"Latin America needs leadership to stand up to the bullies of the North and the subservient regimes in Europe and Australia, as the latter has abandoned their greatest citizen, Julian Assange, just as Colombia abandoned its native son, Alex Saab..."

10 years ago when Wikileaks released its diplomatic cables, what much of the Western media ignored were the revelations showing how the US’ imperial role in Latin America operated behind the scenes where diplomacy looked more like espionage. The US’ lack of respect for the norms of international diplomacy, is even more apparent today with its continued persecution of journalists like Julian Assange and diplomats like Alex Saab.

Among the countries the cables showed the US interacted or spoke about were Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Argentina. It showed quite a contrast on how the US talked about countries publicly vs privately. Even those countries it deemed allies at the time, like Calderon’s reactionary government in Mexico. While the US praised Calderon’s war on the drug cartels, behind his back in cables they were complaining he only went after a few drug lords in Ciudad Juarez. The cables at the time also showed how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted a psychological profile on Cristina Fernandez, then president of Argentina. Clinton grew suspicious of Fernandez as she bettered relations with other progressive governments, such as Bolivia and Venezuela. 

Also Calderon’s response to the revelations, condemning Wikileaks, rather than praising them for showing what the US really thought of him, was telling. If such revelations happened today, you would have even more progressives in power in Latin America, who are not subservient to the US Empire’s interests. With the recent victory in Chile, the total number of progressive governments in Latin America is now 9, with two presidential elections due for next year (Colombia & Brazil). Hugo Chavez at the time (this was 5 years before the DNC leaks, which had the head of the DNC step down) called for Clinton’s resignation over the revelations. Her role in the coup in Libya that year, and her role in the Honduran coup in 2009, could have been reason enough for her to resign.

As former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa stated recently, Latin America has seen what it is like under progressive or Socialist governments, and neoliberal regimes, how the economies change, and the people are now opting to a return of 10 years ago, progressive governments, now even more so than it was then. 10 years ago Peru remained in the hands of the right, so did Mexico. With the rise of AMLO and Pedro Castillo, this has changed as well.

 A rebellion against the US Empire in 2011 in Latin America rising even more, was prevented from the mild temper of leaders that should have been outraged over these leaks, let alone the people of these countries, showing how their rulers are viewed by the Empire or cooperate with the Empire of the North did arouse some tensions, not as much as other parts of the world however. Corruption of Middle Eastern or North African countries as well in 2011, exposed by Wikileaks, helped arouse the Arab Spring, proving information could change the course of history. The fall of the client regimes of Ben Ali (Tunis), a French client, and Hosni Mubarak (Egypt), a US client, proved this. That rebellion eventually spread to Spain with the Indignados Movement, and the US, with Occupy Wall St by late 2011. Why too, has Baltasar Garzon, a Spanish jurist, taken the case of Julian Assange? Garzon said in an interview with this paper: 

“I must admit that from the beginning of my approach to this case I put as a condition that I would do it ‘probono’, because I believed in that he was going. Later, I recognize myself as Julian’s friend and admirer in the sense that I know that everything has been risked so that the citizens of the world know how, at times, the intelligence services and the corresponding government services betray democracy itself and the own mechanics of protection of its citizens, professing that it defends them.” 

Anyone, not just Garzon, who knows the facts of this case and supports justice in the world would want to be a friend of Julian as well. There is currently a case in Spain, that Garzon is a part of (he does not just defend Assange from an international law standpoint) against the Spanish security company Undercover Global, who spied on Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy, including in meetings with his lawyers. There is even an example of them trying to extract DNA from one of Assange’s children. This company was in full cooperation with the CIA, the same CIA we now know plotted to kill or kidnap Assange, will be in charge of where he is held if brought to the US. The vague “diplomatic assurances” of the US Empire to the British, were pathetically used as an excuse by the UK High Court, in order to reverse a prior decision to hold the extradition of Assange to the US, which is now in the process of being appealed to the UK Supreme Court.

Latin Americans should support Assange not just for exposing the US Empire, which has thwarted the progress of Latin America for decades through meddling, economic coercions, coups or invasions. In the final analysis, Latin America should also support Assange for showing how their governments really are, and how the US, with its imperial arrogance, views the people of the democracies south of the Rio Grande, who are in many ways more democratic than the US Empire itself. Latin America needs leadership to stand up to the bullies of the North and the subservient regimes in Europe and Australia, as the latter has abandoned their greatest citizen, Julian Assange, just as Colombia abandoned its native son, Alex Saab, who is a Venezuelan citizen and has Maduro fighting for him, but not Duque the sellout. Latin America needs unity, solidarity, transparency, and a world of true diplomacy, not of espionage, Empire or war. A world where countries can trade equally, and use their resources to develop and leave the “Third World”. We will see the new election results into the New Year and see if this confirms the change of consciousness we have been witnessing in recent years. As the world still suffers from a pandemic, the question remains, will those that survive help to make a new world?