Brown Lloyd James has scooped up a $30K-a-month contract to support the Washington embassy of Ecuador, which is ruled by leftist president Rafael Correa.

Correa, who is up for re-election next year, is currently deciding whether to grant political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy, to avoid deportation to Sweden to face prosecution of a sex charges case.

The Guardian noted last month that Assange’s bid for openness stands in sharp contrast to Ecuador’s free speech record, which has been panned by Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, Committee to Protect Journalists and Amnesty International.

Jose Miguel Vivanco, director of HRW’s America’s division, believes only Cuba tops Ecuador when it comes having a lousy free speech record in the region.

BLJ’s handles grassroots outreach, media relations, research/analysis, strategic counsel and event management services to the embassy.

The PR firm is still taking media hits for past work for Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad. The New York Post (July 16) ran an item that called BLJ “Assad’s New York Coddlers.”