Welcome to Gorilla Radio, recorded June 16th, 2022
Last week, CONAIE, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador began a popular protest over rising food and fuel prices and the neoliberal policies of Guillermo Lasso’s government. Across the country Monday transportation hubs, government offices, and oil productions facilities were blockaded. The actions prompted a quick response from Lasso, whose military and police launched an operation to snatch CONAIE president, Leonidas Iza; a move the confederation denounced as “arbitrary and illegal”.
Joe Emersberger is a Canada-based engineer of Ecuadorian descent. He’s a writer and activist, and co-author with Justin Podur of the book, ‘Extraordinary Threat: The US Empire, the Media and 20 Years of Coup Attempts in Venezuela‘. Emersberger’s many articles focusing on Western media coverage of the Americas can be found at FAIR.org, CounterPunch.org, TheCanary.co, Telesur English, and ZComm.org, among other places.
Joe Emersberger in the first half.
And; Britain’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel is charged with making the final decision on the extradition of Julian Assange to America from his current incarceration in London’s Belmarsh Prison, and she’s expected to make that decision imminently. The publisher, journalist, and founder of WikiLeaks has been held in isolation within the maximum security facility since being dragged from asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy three years, two months and five days ago.
Hundreds of doctors have petitioned Patel to deny extradition based on Assange’s frail mental and physical health. A similar argument was made by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Nils Melzer after visiting Assange with two medical experts “specialised in examining potential victims of torture and other ill-treatment” shortly after his arrest in 2019. Melzer’s demand for Assange’s release was ignored then, as have been myriad subsequent appeals to the UK government from all quarters.
Nils Melzer and the torturous destruction of Julian Assange, from an interview we recorded in June of 2019, in the second half.
But first, Joe Emersberger and Guillermo Lasso’s presidency one year on: The perfect Sturm und Drang.