A group of Democratic senators asked the vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, to take advantage of his Latin American tour to improve relations with Ecuador and also press Quito on the decision to continue giving asylum to the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.
Led by the highest-ranking Democrat of the Senate Foreign Committee, Robert Menéndez, the legislators requested Pence in a letter obtained exclusively by Efe, to turn his tour of Latin America into an opportunity to “forge a new chapter” in the relations between Ecuador and Washington.
“In the last decade, the relationship between the United States and Ecuador was marked by unfortunate tensions, but under the leadership of President Lenin Moreno, there is a unique opportunity to reverse this trend,” the senators wrote.
Despite the progress made by senators on behalf of the Ecuadorian government, they said they were “extremely concerned that Ecuador provides asylum to WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, since June 2012.”
Democrats remember that the US intelligence community issued a report in January last year in which it confirmed that the Russian government had used WikiLeaks to publish stolen information and “influence the 2016 presidential election in the United States.” “We are also deeply concerned about WikiLeaks interventions in the 2017 French presidential election and the 2017 Spanish referendum on the independence of Catalonia,” they added.
In addition, the senators allude to the current secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who during his tenure as director of the CIA described WikiLeaks as “a hostile non-state intelligence service often instigated by state actors like Russia.”
“For these reasons, we were alarmed that in the statements about his June 4 telephone call with President Moreno, he did not mention the efforts of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks for interfering with the US electoral process in 2016 or in the elections of some of our closest allies, “they insist.
In the letter, they consider it “imperative” that Pence therefore raise the concerns of the United States to the Ecuadorian president about “Ecuador’s continued support for Assange” at a time when “WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes worldwide”
On the other hand, the senators also request the US vice president to extend his condolences to President Moreno for the death of three journalists of the Ecuadorian newspaper El Comercio at the hands of dissidents of the ex-Colombian FARC guerrilla. Pence left two days ago to Brasilia, where he began his third Latin American tour, which will also take him to Ecuador and Guatemala, as well as to Brazil. (I)