Ecuador revokes Snowden travel document
Tension between Ecuadorean government and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over whistleblower
Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa halted an effort to help Edward Snowden leave Russia amid concern WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was usurping the role of the Ecuadorean government, according to leaked diplomatic correspondence. Photograph: Reuters/Ewen MacAskill/The Guardian
The plan to spirit surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden to sanctuary in Latin America appears to be unravelling amid tension between Ecuador’s government and Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.
Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa halted an effort to help Mr Snowden leave Russia amid concern Mr Assange was usurping the role of the Ecuadorean government, according to leaked diplomatic correspondence.
Amid signs Quito was cooling with Mr Snowden and irritated with Mr Assange, Mr Correa declared invalid a temporary travel document which could have helped extract Mr Snowden from his reported location in Moscow.
Mr Correa declared that the safe conduct pass issued by Ecuador’s London consul – in collaboration with Mr Assange – was unauthorised, after other Ecuadorean diplomats privately said the WikiLeaks founder could be perceived as “running the show”.
According to the correspondence, which was obtained by Spanish-language broadcaster Univision and shared with the Wall Street Journal, divisions over Mr Assange have roiled Ecuador’s government.
Ecuador’s ambassador to the US, Nathalie Cely, told presidential spokesman Fernando Alvarado that Quito’s role in the drama was being overshadowed by the WikiLeaks founder, who has sheltered in Ecuador’s London embassy for the past year to avoid extradition. – (Guardian service)