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Julian Assange greets supporters outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, May 19, 2017 (AP photo by Frank Augstein).

Why Ecuador Finally Wants Assange Out of Its London Embassy

Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018

Rumors of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange getting booted from his refuge at Ecuador’s Embassy in London have been floating around for months. But late last week, Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, confirmed the impending ouster, saying he is negotiating with British authorities to get Ecuador’s highly complicated guest out of the embassy and ensure Assange’s safety once he is evicted.

The announcement raises the question: Why now? The answer shines a light on the astonishing political transformation that has occurred in Ecuador in recent years—and how WikiLeaks, which is a key factor in the special counsel investigation in the U.S. into whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia, has served to put Ecuador’s gripping political drama on the global stage. It is an unlikely story that shows the surprising intersection of several seemingly unrelated developments, combining international intrigue, hacking and spycraft with local politics in a small South American country. ...

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