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Chavez warns U.K. over Assange case

posted 20 Aug 2012, 13:50 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 20 Aug 2012, 13:51 ]

President Hugo Chavez warns the United Kingdom it could face "severe consequences" if it tries to raid the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez warned the United Kingdom on Monday (August 20) to be ready to face "severe consequences" if its authorities enter the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
"It would bring severe consequences if the United Kingdom dares to violate the Ecuadorean sovereignty there in London at the Ecuadorean Embassy. What would be the kind of response from us? Of course we are not going to announce them, but we are preparing ourselves for it. Don't even think that they (referring to U.K.) are going to do with us what they have done in past history. They will face firm and severe consequences," said Chavez while touring a housing development in the northern state of Bolivar.

The WikiLeaks founder took refuge nine weeks ago at Ecuador's embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged rape. Having feared jail, he now finds himself living like a prisoner.

Chavez emphasised that Ecuador was not alone in the region. "I would suggest to the United Kingdom and Great Britain to think about it closely because the old empires are finished as well as the new ones that did with us what they wanted to, now Ecuador is not alone," added Chavez.

On Sunday, the world had its first glimpse of Assange since June 19, when he slipped into the embassy. Last week, Ecuador, led by leftist president Rafael Correa, granted Assange asylum - but Britain still plans to arrest him if he tries to leave.