WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange created some confusion when he announced that he wanted to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after two years. His statement has revealed Quito’s tense relationship with free speech.
“Ecuador’s government hasn’t got a thing to do with the Assange case,” said Winfried Weck, head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s office in Ecuador’s capital, Quito. “It’s all about posturing and showing the US and the Europeans that they won’t allow meddling, and that they view their national identity and sovereignty as their biggest asset.”
At the beginning of September, Weck plans to shut down the foundation’s office in Ecuador after more than 50 years. The reason: Since 2011, Ecuador has reserved the right not only to examine political foundations and NGOs’ annual plans but also to change them.