“Well, as Evo Morales says, the only country that can be sure never to have a coup d’état is the United States, because it hasn’t got a U.S.embassy,” joked the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, in an interview by Julian Assange for RT (Russian Television, May 20).
That the US Department of State uses its embassies to plan coups was part of the State Department cables that were released by WikiLeaks in November 2010.
This news is getting renewed interest now that WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, is hiding in the Ecuadorian Embassy seeking asylum.
These memos revealed, among other things, that the US embassy in Ecuador was paying the police on the side. (That’s called bribery, no?)
Here’s the quote from President Correa:
“Before, there were whole police units, key units, fully funded by the U.S. embassy, whose officers in command were chosen by the U.S. ambassador and paid by the U.S. And so, we have increased considerably the police’s pay.”
The US ambassador was expelled shortly after the news came to light. The US accused Assange of treason, and has a sealed indictment. It coincides with an investigation in Sweden involving two women Assange had sex with. No charges have been brought by Sweden, but they seek Assange’s extradition. Assange sees Sweden as a go-between for the US to get his extradition to the US where, he feels, he will be jailed indefinitely.
“Well, first of all, you have to remember, President Correa got rid of the U.S.military base in Ecuador. The WikiLeaks cable talked about the corruption of the police within Ecuador. And what you see President Correa says, well, they were being paid by the U.S. embassy. And, of course, his great line is that the only reason there’s not a coup in the United States is there’s no U.S. embassy, essentially, to plan it. So you’re seeing—you’re seeing a good part of this world understand the importance of what Bradley Manning allegedly did and understanding the importance of the publication by WikiLeaks of the diplomatic cables. Obviously not just in Ecuador—the secret war in Yemen, in cases that my office has been concerned with about prosecution of Rumsfeld and others in Spain—we see the U.S. interference all over. And the positive part, a strong positive of WikiLeaks, is they exposed to the world not just the war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, but incredible hypocrisy in our own State Department.”
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton arrived in Sweden on Saturday – the first such visit by a State Department official since 1976. She said she was “thrilled” to be there.