Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Blowing the Whistle on Ecuador

Ecuador has offered political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the international gadfly known for his whistleblowing. Yet Ecuador under President Rafael Correa has one of the most abysmal track records in the Western Hemisphere as far as harassing journalists and suppressing free speech.

Over the past five years, Correa has interrupted TV and radio broadcasts 1,340 times to attack his media critics and to present fawning reports showcasing his regime’s “progressive” accomplishments. He has shut down scores of media outlets and outrageously filed an $80 million lawsuit against the newspaper El Universo in a kangaroo court controlled by Correa. On his own TV show, he regularly describes journalists as “filth,” “vultures,” “cavemen,” “a pack of hounds” and other similarly colorful epithets.

Why would a tinhorn Banana Republic leader with a pronounced distaste for free speech offer asylum to Assange? And why would Assange, supposedly a voice for global transparency, throw his lot in with such a despot? Amos Roberts from SBS Dateline in Assange’s native Australia travels to Ecuador to explore this ironic twist of fate.

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