Wikileaks founder Julian Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy while his supporters denounce the U.S., the U.K. and Sweden.
Assange’s supporters see him as the champion of free speech and expression and praise Ecuador for “protecting” him. They kinda miss the fact that Ecuador has a horrible record when it comes to freedom of press, speech and expression.
And then came the meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA). The organization set up in 2004 by Cuba and Venezuela is hardly a bastion of countries that believe in the values Assange and his followers speak of.
Let’s look at the members of ALBA and their press freedom records:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Partly Free||Free||N/A|
|Bolivia||Partly Free||Partly Free||Noticeable Problems|
|Cuba||Not Free||Not Free||Very Serious Problem|
|Ecuador||Partly Free||Partly Free||Noticeable Problems|
|Nicaragua||Partly Free||Partly Free||Noticeable Problems|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Free||Free||N/A|
|Venezuela||Not Free||Partly Free||Noticeable Problems|
And for the record, the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden are all ranked as FREE politically and with freedom of the press and expression in the Freedom House rankings.
It is ironic that people are so willing to turn a blind eye to the violations of freedom of press, speech and assembly done by Ecuador if it means sticking their fingers in the eyes of the US and UK. Do any of Assange’s supporters really think that he could get away with what he has done and what he advocates in Ecuador? Venezuela? Cuba?