Former leader of Ecuador Rafael Correa believes his country’s national broadcaster suddenly cut its distribution of RT Spanish simply because the channel gave him a platform to air views critical of Lenin Moreno’s government.
Correa’s comments come days after Ecuador’s National Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) decided to cease its broadcast of RT Spanish without prior notice or explanation.
Curiously enough, last month, Ecuador’s Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo publicly complained about the channel’s coverage of massive anti-Moreno protests, sparked by planned austerity measures, which rocked the Ecuadorian capital of Quito for weeks.
In the midst of chaos, Moreno accused Correa of attempting to “destabilize” the state. Moreno’s critics argue, however, that his quick embracing of neo-liberal IMF-approved economic policies, not outside or foreign meddling, are to blame for recent turmoil.
Since the right-wing Moreno government took the reins, Ecuador has gone from being a global leader in poverty reduction to “another third world IMF basket case,” historian Enrique Rivera wrote for RT last month.
A 2017 paper from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) found that Ecuador’s poverty rate declined by 38% and extreme poverty by 47% thanks to a doubling of social spending and government programs aimed at helping the poor under Correa’s leadership.
Correa said the decision to cut RT Spanish reflects that fact that the Moreno government “keeps talking about freedom of speech,” but in reality “applies double standards”.
Correa has also claimed recently that Moreno enjoys a cozy relationship with much of the country’s bribed media, which has been “distorting facts” and covered the anti-government protests selectively.
The RT Spanish team covering the demonstrations were assaulted by hostile police attempting to disperse protesters last month, with camera crew and reporters being pushed and beaten with batons. “But our helmets saved our lives”.
The current leader of the Latin American country has also overseen a drastic shift in policy on the fate of Australian whistle-blower Julian Assange, who was granted political refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly seven years.
All of a sudden, Assange was arrested inside the embassy in April after Moreno decided to revoke his asylum in a decision Correa called “a crime that humanity will never forget.”
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2019.