Although WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange celebrated Lenin Moreno’s recent victory in the Ecuadorian presidential election, it remains uncertain what it means for his long-term room-and-board.
Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 under a grant of asylum by President Rafael Correa.
“I hope the new government will renew attempts to implement this (UN) decision,” Assange said in an interview with CNN television’s Carmen Aristegui. The reference was to a 2015 UN ruling that his its detention was illegal and that he should be released.
Based on the ruling, Assange says that Britain and Sweden, which wants to interview him regarding a six-year-old sexual assault charge, should pay him compensation.
Despite his renewed hopes, President-elect Lenin Moreno has shown irritation with Assange and says he will work to get him off embassy property so long as his freedom is guaranteed. On one occasion during Ecuador’s recent presidential campaign, Moreno told Assange to “shut up” when Assange criticized opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso. “It is not your place to get involved in Ecuador’s politics,” Moreno said. “You are guest in our embassy, not an official.”
According to the account of one political insider, Moreno dislikes Assange personally based on how he treats the staff in the small London embassy.
In the CNN interview, Assange thanked Ecuador for its support despite the pressures and threats from a number of governments, including the U.S.