A former diplomatic staffer at the Ecuadorian embassy has debunked claims from Ecuador that Julian Assange was “an unruly house guest”, laying the Moreno government’s claims about his behaviour in tatters.
Fidel Narvaez, a former first secretary and consul in Ecuador’s London embassy between 2010 and 2018, categorically rejected recent official claims about Assange being disruptive, saying that Assange had always been respectful but embassy staff had put him through “hell” in an effort to “break him down”.
In moves widely rejected as a concerted propaganda effort to both destroy the character of Assange and rewrite the official narrative over why Ecuador removed their protection, the Moreno government has made several astonishing claims including assaults on guards, having poor hygiene, neglecting his pet cat and even smearing excrement on the wall.
As support for these claims a photo of a dirty dish and videos of Assange skateboarding, exercising and goofing around have been released. None of which back up the claims of assaults, neglect and hygiene below the norms.
“Julian had a respectful relationship with staff, diplomats and administrative staff. I don’t recall a single incident when he disrespected someone until I left in July 2018. He was 100% respectful. Clean and tidy? What is clean and tidy? Did he put the dishes in the dishwasher? Probably not at weekends. Is that a crime?”Fidel Narvaez, Sky News
Narvaez believes that Ecuador had been setting the stage for Assange leaving for some time, with 2018 described as “hell for Julian in that embassy” as the government tried to break him into potentially leaving.
“I was there the first months of the last year and I witnessed when Julian was told that he would no longer be allowed to have internet or access to the phone and wouldn’t be able to have visitors. The strategy was very clear – break him down. The government didn’t know how to end the asylum and face the catastrophic historical shame for doing that.”Fidel Narvaez, Sky News
While there is little good to come of Julian Assange’s arrest, one silver lining is that the eyes of the world are now firmly trained on Ecuador and the corruption of the Moreno government, with details of the INA papers scandal and a sizable IMF loan to Ecuador both being widely disseminated.
Ecuador received a loan of $4.2 billion from the IMF just this February, followed by another $6 billion from other global aid funds such as the World Bank following the expulsion of Assange. There have been accusations that the loan was essentially a bribe by the United States for Ecuador to comply with their demands.
The U.S. has a history of using the IMF for political purposes despite the IMF stating they take an apolitical approach to economic development. In 1996, faced with the possibility that Boris Yeltsin would lose the Russian election to the Communist Party, then American President Bill Clinton ensured that Russia received a $10.2 billion loan from the IMF, a loan that Yeltsin was able to promote as a result of his own power and influence. The French newspaper Le Monde said it was “an implicit vote in favour of candidate Yeltsin”.
Meanwhile Moreno himself is embroiled in a sizeable corruption scandal at home. Released in between February and March, the INA Papers are a leak of information from Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s Whatsapp, Telegram and Gmail accounts that show evidence of extensive corruption and a lavish lifestyle, including his possession of secret bank accounts. Moreno believed Assange was responsible for the leak, a belief that has been publically rejected by Wikileaks.
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