Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for South America

Newsline: Malaysia’s ambassador to Chile robbed in Santiago

Robbers entered the home of Malaysia’s ambassador to Chile, Mohamad Rameez Yahaya, on Sunday, getting away with money, jewellery and other valuables said to be worth about 39 million Chilean pesos (about RM250,000). The robbery which took place in Las Condes, an upmarket suburb in the Chilean capital of Santiago, saw Rameez, his wife and their five children tied up by five robbers, according to news portal SoyChile. Meanwhile, another Chilean news portal, Biobiochile.cl, reported the robbers had been violent and also threatened the ambassador and his family. “They hit me in the head and also tied our hands. One of them also threatened to harm my wife, and cut off her ear. “After the robbers had taken all the jewellery belonging to my wife and children, they then asked for all the cash we had at home. “They even threatened to kill my children if I refused to give them money,” Rameez was quoted as saying by Biobiochile. Rameez told Chilean media that while the family were still traumautised by the incident, they were all just relieved to have escaped unharmed.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/06/13/msian-ambassador-to-chile-family-robbed-in-santiago/

Newsline: New Ecuador leader says ‘hacker’ Assange can stay at embassy

Ecuador’s new President Lenin Moreno criticized Julian Assange as a “hacker” but stressed his country would continue providing asylum to the WikiLeaks founder fleeing international arrest. Moreno, who took office this month, has struck a more critical tone toward Assange than his predecessor, Rafael Correa, who said earlier his country had “done its duty” by granting Assange asylum in 2012. “Mr Assange is a hacker. That’s something we reject and that I in particular personally reject,” said Moreno, who warned Assange during the presidential campaign to “not interfere” in Ecuadoran politics. “But I respect the situation in which he finds himself,” holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, Moreno said. Earlier this month, Swedish prosecutors dropped a seven-year rape allegation against Assange and withdrew the European arrest warrant that had prompted his flight to the embassy and an appeal for asylum. However, British police have said they still intend to arrest Assange if he leaves the London embassy after he violated the terms of his probation in Britain in 2012 when he took refuge in the diplomatic mission. “It seems the British government is not going to grant safe passage, meaning that Mr Assange can continue living in the Ecuadoran embassy, and we will respect that condition,” Moreno said.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/ecuador-leader-says-hacker-assange-stay-embassy-232354000.html

Newsline: UK police say ‘obliged’ to arrest Assange if he leaves Ecuador’s embassy

British police said Friday that they would have to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for breaching his bail if he leaves Ecuador’s embassy after a Swedish rape investigation against him was dropped. The police said a warrant was issued against Assange in 2012 after he failed to hand himself in for extradition to Sweden, adding: “The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy”. The Crown Prosecution Service said that breach of bail is punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine. The police statement said Assange was previously wanted for “an extremely serious offence” in Sweden and the police presence around the embassy had “reflected the serious nature of that crime”. “Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter. Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence,” it said. “The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence,” it added. The police ended their round-the-clock guard outside the embassy in October 2015 but said they were strengthening a “covert plan” to prevent his departure. Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador and has been able to evade justice because he is on Ecuador’s sovereign territory by being in the embassy. The policing outside the embassy has cost millions of pounds, the source of much criticism in Britain.

http://www.news24.com/World/News/uk-police-say-obliged-to-arrest-assange-if-he-leaves-embassy-20170519

Newsline: Protesters Besiege Venezuela’s Embassy in Spain

Right-wing protesters surrounded Venezuela’s embassy in Madrid, Spain during a community event, preventing people from leaving the building. Mario Isea, Venezuela’s ambassador to Spain, told teleSUR that after hours of being held up in the building, local police evicted the violent protesters. The roughly 100 people attending the event, a commemoration of victims of right-wing violence in Venezuela, were then able to leave the building. “From the early hours of the day, a violent picket was installed in front of the embassy and we warned the Spanish Government to be responsible for the security of the embassy and the diplomats,” said Isea, who added that he requested for the Spanish government to evict protesters from the area hours in advance. He added that several Spanish policemen were present when protesters began encircling the building, but that they did little to address the situation. In response to the far-right protest, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez demanded that the Spanish government “guarantee the integrity of our diplomats.” Since early April, the Venezuelan opposition has led almost daily protests against the administration of President Nicolas Maduro. Protests have resulted in the deaths of over three dozen people.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Right-Wing-Protesters-Besiege-Venezuelas-Embassy-in-Spain-20170511-0022.html

Newsline: WikiLeaks Julian Assange ‘Sentenced’ To Life In Ecuadorian embassy

The United Nations has ruled that Assange is being “illegally detained” by British and Swedish authorities. But the Trump administration took action against Assange this week, that go far beyond anything done by the Obama administration. As reported by Australian news outlet SBS, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made the arrest of Assange “a top priority.” In response to a question about Assange, Sessions said that every effort will be made to ensure that Assange ends up in jail. Jeff Sessions comments come in the wake of WikiLeaks publication of material from a leak of CIA intelligence files. Given the damage that the WikiLeaks revelations can do to the reputation of the U.S. establishment and to the CIA, it is no surprise to see that CIA director Mike Pompeo has lashed out at WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. According to CBS News, Pompeo has called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.” Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo, have made it clear that Assange is one of their top priorities. They have also made it clear that it will not be safe for Assange to leave London’s Ecuadorian Embassy. Given that the UN have already declared that Assange is illegally detained, it could be argued that Sessions and the CIA have imposed a sentence of life imprisonment within the Ecuadorian Embassy.

http://www.inquisitr.com/opinion/4162316/wikileaks-julian-assange-sentenced-life-imprisonment-ecuadorian-embassy-cia-jeff-sessions/

Newsline: Venezuelans Around The World Rally Against Government At Embassies

As tens of thousands took to the streets in Venezuela Wednesday to express their anger at the government of President Nicolás Maduro, expatriates of the South American country gathered at embassies around the world in solidarity. In Washington D.C., around a hundred Venezuelan-Americans and sympathizers gathered across the street from the Venezuelan embassy, hoisting signs calling President Maduro a dictator and comparing his rule to that of the Castros in Cuba. “The Venezuelans of Washington D.C. have gathered here to make the same demand that our Venezuelan brothers are making in the streets of Venezuela,” said Carlos Delgado Salas, a representative of the international wing of Voluntad Popular (Popular Will), a Venezuelan opposition party. “Our demand is very simple: democracy and human rights.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/venzuela-embassy-protests_us_58f7df20e4b091e58f38291e

Newsline: Venezuela Arrests Government Workers for Selling Passports to Syrian Nationals

Police in Venezuela arrested six government office workers last week in a story largely lost amid the ongoing violent police crackdown on anti-socialist dissidents. The employees stand accused of selling authentic Venezuelan government documents, like passports and birth certificates, to Syrian nationals at $5,000 each. The arrests are a tacit admission of reports dating back to 2015 that accuse Caracas of selling identification documents to Mideast nationals from its embassies in the region, including individuals believed to have ties to the Hezbollah Shiite terrorist group. CNN reports that the individuals arrested “all worked as data transcribers at the Venezuelan office that handles identification documents and passports,” the Administrative Service for Identification, Migration, and the Exterior (Saime). They stand accused of selling passports and other documents to people of “Syrian origin,” whom Venezuelan prosecutors did not identify. Those arrested face charges of “corruption, improper access or sabotage of protected systems, unauthorized issuance of identification documents and conspiracy to commit a crime.” The Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional identifies those arrested as Jethaimet Wiher Blanco, 31; Isamar Gutiérrez Campos, 26; Chery Del Carmen Perdomo, 36; Lilian Irene Castillo, 41; Mariannys Peña Rivera, 27; and Yamilet Galvis Chacón, 45.

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/04/10/venezuela-arrests-government-workers-for-selling-passports-syrian-nationals/