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Should the UK Sever Diplomatic Relations With Ecuador?

The following post about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was submitted by a colleague and friend in Washington, DC, Ms. Maggie Petito. Ms Petito knows a bit about the antics of the Latin American left in the Andean region and beyond. Ms. Petito is the head of a small anti-corruption rule of law foundation — Foundation for the Rule of Law in Ecuador Inc. — and has extensive expertise in Latin American matters.

In our view WikiLeaks mastermind Assange is a criminal and fugitive from U.S. law. Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s Embassy in London since 2012 because he fears, rightly so, that he will be arrested and tried for crimes in the United States and elsewhere.

If someone with the leadership mettle of, let’s say, Margaret Thatcher were in charge, I doubt he or she would have allowed this bizarre incident to drag on as long as it has. Moreover, the United States should be pressing for more from our friends at 10 Downing Street.

Assange should be tried in the United States for violations of the Espionage Act of 1917, among other laws, and not be allowed to use diplomatic cover to wage a propaganda war against the United States with information he stole from us.

After years of negotiations, it is obvious that talks have failed to secure Assange’s release. They probably never will. In that time, who really knows how much damage has been done to U.S. and U.K. interests? If you think Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has not been using the diplomatic pouch to collaborate and hurt us and our allies, think again.

Maybe England should’ve severed diplomatic relations with Ecuador years ago, shut down the embassy, and expelled all diplomatic personnel from London. And as soon as Assange steps out of the compound, arrest him. Here are some more thoughts on this matter from Ms. Petito:

[According to a recent Wall Street Journal item] about Assange who is still holed up inside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London: “Britain is obliged to arrest him the moment he steps outside the Ecuadorean embassy. There is, after all, an international warrant for his arrest. At every stage in his campaign, Assange has sought to evade the rule of law and frustrate the exercise of due process. He has had the opportunity to challenge the arrest warrant in the legal systems of both Sweden and Britain. His case has been considered and rejected by the Supreme Court. The case of those women he’s alleged to have assaulted and raped has meanwhile never been heard. . . . The spirit of Assange’s campaign is misogyny and reaction. Its methods are conspiracy theories and contempt for due process. Its human costs include heaping calumnies on his alleged victims. What a man, what a cause—and what a disgrace.”

We remind that Assange claims asylum not under globally standard status as a `political asylee’ but a made-up designation by some Latin nations called `diplomatic asylum’ which is not covered in the Vienna Conventions to my knowledge.

Assange would not be inside the embassy of Ecuador without [President] Correa’s Ecuador complicit in evading rule of law and enjoining the twisted methods of conspiracy theory and contempt for due process. Were it not for Correa, Assange might well have experienced justice…no matter the outcome.

We hope the facts about the government of Ecuador and its relationship to breaking international legal norms will one day be detailed. As of today, Ecuador remains fact-free. Justice delayed remains justice denied. Unlawful and dishonored Assange and Correa’s Ecuador are symbiotic and mutually despicable, as all leeches and lemmings remain.

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