Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for South America

Newsline: Venezuelan diplomat’s car involved in fatal crash in Colombia

Colombian officials say a luxury car belonging to Venezuela’s embassy was involved in a crash that killed one pedestrian and left eight other people injured. Police say the driver of the BMW with diplomatic plates allegedly was drunk at the time of the accident. The car was speeding on a major avenue in Bogota when it hit a pedestrian and two idle taxis. Col. Manuel Silva, the head of Bogota’s traffic police, told The Associated Press that an embassy official appeared to have loaned the car to a family member. Venezuelan officials told authorities that neither the driver nor three passengers in the car worked for the embassy. The driver was taken into police custody and hospitalized.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11351969

Newsline: Assange fears that his Ecuadorian embassy hideout in London is being bugged

Assange fears he is being bugged at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Lawyers claim the WikiLeaks founder, who has been holed up in the embassy for the past two years to avoid extradition to Sweden, ‘is most likely under auditory surveillance’. Last year a covert listening device was found behind a plug socket in the ambassador’s office, but security experts described it as rudimentary and unlikely to have been the work of police or the security services. Mr Assange’s new eavesdropping claim was included in a court submission last week in which his lawyers argue his confinement is a ‘deprivation of liberty’ under European law. Among other reasons, they cite his cramped living conditions which mean he ‘cannot carry out his professional duties in a normal fashion’. The 43-year-old has lived at the embassy since Ecuador gave him asylum in 2012.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2798525/wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-fears-embassy-hideout-london-bugged.html

Newsline: Househelp tells Kenyan court of naked people at Venezuela embassy before murder

The former househelp in the Venezuelan Embassy Tuesday told the High Court she could not remember whether the embassy was used as a drugs conduit, but had recollection of wild parties. Zipporah Ivulu denied, however, allegations that former First Secretary Dwight Sagaray instructed staff never to respect Olga Fonseca as their new boss. Sagaray and four others are charged with Fonseca’s murder. The envoy was found murdered at the embassy on July 2012. Ivulu, who worked at the embassy for eight years, said she could not remember if there was drugs business. But the former ambassador Geraldo De Silva used to host “wild parties” at which revelers at the residence were naked. The witness told Justice Roselyn Korir that embassy staff “had an issue with that (naked guests)”. “We complained and told them to respect our presence and dress appropriately at such parties,” she said. On Monday, advocate for the embassy Njeri Mucheru told the court Fonseca and Sagaray had a hostile relationship.

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-193926/househelp-tells-court-wild-parties-naked-people-venezuela-embassy-fonseca-murder

Newsline: Argentine President lashes out at US interim ambassador for ‘provocative’ report on crime in Argentina

Argentine President questioned the warning message issued on Tuesday by the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, saying it is “in line” with anti-government media, and seriously doubting interim ambassador in Buenos Aires Kevin Sullivan’s intentions with the note. The security message said US citizens have reported a number of crimes to the embassy and it went on to recommend that US citizens traveling and living in Argentina should “always be aware of their surroundings and maintain a high level of vigilance”. “The note is a provocation. Usually, when the embassy issues this type of warning messages, it focuses on specific events such as political rallies or hostage situations which can be dangerous to US citizens,” the Argentine president explained. “In this case, the threat is not specific. It describes Argentina as if we were living in the far-west,” she added, and went on to doubt US interim ambassador in Buenos Aires Kevin Sullivan’s intentions with the note. “Let me tell you, I’m not mad and they are not going to make me furious, as president of the 40 million Argentines, the first thing I demand is respect, that they respect us as a country”.

http://en.mercopress.com/2014/10/01/cfk-targets-us-interim-ambassador-for-provocative-report-on-crime-in-argentina

Newsline: Palestine to Open Embassy in Bolivia

Palestine will open an embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, according to the president of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas. “We will never forget the decisions made by Morales during the Israeli aggression against the Palestine people. We are honored and pleased with the close relationship we maintain with Bolivia,” said Abbas, after meeting with Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, in New York City. “We want to develop that relationship and I believe we are going to be speaking about a new Palestinian embassy in La Paz very soon,” added Abbas. Morales was one of the several heads of state that denounced the recent Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, in which more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed -mostly civilians- and called it a “genocide.” As part of the measures taken against the Israeli government, Bolivia declared Israel “a terrorist state” and now requests visas from all Israelis who try to enter Bolivia. In 2009, Bolivia broke its diplomatic relations with Israel due to Operation Cast Lead against Gaza Strip, in which more than 1,000 Palestinians were killed.

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Palestine-to-Open-Embassy-in-Bolivia-20140924-0068.html

Newsline: Argentina summons US diplomat over ‘default’ comment

Argentina has summoned the acting US ambassador to Buenos Aires over his inappropriate comments on the Latin American country’s failure to repay its debts to US companies. Kevin Sullivan, the charge d’affaires at the US embassy in Buenos Aires, told Argentine newspaper Clarin that it was important for Argentina to exit default as soon as possible in order to attract foreign investment and return to the path of growth. However, his comments angered the Argentine government and the foreign ministry summoned Sullivan. Sullivan’s comments were “incorrect, unfortunate and inappropriate,” said cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich. “They constitute undue interference in the country’s sovereignty.”

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/09/17/378991/argentina-summons-us-diplomat/

Newsline: Ecuadorean President Confirms Granting Assange Asylum

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange still has a right to political asylum in Ecuador, however, the resolution of the conflict depends purely on Britain, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said during a visit to Guatemala. “The situation with Assange could be resolved as early as tomorrow if the United Kingdom gives him a pass to leave the country,” Notimex news agency reported, quoting Tuesday’s statement by Correa. The Ecuadorean president claimed there are representatives in influential circuits, supporting capital punishment for Assange, which would be a violation of international law. At a press conference Monday, Assange claimed he would leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London “soon,” without giving any further details. The WikiLeaks founder wants to be given guarantees that he will not be extradited to the United States once he leaves the embassy building, his lawyer Jennifer Robinson told ABC News on Tuesday. Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in central London since British courts ruled out in June 2012 his extradition to Sweden, where the whistleblower is facing sexual assault charges.

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140820/192169649/Ecuadorean-President-Confirms-Granting-Assange-Asylum.html