Commentary: Even though I had little doubt that Ecuador would grant asylum to Assange, it was really heart-warming for me to listen to the absolutely beautiful statement of Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, in particular after learning of the mind-boggling arrogance of the Brits who dared to cross a line very few, if any, governments ever dared cross: threaten to violate the sovereignty of an embassy (the only other example I can think of is the USAF bombing the PRC embassy in Belgrade – which everybody forgot, of course).
Does anybody remember that even the Iranian revolutionary government did not dare to openly say that it had seized the US embassy in Tehran, but that it hid behind a student movement instead? Yes, I know, this was a *very* thin fig-leaf for a regime which right in the wake of the Islamic revolution was rather over the top in most of its actions at the time. But even that regime did not have the arrogance to openly declare that it had violated one of the most basic rules of civilized behavior: one does not directly violate the diplomatic immunity of an official embassy.
Do you remember the Hungarian Roman Catholic Cardinal József Mindszenty sought refuge in the US Embassy in Budapest where he lived for FIFTEEN YEARS and yet neither the Hungarian Communists nor the Soviets dared to seize him?
Wikipedia has an interesting article entitled List of people who took refuge in a diplomatic mission with a list of individuals who took refuge in diplomatic missions. Do you know how many of these were seized by force inside these embassies? Zero!
And yet the British government does not mind showing less shame than the Iranian revolutionary regime or less restraint than the Hungarian or Soviet Communists.
This also goes to show that the Brits have learned nothing since the Malvinas War. By bulling Ecuador with such arrogance the Brits have just shown again how they are fundamentally unable to understand the cultures and people of Latin America.
The most pathetic of this all is, of course, that the British “poodle” only dares to bark because of the high patronage of Uncle Sam, whose orders both the UK and Sweden are slavishly obeying.
There is a big opportunity in all this, however. Should these British threats materialize in one fashion or another (storming the embassy, cutting off utilities, etc.) this would strongly polarize the Latin American continent which would be highly beneficial as only a few Latin American countries – like Colombia – are really and openly US colonies, and polarization of the continent would very much isolate them.
One more thought: does anybody out there still seriously believe that Assange is a US agent or that Wikileaks is an Israeli operation?
I take it you will comment on the Pussy Riot conviction and Russia’s handling of the situation?
Some of my thoughts before the 2 year prison sentence.
@jack: I take it you will comment on the Pussy Riot conviction and Russia’s handling of the situation?