Former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted from office in June 2009 following a coup orchestrated by the Honduran Supreme Court and military. Zelaya’s removal earned the ire of leaders ranging from Barack Obama to Fidel Castro. However, a new WikiLeaked cable written in May 2008 suggests that some U.S. diplomats might not have been too distraught to see Zelaya go.
The document, signed by the U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Charles Ford, slams Zelaya as "almost a caricature of the land-owner ‘caudillo’" whose goal as president was to "enrich himself and his family while leaving a public legacy as a martyr who tried to do good but was thwarted at every turn by powerful, unnamed interests."
In addition to the personality profile of Zelaya as a "rebellious teenager," the cable notes that Zelaya has close ties to international organized crime figures, which explains his unwillingness to crack down on drug trafficking in Honduras. "I am unable to brief Zelaya on sensitive law enforcement and counter-narcotics actions due my concern that this would put the lives of U.S. officials in jeopardy," the cable explains.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |