Monday, February 11, 2008

Note to State Department: Don't Ask Peace Corps Members to Spy

ABC News is reporting that a Fulbright scholar along with other Peace Corps volunteers working in Bolivia were asked by the State Department to spy on Cuban and Venezuelan nationals working in the country. The Fulbright scholar, John Alexander van Schnaick, told ABC News that he was approached by an official from the U.S. embassy in Bolivia and "was told to provide the names, addresses and activities of any Venezuelan or Cuban doctors or field workers [he came] across during [his] time [in Bolivia]." The full ABC report can be found here.
This serious and dangerous lapse in State Department protocol shows just how far the U.S. administration has decided to go to regain control in South America and thwart the popular democratic movements taking root in historically undemocratic countries like Bolivia and Venezuela.
This episode should convince the State Department that, unfortunately for them, Peace Corps volunteers have more regard for their role as peace ambassadors, and are more ethically upstanding than to spy.

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