochoa/Associated Press

La abrupta salida de Julian Assange de la embajada ecuatoriana en Londres la semana pasada puso fin al dilema al que el gobierno ecuatoriano se enfrentaba en los últimos meses. Desde que Lenín Moreno, el presidente de Ecuador, asumió sus funciones en mayo de 2017, la situación de Assange ha sido uno de los asuntos más espinosos de la política exterior ecuatoriana.

Uno de los momentos más álgidos fue en octubre pasado, cuando se hizo público el intento de encontrar una salida para el hacker australiano a través de un proceso de nacionalización plagado de irregularidades, llevado a cabo por María Fernanda Espinosa, primera persona nombrada a liderar la cancillería por el gobierno morenista.…  Seguir leyendo »

There was always a surreal edge to Julian Assange’s long sojourn in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London — a Monty Python-esque oddity to having a figure so strange, so central to so many of the rich world’s most urgent debates, camping out in an embassy belonging to a distant developing country he had never actually set foot in. In the person of Assange, the domestic politics of a distant corner of South America collided with big-time geopolitics and various U.S. neuroses in a way neither side seemed quite prepared to handle.

After he skipped on his bail back in 2012, Assange seemed to be looking for a few different things.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Ecuador decides who Julian Assange sees, what can be in his room, even when he washes and tidies up.’ Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Convincing yourself, and the world, that you’re a major political player on the global stage is a tough ask when you’re confined to a back bedroom. It’s an act that Julian Assange has been trying for years – and one which is increasingly starting to have consequences on the WikiLeaks founder.

Assange has had his internet access cut off by the staff of Ecuador’s embassy in London for a second time – the first being a result of WikiLeaks’ intervention in the US election with the leak of emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign, and Assange’s tweets expressing political preference.

Ecuador, not wanting to get dragged into this political row, cut off Assange’s internet access and made him sign an undertaking not to get involved in the politics of other countries – only for the WikiLeaks Twitter account, and Assange’s personal account, to tweet about Catalonian independence and Britain’s expulsion of Russian diplomats.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ecuador’s decision to grant asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks wanted in Sweden for questioning over claims of rape and sexual molestation, has put the country in a political standoff with Britain, where he is holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy.

But the confusion in London has, in fact, little if anything to do with Ecuadorean-British relations and everything to do with regional and local politics in the Western Hemisphere. And it has little to do with protecting Mr. Assange’s right to a fair trial or freedom of the press — which Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, has trampled upon at home.…  Seguir leyendo »