Former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa explained to RT why he calls his successor Lenin Moreno the “worst traitor” in the country’s history for handing over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to British authorities.
Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London by British police on Thursday after Moreno revoked political asylum. The published and journalist spent almost seven years in the building after being welcomed there by Correa. UK law enforcement arrested him for skipping bail and under a previously secret US indictment – a development that Assange predicted and stated as his reason for going into the embassy in the first place.
Correa spoke to RT Spanish to explain why he publicly branded Moreno the “greatest traitor in Ecuadorian history.” The former president says his successor is no better than the disciple Judas Iscariot or Ephialtes of Trachis, the man accused of betraying Greek forces defending the pass of Thermopylae from invading Persians.
“It was not Rafael Correa, who gave asylum to Julian Assange. It was the state of Ecuador. And the state of Ecuador had to protect the person it pledged to protect according to international law and its national pride. Instead they gave him up, allowed the British police to enter our embassy,” he said.
He added that the move also violated the constitution of Ecuador, since Assange is now a citizen of the Latin American country and is owed protection accordingly. “This is unheard of. These actions cannot leave one not outraged,” he said.
Correa said Moreno basically sold “Assange’s head” to the Americans. The US wants to prosecute Assange for allegedly conspiring with former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning in her leaking of classified US documents to WikiLeaks.
Moreno’s decision was partially motivated by various benefits Ecuador and the president personally got in return, Correa believes. But another motive was revenge on WikiLeaks, he told RT. Moreno believes that the site was responsible for publication of explosive documents, which implicate him and his family members in corruption.
“Paul Manafort, the head of the Trump presidential campaign, visited Ecuador on May 30, 2017, weeks after Moreno took the office of the president. And even then Moreno offered to hand out Assange in exchange for financial enrichment from the US,” Correa said.