The right wing Presidential hopeful in the Ecuadorian Election contest due to take place later in the month, Mr. Guillermo Lasso, has made it clear that Julian Assange will no longer be welcome at his country’s London Embassy in the event of an election victory for his Creo-Suma alliance. In statements published by the right wing press earlier in the day Mr. Lasso said that the controversial Wikileaks founder and campaigner for political transparency would be given just thirty days to leave the premises: a threat that would most probably deliver him straight into the hands of the UK Metropolitan Police.
As the Presidential hopeful moaned to the UK Guardian about how the people of Ecuador were being forced into paying a huge cost that they should not have had to bear, whilst those holding diplomatic posts at the Embassy had found themselves under immense personal pressure due to the actions of the Metropolitan Police and UK Intelligence Services, little mention was made by anyone of the web of lies, criminality and deceit that Assange and his cohorts have actively managed to expose. Little mention has been made by the mainstream media either of the fact that, in addition to heading the ‘Creating Opportunites‘ political movement, Mr Lasso is also the main shareholder of the Banco de Guayaquil; a financial institution about which almost nothing at all has been written in the English speaking media at least.
According to the biography on his own website, Mr.Lasso obtained a part-time job at the Guayaquil Stock Exchange at the age of fifteen before rising to the position of Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the Banco de Guayaquil in 1989; following the merger of Finansur, of which he was the CEO, with the bank. The Banco de Guayaquil is presently the second largest bank in Ecuador. He was also the founder of the Banco del Barrio, one of the largest banking enterprises in Latin America according to the Inter-American Development Bank or IDB. These facts make Mr. Lasso the representative of the Ecuadorian Financial Elite, and not the Ecuadorian People as a whole. It should therefore come as little surprise then that Mr. Lasso is still some seven points behind the ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno in the polls.
Other interests of Mr. Lasso include a close involvement with the Ecuador Libre Foundation, described by his own website once again as ‘a think tank that seeks to formulate public policies based on principles of freedom and social solidarity’, of which he is the president. Elsewhere, the Presidential hopeful is described as ‘a strong detractor of the Citizen’s Revolution and pro-Chávez Bolivarianism of the popular Correa’. The same source also describes his own particular brand of Neoliberalism as being based on ‘lower taxes to stimulate production and create jobs’; whilst simultaneously reducing the state apparatus to “strengthen democracy”.
Allegations of corruption that have been directed at the current ruling party have emanated from a former oil minister currently on the run in the United States, and have barely been reported in the English speaking world; apart from the Baltimore based Real News Network. Another interesting factor in the election picked up by TRNN is a referendum question that was placed on the ballot by the outgoing President Correa. According to The Real News, voters are being asked as to whether or not they think it appropriate for politicians to be allowed to hold offshore bank accounts in foreign countries whilst they are in political office. A very contentious issue given what is actually at stake and who is the main opposition candidate.
Meanwhile, Mr. Assange has himself become a major source of mainstream media attention once again following the granting of clemency to the US Army whistle blower Chelsea Manning. The controversy started when Wikileaks tweeted that Assange would agree to US extradition back on 12th January. Since Manning’s sentence was commuted on January 17th Assange has justified continuing to remain in the Embassy on the grounds that the case against him and against Wikileaks is both ‘unconstitutional’ and ‘unlawful’.
Having begun his career as a junior researcher at Thames Television in London, he has written for a wide range of publications including 'The Brighton Reporter', 'Durham Town and Country', 'The Brighton and Hove People' and 'The New Celtic Review'. As an exhibited film maker he has been a regular contributor and award nominee at the Portobello Film Festival in London; and has seen his work shown at the annual London Film Makers' Convention at the prestigious Round House Theatre.
As well as receiving enthusiastic reviews from BBC Radio 4 and others for his book on Sir Walter Scott, his pioneering work as an Underground Film Maker on the fledgeling Goa Trance Scene has set him in a field of his own amongst many of his contemporaries; both in the UK, where he presently resides, and elsewhere. Current projects presently in hand include a book centred on his 'Legendary London' series of documentary films, which have stimulated an enthusiastic response from the likes of Glenda Jackson and others; and a novel set in France and Edinburgh during the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.
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