A guide to Ecuador, home of the “Julian Revolution”
You won’t believe this. Seriously, you simply will not believe this. Or as they say on the mean streets of Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador, “no creerlo”.
Back in 1925, as Ecuador basked in a Liberal regime allowing unprecedented press and religious freedom, a military revolution known as the “Julian Revolution” swept all that autonomy away. I shit you not. It was actually called the Julian Revolution.
This, you’d have to say, doesn’t bode well for Julian Assange, who still hopes to seek asylum in Ecuador. Indeed, press freedoms aren’t much better there today. The small South American republic sits in 104th spot in the press freedom index, and there have been recent government-enforced shutdowns in the broadcast media.
That’s hardly the sort of climate in which the world’s most self-publicising press freedom crusader would feel confident setting up shop.
There are other potential pitfalls for Mr Assange. As the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has warned its nationals, sexual assault is “a persistent problem” in Ecuador.
But let’s not paint too grim a picture of one of the most delightful nations of the eastern equatorial region of South America.
Ecuador is rightly famed for its wonderfully diverse landscape, the well-preserved 17th century colonial architecture in the capital Quito, and the tennis player Andres Gomez, who finished runner-up to Andre Agassi in the 1990 French Open final.
Ecuador also administers the Galapagos Islands, the charming archipelago where Charles Darwin formed his renowned theory on how reptiles evolved into humans who run websites.
Here’s another interesting Ecuador fact. The Volcano Mount Chimborazo is the furthest point from the centre of the earth. That’s because the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge. So Chimborazo is actually further than Mt Everest from the Wikileaks bunker deep in a cavern in the core of planet earth.
That’s going to make quite the commute for Assange. On the positive side, Panama hats are made in Ecuador, not Panama. Just as Cuban cigars are made in the Dominican republic and Valencia oranges come from Shepparton. And Assange would look good in a Panama. Everyone looks good in a Panama.
More good news. Like America, Ecuador also has incredibly lax banking laws, where bankers can do pretty much anything they like without fear of repercussion. In Ecuador, the struggling Wikileaks bottom line may yet get back in the black.
So on balance, a little good, a little bad, but probably more good than bad. Ecuador will do Assange nicely. Let the glorious Julian Revolution sweep Ecuador once more!
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