“You have to attack and defame the personality if you don’t want the public opinion to support the brave one who challenged the most powerful nation on the planet.”
Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno made a number of allegations against Julian Assange, including accusing the whistleblower of being disrespectful towards embassy staff. However, Ecuadors consul at the time has dispelled Moreno’s accusations, calling them a “smokescreen”.
Fidel Narvaez was the consul in London for 6 of the 7 years that Julian Assange stayed at the embassy, speaking to Russian outlet RT he said; “his alleged breach of asylum conditions” and altercations with diplomatic staff were a “smokescreen” and that “a couple of isolated incidents with security guards” was not improper conduct.
President Moreno accused Assange of violating terms in a number of ways including harassing guards, covering CCTV cameras, hacking security files. Most lewd of all, he accused Assange of smearing his feces on our embassy’s walls. All without corroboration, the only footage to emerge from his stay is a leaked CCTV video of the Wikileaks founder skateboarding in a small room.
Narvaez laments the focus on Assange's supposed transgressions during his stay, saying; “I was very disappointed that the fundamental thing – which is the persecution of a journalist for ... the crime of publishing truthful information about war crimes, corruption, mass surveillance – is not in the focus of international [media coverage],” instead, mainstream media often focused on “day-to-day behavior of Assange in the Embassy and his relationship with Ecuador [authorities].”
The former consul also denounced Lenin Moreno's earlier decision to cut off Assange's internet connection, prior to his expulsion, commenting “a very, very gross violation of human rights of someone who was not serving a sentence, of somebody who was not a prisoner,” with that act, he argued that Ecuador was no longer a “protector”, but rather a “persecutor”.
Narvaez concluded by explaining how the personal attacks on Assange were part of strategy to silence the whistleblower, “You have to attack and defame the personality if you don’t want the public opinion to support the brave one who challenged the most powerful nation on the planet,”
Assange was first taken in under the leftist administration of former president Rafael Correa. However, Lenin Moreno’s government has shifted Ecuador’s economic and foreign policy, realigning the country’s geopolitical position towards the US. The country recently signed an IMF deal for a loan of over $4 billion in exchange for neoliberal reforms. Earlier in the week, it was also announced that US military personnel had arrived in the country for talks with the government. A reversal of Correa’s approach, that included expelling the US military base on the country’s coast, and ridding security and intelligence institutions of US presence.