Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who's Who in Hugo Lloren's Cable

Looking at the list of people receiving Hugo Lloren's cable available from Wikileaks, presented in our previous post, there's something odd in the list of recipients.

Here's the list of addressees:
FM AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0237
INFO RUEHZA/WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS IMMEDIATE 0735
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUMIAAA/USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL IMMEDIATE
and further, in the body it notes distribution to:
WHA FOR A/S TOM SHANNON
L FOR HAROLD KOH AND JOAN DONOGHUE
NSC FOR DAN RESTREPO
Tom Shannon was, at that time, nominated as ambassador to Brazil but was still Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs. His nomination to become ambassador was held up by Senator Jim DeMint (R, NC).

Harold Koh was appointed by President Obama to be the Legal Advisor to the Secretary of State. Under President Clinton he had been Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Democracy, and Labor.

Joan Donoghue, at the time of the cable, was Principle Deputy Legal Advisor at the State Department, having for the six months ending in June 2009 been the acting Legal Advisor. She has served in a number of roles in the State Department since her most recent tenure there began in 2007, including giving advice to the State Department on the development, interpretation and application of international human rights law. She has since been nominated and appointed a judge in the International Court of Justice.

Dan Restrepo, at the National Security Council, was President Obama's senior adviser on Latin American Affairs during the campaign. He was appointed as Senior Director of the Western Hemisphere Affairs council of the National Security Council, the post which he occupied at the time of this cable.

Other addressees include the Western Hemisphere Affairs Central American Committee in the State Department, the White House, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the National Security Council (NSC) and SOUTHCOMM, the Southern Command of the US Military.

The last addressee, however, puzzles me. That addressee is the US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, at the time just reoccupied by Patrick Duddy. Duddy had been appointed ambassador under President Bush, but was thrown out of Venezuela by Hugo Chavez in September 2008, for alleged complicity in the coup plot against Chavez. He was subsequently re-appointed under the Obama administration and after Obama met with Hugo Chavez in April 2009, was allowed to resume his post in Caracas in July 2009.

Why is the cable addressed to the US Embassy in Venezuela? Wikileaks does not currently have any related traffic from either Honduras or Venezuela, but promises more cables from each country will be posted in coming weeks. Maybe some of that traffic will help clarify the inclusion of this one other embassy in communication about the Honduran coup.

4 comments:

David said...

Good question, but I assume it's as simple as the fact that the US was watching out for all ALBA/Bolivarian activity, and wanted to make sure that the US Embassy in Venezuela had their interpretation of the events. Not unreasonable an assumption, no?

phoenixwoman said...

I encourage you--and everyone who reads this-- to contact the papers who have this material and tell them of your interest. Evidently many don't think that the Honduras cables amount to a story, whereas it might be the most important story of all.

--Charles

RAJ said...

@David: it doesn't seem simple to us. If the intent was to notify ambassadors in Alba countries (why? are you suggesting the coup was "Bolvarian activity"?), then why was only the Venezuelan ambassador copied?

It seems implicit in your response that you think the purpose was to anticipate a negative response from Hugo Chavez, and that might be a worthwhile suggestion. But it needs to be disarticulated from a broader group.

phoenixwoman said...

Following up on the vanishing Honduras story. Check out The Guardian's comprehensive geographic, embassy, person index here.

Notice anything not there?

--Charles