Speculation is swirling that the Ecuadorian government is feeling the pressure from the Trump Administration and is considering revoking Julian Assange's political asylum, throwing the famous whistleblower's life into limbo. Quito cut off Assange's internet access two months ago after concerns that he was abusing his privileges by supposedly interfering with the affairs of other countries, something that his supporters say is an absurd excuse meant to mask the real Russiagate motivations for this move. The native Australian has been holed up in the comparatively poor South American country's London embassy for almost six years now in order to avoid what he fears will be his extradition to the US for Wikileaks' role in revealing countless American crimes.
In the intervening years, he's become a symbol of free speech, government transparency, and whistleblowing, but the US "deep state's" accusations that he was either cooperating with Russian intelligence or unwittingly playing the role of their "useful idiot" in leaking scandalous reports from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that embarrassed Hillary and her team prior to the 2016 election hint that he might be this witch hunt's latest victim. Threatening remarks from high-ranking American officials about his organization purportedly being a "non-state hostile intelligence service" strongly imply that the US government wants to make an example out of him if he ever steps outside of the Ecuadorian Embassy.
That scenario seemed almost impossible until recently when Lenin Moreno, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa's hand-picked successor, won the February 2017 elections and then swiftly went against the multipolar leftist-populism of his predecessor, worrying many of Assange's supporters that this Lenin is actually more of a Trotsky and is about to sell out the cause. The US is indeed making major moves in Latin America, and it's conceivable that it's pulling unseen levers of pressure behind the scenes in order to get tiny Ecuador to reconsider its asylum status for Assange, something that's recently been conjectured by many after ambiguous remarks from the country's Foreign Minister.
The public hasn't heard from the whistleblower for weeks now and reports claim that his health is rapidly deteriorating, so it's anyone's guess what will happen to him next and whether the Wikileaks founder will live to leak another day.
Jafe Arnold, Special Editor of Fort Russ and an analyst for the Center for Syncretic Studies, and Justin Alexander Coley, a US-based analyst and Spanish-English translator, joined our discussion.
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