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Montevideo, April 24th 2019 - 20:04 UTC

Moreno's government cuts Assange's internet access at London embassy

Wednesday, March 28th 2018 - 22:51 UTC
Full article 22 comments

The Ecuadorean government of President Lenin Moreno has left Wikileaks founder Julian Assange without access to the internet at their embassy in London, it was reported Wednesday. The decision was made following Assange's recent activity on social media decrying the arrest of a Catalonian separatist leader. Read full article


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  • DemonTree

    Oops. Does Ecuador really care so much more about pissing off Spain than pissing off Britain, or is this just another part of Moreno's 180 from the party and platform he was elected on?

    Anyway, if anything will get Assange out of that embassy it's cutting off his internet access.

    Mar 29th, 2018 - 09:06 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    It is more about him undermining the relationship Ecuador has with other countries. Most SoAm countries still have strong business ties with their colonial mothership Spain.

    It is like offering sanctuary to someone on the basis that they behave in your home and not do anything to undermine your friends and business. You then find out your 'houseguest' insulting your guests and damaging your business online.

    They should have kicked him out years ago. Cutting off his internet and visits is step one. Next should be food and water.

    Mar 29th, 2018 - 01:39 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    “Most SoAm countries still have strong business ties with their colonial mothership Spain.”

    I wondered if that had something to do with it, but it still seems like a much lesser infraction than things he has done in the past.

    I'm kind of hoping they'll kick him out because I want to see what happens next. It would be a little too obvious if the US tried to extradite him now, and the penalty for jumping bail is not much. Moreno would need a much bigger excuse to do that, though.

    Mar 29th, 2018 - 02:50 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @DT Ecuador has had a change of President too. Correa liked to thumb his nose at the West and thought it would gain him Brownie points but instead he gain a huge headache. It was not the bargaining chip he thought it would be and after the initial fuss the Ecuadorians were constantly looking for a way to get rid of him. This President seems even more inclined to push Assange out of the door. Add to that the mood change in all of SoAm. The old Bolivarian winds have blown off.

    I want Assange to stop playing the victim and face the music. I would be surprised if the U.S. are interested in him but you can be sure the U.K. will not let the jumping bail go. Assange tries to assert that he has served his time in the Embassy (further insulting his hosts) but he doesn't make the rules or the law.

    Mar 30th, 2018 - 09:51 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    I know Ecuador has had a change of President; Moreno was Correa's vice-president but he's broken with his predecessor and seems to be doing his best to make sure Correa never regains power. I don't know if that's due to Moreno's personal ambitions or other reasons, but he's far from a loyal successor in the style of Maduro.

    Anyway, I think it would look awkward for Ecuador to have a change of heart now, so the situation will probably continue unless Assange does something drastic.

    Personally I'm 100% certain the US are interested in him, and probably quite happy for him to continue his self-imposed imprisonment in the embassy. If they had tried to extradite him and put him on trial, there's a good chance he would have won, since from what I have read, he didn't actually break any US laws - unlike the whistleblowers who sent him the information. This way he's punishing himself indefinitely with little effort or risk of embarrassment for them.

    Mar 30th, 2018 - 12:04 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    What everyone seems to forget is that Assange's WiFi wont be cut off, with a 4G mobile signal he can use his phone and tether it to a tablet or laptop.

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 07:24 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • ElaineB

    No one has forgotten, we know how technology works. We were discussing why they made the move.

    @DT They have cut off his visitors also. No Tweets from him since they cut off his Wifi so they seem determined to make life difficult for him.

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 07:37 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I had forgotten, even though I've done it myself many times.

    They could ask him to hand over his smartphone since he's a guest in their embassy, or maybe he's just avoiding posting so as not to anger them further.

    Cutting off his visitors seems kind of vindictive though, even if he was in jail he'd be allowed visitors.

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 09:54 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    If he was in jail he wouldnt have a mobile (officially) and his calls on the jails phones would be controlled. No doubt our secret squirells and the yanks are listening into his every word anyway. I bet the yanks will get him in the end.

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 10:51 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @DT Yeah, me too. I have been many places in Chile where wifi was non-existent but could use my local smart phone as a hotspot. Mobile usage is incredibly cheap in Chile which is just as well as I don't know any other country where people are so welded to their phones.

    I think cutting off visits is designed to get him to leave too. Some of his visitors are controversial and there is some claim that people are passing him messages (avoiding the listening devices). The thing is, he is not a prisoner with their rights. He is in self-imposed exile, hiding from the law and can leave at any time. He had a choice. He jumped bail. He broke the law of this land. And there cannot be exceptions because it would set a precedent.

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 11:41 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    True, for him having internet access must be the main advantage of being in the embassy over being in jail. I'm sure you're right about the listening in, too.

    Do you want the Yanks to 'get him'?

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 11:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    I am all for whistle blowing if its done right and by that I mean as long as its done not leaving people in danger. I realise thats very difficult to do and if you are exposing dirty tricks by your government, they should be carefully exposed. I think that the US is generally more sound on Justice than many places and he would get fair treatment. Its a very difficult subject. Chelsea Manning was in the end treated kindly by Obama. She would never have been treated so leniently by Trump.

    As for somebody 'getting him' he was responsible for releasing some material that should be revealed as well as some material that should have been treated more carefully. On balance I believe someone should 'get him'. I would hope that they would be lenient. On the rape he should face a trial like anyone else.

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 01:26 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I agree with the part about whistleblowing generally being a good thing, as long as it doesn't leave people in danger. But Wikileaks seems to have changed from it's original purpose and now has a political agenda. I don't support that at all.

    And I don't believe he would really get fair treatment in the US, but it's true there are much worse places... we know how Russia deals with people who cross Putin. I wouldn't say Chelsea Manning was treated particularly kindly, but she is out of jail now while Assange is still stuck in an office suite.

    Dunno what I think should happen to him. I wouldn't support extraditing him to the US, but Elaine is right that letting him go could set a bad precedent wrt bail jumping. As for the Swedish charges, would they have bothered pursuing them if he was some unknown? But that's more to do with the difficulty of proving that type of crime, not that it shouldn't be prosecuted. He ought to have gone to Sweden and faced trial rather than hiding away.

    I wanted to ask you about that. Can you get a local SIM in Argentina so as to avoid paying extortionate roaming charges for data? And are Chileans really *more* welded to their phones than any one else? Surely impossible!

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 03:23 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    If it came to a choice between Argieland and Chile I would choose Chile any day. The Atacarma, Valporiso and Torres del Paine were my highlights, stunning places, but I love landscapes not cities. A lot of the middle section of Argieland is boring, and the fear of being attacked by scum was a constant worry in urban areas. Chileans seen to welded to junk food although you can eat well there.

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 05:30 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I was actually hoping to visit both. The provisional plan is fly to BA, stay there for a few days then get another flight to El Calafate and hire a car there. The Los Glaciares national park is there and after seeing that we can drive on to the Torres del Paine. Depending if it's possible to hand the hire car in in a different city, we could even continue down to Tierra del Fuego and then fly back from there.

    I'd also like to fit in a trip to the Iguazu falls, but not sure there's time.

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 06:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB


    Assange released information indiscriminately which is why so many of the people he worked with turned against him. Typically for a narcissist he is more interested in getting the limelight than anything else. I don't want the 'yanks' to get him, I want our courts to deal with him for jumping bail. He can then sod off.

    Yes, you can get a local SIM and phone charges are dead cheap in SoAm. I loved the El Calafate area, though the town is a tiny place, and the glacier is well worth seeing. The set up they have there is great, better than the Chilean side.

    In my honest opinion, I would skip Iguazu if you are pressed for time. It is amazing but after about an hour it is just falling water. I was there two days too long. You can do white water rafting too, as I did, but you can do that in a lot of places. If you want to capture unique Argentina go and stay on an estancia with the gauchos. Or visit wine country around Mendoza with about 100 wineries open for tastings and the magnificent Andes as a backdrop. You know Chile is just a hop, skip and a jump from there by plane or you could drive over the mountains.

    Walk down any street in Chile and everyone is looking at their phones. It drives me bonkers but apart from that you should visit! The food has come on leaps and bounds in recent years with some great restaurants springing up. Santiago is not worth hanging around; the beauty of Chile is away from the capital. Atacama, the Elqui Valley, Valparaiso, Colchagua Valley, The lakes with volcanoes puffing in the background, mystical Chiloe Island and on down to Patagonia.

    I love both countries. Pack your street smarts, set your bullshit radar to maximum, watch your wallet at all times and you will be fine. BsAs is an amazing city, just watch for out for dog shit.

    Mar 31st, 2018 - 09:41 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    That's good to know. We'll be going for two weeks so I don't want to get over-ambitious in what we do. It's pointless spending all your time travelling rather than seeing things.

    Would you recommend doing one of the organised hikes in the Torres del Paine? I'm not sure if it's worth it and I have a bad knee so I'm worried I wouldn't be able to keep up with a bunch of fit 20 year olds.

    Apr 01st, 2018 - 09:41 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @DT You can do a lot in two weeks but it is not enough time to do everything, as you say. It is really hard to recommend an itinerary as everyone has individual ideas of a good trip.

    One of the good parts about travel in the Southern Cone is that a lot of it is very beautiful but TV is right that the centre of Argentina is a vast empty space, so fly over that if you can. Some of my favourite places in Argentina are BsAs, the estancias around Cordoba, Mendoza, Salta in the north and El Calafate. Even Ushuai is worth a visit for the spectacular scenery. If you did the triangle of BsAs, Mendoza and El Calafate that would give you a selection of Argentina.

    Chile has everything Argentina has in terms of scenery in a more condensed form. For that reason I prefer to recommend it as a holiday destination but both are worth seeing. Argentina's tourism is more developed, it is cheaper to visit but they know how to squeeze every last peso out of you. Chile is about U.S. prices for a lot of things. Argentineans are more open and friendly, they have the gauchos, tango and mate. You will notice the lack of money invested in the infrastructure, different prices for tourists over locals, they will claim they have the best food and wine in the world. (They don't but humour them). Chileans are more reserved but less inclined to pick your pocket. They have huasos, rodeo, a weird folk dance, and a confusion about anyone wanting to visit them. They really do have the most spectacular geography with the ever-looming Andes and the beautiful Pacific coast. The contrast is also interesting. If you think you will never go back try a taste of both countries, otherwise pick one.

    That doesn't really help you at all but I would say, don't trek if you think it will ruin the rest of your holiday through injury. You can see a lot from a 4x4 or on horseback. Have you thought of looking at organised itineraries across both countries and then picking out the best parts to do yourself?

    Apr 01st, 2018 - 02:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Everything is so far apart down there! Even Mendoza is 1000km from BA, and the flights are really expensive. I don't know how feasible it would be to fit it in. I did have a look at some tours (which didn't have prices - alarming), that's where I got the idea of going from El Calafate to Torres del Paine and possibly on to Ushuaia.

    I'm not too worried about injury, if I can endure a week of skiing then I can manage a few days hiking. I just hate being a drag and holding other people back, but I guess if you've never done it you won't know how hard it is. Plus I've never ridden a horse, so that's probably not a good idea. I suppose moutain biking is out of the question?

    Why is Chile so expensive anyway? That's probably why people don't want to visit them. ;) When I was in Central America everything was ridiculously cheap, it was great. Glad to hear people in Argentina are friendly, and I'll be happy to try the food and wine (and the mate, tango and gauchos), even if they're not really the best in the world.

    Apr 01st, 2018 - 08:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • ElaineB

    @DT Tis true that everything is far apart, especially in Argentina. The flights used to be cheap but they do have overnight buses as an alternative - they have lazyboy seating, serve food and show films to pass the time. I haven't done the buses but I know a lot of people do.

    Yes, I went from El Calafate to Ushuia, though I flew, and am glad I did it. Hiking has different levels of difficulty and remember you are paying so they will adjust to suit you. I find the guides to be very accommodating. As for biking, there are numerous biking tours in Argentina and Chile, they come from all over the world to cycle there.

    Chile is not so expensive, much cheaper than the U.K. but you will notice a difference from Argentina. Some charges are similar to the U.S., especially the hotels and restaurants in Santiago but there are more reasonable options. Away from the city and eating where the locals do, it is much cheaper. I quite like the local dishes in the small cafes. Buses are incredibly cheap in both countries. They have to be because a lot of the population are poorly paid and need to use public transport. There are other ways to save money like going to a local Milonga to watch and learn Tango for a few pesos rather than see an expensive show for the tourists.

    What you will notice in SoAm is the poor distribution of wealth. There are very wealthy people and the majority live very poorly. Consequently you have a whole spectrum of accommodation from $10 to £1500 per night. The style of holiday you have is a matter of choice.

    Yes, people are friendly in SoAm no matter what you might read here. Argentineans seem naturally friendly and welcoming in my experience. Chileans are more reserved but love an English accent. You will be fine and if in doubt, say you are Canadian. Everyone loves the Canadians.

    Apr 01st, 2018 - 09:52 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Voice

    Apr 02nd, 2018 - 09:28 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • gordo1

    “Yes, people are friendly in SoAm no matter what you might read here. Argentineans seem naturally friendly and welcoming in my experience. Chileans are more reserved but love an English accent.”

    Curiously, both Argentina and Chile have British-style “public schools” affiliated to the Headmasters Conference - St George's in BA and The Grange in Santiago.

    Apr 04th, 2018 - 05:43 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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