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The Ugly Cuban-American in Honduras

August 15, 2009

Narco News has an article about a press briefing that US Ambassador Hugo Llorens gave to a group of journalists last Friday.  Belen Fernandez’ article,  US Ambassador Hugo Llorens Discloses Secrets of the Honduran Coup; Chinese Viewing Prohibited, provides interesting insight into the US role in the coup primarily because of the kind of answers Llorens gives to those pointed “what did you know?” and “when did you know it?” sort of questions.  Yet, even more revealing is how much and how poorly he lies.


For those of you too young to know, there was a film in 1963 called “The Ugly American” and starred Marlon Brando as US ambassador Harrison Carter MacWhite (can we get any more Anglo?) who is stationed in a fictional country called Sarkhan, somewhere in Indochina.  In the film, the Ambassador is a bit conflicted because his best friend from years past, a Sarkhanese by the name of Cheyung, has become a Marxist and leader of a revolutionary movement.  MacWhite is told he is supposed to spy on Cheyung which he does reluctantly.  In Sarkhan, resentment towards Westerners increases and the US diplomats in particular are considered to be the worst. The most famous scene from the film comes when MacWhite is in a chauffered embassy car and the revolutionaries in the streets begin pounding on his car giving him every indication that they would be happy to beat him to death.

In the real world, as war in Indochina cranked up, the phrase, “ugly American,” was used extensively to characterize members of the US diplomatic corps who lied, double-crossed, overlooked human suffering and did whatever was necessary to secure US access to precious resources.


Ambassador Llorens is the protege of one of the uglier ugly Americans, John Negroponte.  For 35 years Negroponte  has been the grand plotter of coups, destabilizations, and counter revolutions.  Llorens, a Cuban-American, who came to the US via Pedro Pan, is just the right sort of attack dog if you are trying to do an anti-left sweep through Central America and perhaps South America.  Let’s not forget that Llorens was Bush II’s national security advisor on Andean affairs during the 2002 coup  in Venezuela.

Llorens met frequently with the golpistas in the months leading up to the coup and they sure as hell weren’t trading recipes.  Llorens worked on coup preparation with Tom Shannon, Bush II’s Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs and was held over into the Obama administration and presently  awaits confirmation as Obama’s ambassador to Brazil.   I imagine Shannon was kept on in Washington to finish up the Honduran coup thing before he could hit the beach at Ipanema.  It was this duo that cooked up the idea of designing a coup around a contrived “constitutional crisis” making Zelaya’s ouster a little more palatable to the general public and perfect for confusing  US liberals as to whether they should be supporting Zelaya, Micheletti, or someone else. After further thought, maybe President Zelaya should consider himself lucky that Llorens and Shannon were in on the whole thing, otherwise, with the brutality exhibited in the streets of Honduras for the last 47 days, being pushed out of an airborne helicopter is not beyond the realm of possibility.

So, check out the article and wear your b. s. protector as you read.  The diplos and spies in Sarkhan seem like rookies compared to our Cuban-American in Honduras who gets uglier by the day.

  1. August 23, 2009 3:41 PM

    ‘The Ugly American’ is one of two books that any student of international relations who hopes to understand why the United States is so hated in most of the world. The book gave risee to the movie with Marlon Brando and nearly got everyone involved with the movie and the author of the book put on the ‘blacklist’ that still existed at the time in Hollywood.
    The other one is The Quiet American’. Both books take place in Southeast Asia and are a condemnation par exellance of the US State Department, the CIA and the US Department of Defense. I highly recommend both to anyone who has not read them.

    • August 23, 2009 3:58 PM

      Thanks for your comment. I should have added the book in my post about the movie. Thank you for remedying that and making the recommendation to read both books.

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