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Watch your mouth in Ecuador Mr Assange

By Ben-Peter Terpstra - posted Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Dear Julian Assange:

So, for now, left-wing Ecuador has opened her loving “free speech” arms? You’ve been granted asylum. Now you can learn all about liberty, in what looks like a police state.

As even the sharia-friendly BBC acknowledges, your dear South American nation is no free speech paradise. There’s a culture of self-censorship around hot-button issues in easy-going Ecuador, so please don’t question her armed forces.


I’m serious. Learn from recent history. Study up:

Also, defamation is a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison. In 2011, three executives and a former columnist from opposition daily El Universo were sentenced to jail terms and a massive fine for libelling President Correa.

Under a law which requires the media to give the government free space or air time, governments can and have required TV and radio to broadcast programmes produced by the state.

If you sincerely believe that the United States and the United Kingdom are anti-free speech shipwrecks, prepare for a rude shock. Last month, Reporters Without Borders, informed me that Ecuador’s weekly Vanguardia wasn’t on sale because the labour ministry seized its computers and publishing equipment. And, I know how you treasure your internet freedom.

As a fellow Australian, with fathering tendencies, I urge you to watch your mouth unless you’d like to become a real martyr. For your information, July wasn’t Ecuador’s best month for free speech. The Guayaquil-based Radio Morena FM 98.1 conveniently disappeared. Moreover, its broadcasting equipment owned by an opposition figure was confiscated. Such is (left-wing South American) life.

Concerned? It, after all, was the seventeenth broadcast media to be shut down this year in Ecuador, so perhaps you should be. Or expressed another way, you picked an interesting easy-going nation to cuddle. Think of a man running from Red China to Red Korea in search of freedom. Now does the word clever come to mind Julian?

In addition, please pack a well-made bulletproof vest, because, as a general observation, gun-control Ecuador isn’t the safest place to make a living (especially if you catch one of those free speech bugs). Perhaps it’s a cultural thing. In July, for example, one freelance photographer was gunned down for exposing real criminals.


Some of these left-wing South Americans are nucking futs, as they say in Puritan America. I know because my late grandma was born in Buenos Aires. But don’t take my word for it. Just look around, with open eyes. Within days, you’ll be learning how to appease your new masters. The price? Your soul.

Have I frightened you and your loyal Starbucks-sipping fan base? I hope so. It was my express intention to provide a censorship-free perspective. Still, you have less to worry about if you abandon your principles to become Ecuador’s propaganda lapdog.

South America has moved away from press freedom. Therefore, you could support censorship in private and play censored in public (media-approved victim and government-blessed propagandist).

On the other side, when your chichi celebrity supporters realise there’s no “gay marriage” where you’re going to, they’re going to have to pretend to be outraged. In evil Ecuador same-sex marriages are (shock, horror) banned. They may reach the conclusion that you’re, after all, moving to a real police state. The choice is yours. But I did warn you.

Remember, opinions change. As your former cheerleader, David Penberthy, now says: “A couple of years ago, against my better judgment, I broke the habit of a lifetime and signed a wanky public communique in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.”

See! Your fellow Australian, B.P. Terpstra

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About the Author

Ben-Peter Terpstra has provided commentary for The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.), NewsReal Blog (Los Angeles), Quadrant (Sydney), and Menzies House (Adelaide).

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