Facebook has unpublished the page of Ecuador’s former president, Rafael Correa, the social media giant confirmed on Thursday, claiming that the popular leftist leader allegedly violated the company’s security policies.
In a statement published by Ecuadorean newspaper El Comercio, a company spokesperson said:
The move comes on the same day that Ecuador’s government allowed British security personnel to enter their embassy in London to arrest journalist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He has been sought by U.S. officials for years due to his role in releasing scandalous information implicating Washington in a range of crimes, including war crimes.
Assange, 47, had been living at the Embassy of Ecuador in London since 2012, when then-President Correa granted political asylum to the Australian amid the British government’s attempts to detain him. At the time, Correa called Eduador’s actions an act of sovereign “duty.”
Ecuador’s current leader, Lenin Moreno, was openly opposed to Assange, whom he referred to on various occasions as a “miserable hacker,” an “irritant,” and a “stone in the shoe” of his government. Moreno’s distancing from the asylee came following a 2017 meeting with Trump campaign confidant and political “fixer” Paul Manafort, where the two discussed Ecuador’s handover of Assange to U.K. and U.S. authorities.
In March, WikiLeaks published a tranche of documents dubbed the INA Papers linking President Lenin Moreno to the INA Investment Corporation, an offshore shell company used by Moreno to procure furniture, property, and various luxury items.
The account number for the offshore account allegedly used by the president to launder money was shared across Ecuadorean social networks by netizens of all political stripes, including by Correa – who had about 1.5 million followers and whose Facebook page enjoyed more interactions and attention than that of President Moreno himself.