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You're reading: Ecuador leader stakes claim to moral superiority
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He is also a U.S.- and European-educated
economist who tempers his trademark impulsiveness with high calculation.
His decision to grant WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum Thursday
was anything but an emotional roll of the dice.

Correa, 49, knew
he would likely deeply offend the United States, Britain and Sweden and
likely the European Union. He also knew he would be inviting commercial
and political retaliation that might hurt his small petroleum-exporting
nation of 14 million people.

No such retaliation has yet come,
though Britain says it won’t allow Assange safe passage out of the
country. Sweden, where Assange is wanted for questioning for alleged
sexual misconduct, summoned Ecuador’s ambassador to issue a stern
protest.

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