This week Julian Assange interviews President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, one of the most democratic leaders in South America and a champion for the poor.
Assange and President Correa (full name Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado) discuss the media and how it affects Ecuador.
They also discuss the Ecuadorians' take on the United States and its involvement in Latin America.
Assange asks Correa, "What do the people think of the U.S. and its involvement in Ecuador."
Correa jokes that "the only country to be sure never to have a coup d'Etat is the United States, because it hasn't got a U.S. embassy."
He then states more seriously that "one of the reasons that led to police discontent was the fact that we cut the funding the U.S. Embassy provided to the police .... before there were full key units fully funded by the U.S. Embassy. Officers in command were chosen by the U.S. Ambassador and paid by the U.S." This has now changed and the police apparently did not know that there had been a change.
"Relating to the U.S., ours has always been a relationship based on affection and friendship. But with a framework of mutual respect and sovereignty."
Correa explains that he lived in the U.S. for four years and that he has two academic degrees from there. He loves and admires the American people a great deal.
He says: "Believe me, the last thing that I would be is anti-American. However, I will always call a spade a spade, and if there are international policies that are detrimental to our country, or even to that of Latin America, I will denounce them strongly, and I will never ever allow my country's sovereignty to be affected by them."
Assange then mentions that Correa's government had closed the U.S. base at Manta and asked him why.
Correa replies, "Would you accept having a foreign base set-up in your country, Julian? ... Its not a problem to set up a U.S. base in Ecuador. We can give the go-ahead as long as we are granted permission to set up an Ecuadorian military base in Miami. If its not an issue, they should agree."
Assange then speaks of the WikiLeaks cables and asks Correa why he wants WikiLeaks to release all of them.
Correa says, "First you don't owe anything, have nothing to fear. We have nothing to hide. Your WikiLeaks have made us stronger as the main accusations made by the American Embassy were due to our excessive nationalism and defense of the sovereignty of the Ecuadorian Government."
"On the other hand, WikiLeaks wrote a lot about the goals that the national media pursue, about the power groups who seek help and report to foreign embassies. We have absolutely nothing to fear. Let them publish everything they have about the Ecuadorian Government. But you will see how many things about those who oppose the civil revolution in Ecuador will come to light. Things to do with opportunism, betrayal and being self-serving."
Assange then talks about how the Ecuadorian Government kicked out the U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador as a result of the release of WikiLeaks cables. He asks why as the cables covered correspondence from the Ambassador and wouldn't it be better to keep the devil you know.
Correa responded, "She was told this but filled with arrogance she said she had nothing to say. She was a woman totally against our government , a woman of extreme right-wing views who still lived in the Cold War of the 1960's. The last straw was WikiLeaks, where she wrote that her own Ecuadorian contacts told her that the chief of the national police was corrupt, and that I surely had given him that post knowing that he was corrupt, so that I could control him."
He stated that the U.S. Ambassador was called and asked to give an explanation, but she said that she had nothing to account for and as they respect their country, they threw her out.
Assange and Correa then discuss the situation between Ecuador and China. Correa states that it is wonderful that they are receiving investment from China, Russia and Brazil, despite the criticism from the U.S.
Assange and Correa then discuss the media.
Correa states that when he took office, five out of seven privately-owned television channels in Ecuador were run by bankers. He says that they are merely using the guise of journalism to interfere in politics and to destabilize governments, for fear of losing power.
He told Assange, “As you can imagine, if I wanted to take measures against banking in order to prevent, for instance, the crisis and the abuses which are now taking place in Europe, especially in Spain, I had to face a merciless TV campaign aimed at defending their owners’ interests.”
Correa says that it is time to get away from the false stereotypes which depict governments as wicked, persecuting "saint-like journalists and news outlets."
When Wikileaks cables became available to the press, Ecuador's media chose not to publish them. Correa says that the reason is that the cables affect the media itself - “for instance, disputes amongst information and news groups”.
He stated that to avoid being discredited, “they reached an agreement not to air their dirty linen in public.”
Correa explains that he was taken hostage in 2010 in an attempted coup d'etat. He says that after this, he launched a controversial counter-offensive against Ecuador's media, who he says are responsible. He also held the U.S. responsible for the coup.
The western press dubbed his actions a “crackdown on media freedom” and “elimination of opposition”
Correa explained that while governments are trying to help the majority of the population, they are “persecuted by journalists who think that by having a pen and a microphone, they can direct their resentment” against the government. And often “they insult and slander out of sheer dislike.”
"The World Tomorrow" is broadcast live every Tuesday on RT at 11:30 GMT and published on Digital Journal as soon as the video is available.
Previous episodes are as follows:Episode 1: Julian Assange 'The World Tomorrow' Episode 1 — Hassan NasrallahEpisode 2: Assange — 'The World Tomorrow' — Ep. 2: Zizek & Horowitz (Video)Episode 3: 'The World Tomorrow' — Ep 3: Assange & Tunisian president (video)Episode 4:'The World Tomorrow' Ep 4. Rajab & El-Fattah: Arab Spring (video)Episode 5: Assange 'The World Tomorrow' — Ep. 5: Surviving Guantanamo Bay