Roger Noriega

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For other people named Noriega, see Noriega (disambiguation).
Roger Noriega
Roger Noriega.jpg
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs
In office
July 31, 2003 – October 6, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Otto Reich
Succeeded by Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.

Roger Francisco Noriega (born 1959, Wichita, Kansas) is a Mexican-American, visiting fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute. He has served as a U.S. diplomat and policy maker, specializing in Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Background[edit]

Originally from Wichita, Kansas, he attended Washburn University in Topeka where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981.

Career[edit]

Noriega served as the Senior Policy Advisor and Alternate U.S. Representative at the U.S. Mission to the OAS from 1990 through 1993, and as Senior Advisor for Public Information at the OAS from 1993 to 1994.

From 1994 to 1997, Noriega returned to Capitol Hill as a senior staff member New York Congressman Benjamin Gilman for the House Committee on International Relations. Subsequently, he became a senior staff member of Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) for the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1996, Noriega co-authored the Helms-Burton law which tightened the 40-year-old embargo on Cuba.

Other tours of duty in the Department of State have been with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bureaus for Inter-American Affairs and Public Affairs, where he was a Program Officer from 1987 through 1990 and a Senior Writer/Editor from 1986 until 1987. Prior to that, he served as Press Secretary and Legislative Assistant for Congressman Bob Whittaker (R-Kan.), U.S. House of Representatives, from 1983 until 1986. President Bush also appointed Noriega to the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation.

Noriega served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS)[1] from 2001 to 2003.

Foreign affairs[edit]

In 2000, Noriega played a key role in engineering the fall of Haiti's elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Noriega was a vocal critic of the Aristide government and circulated demands for the removal of Aristide at the OAS. After the US helped to overthrow him, Noriega quickly applauded the ascension of Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, who came to office despite the fact that he was living in Florida at the time and was therefore ineligible for the presidency under Haitian constitutional law. Amid rampant violence and chaos, Noriega celebrated the overthrow of Haiti's government, stating to Congress: "Now we can make a new beginning in helping Haiti to build a democracy that respects the rule of law and protects the human rights of its citizens." 7 After Noriega's involvement, Haiti became the standard example of anarchy in the 21st century.

At the time of Posada Carriles' arrest in the U.S. in 2005, Noriega stated that the charges against Mr. Posada, whose extradition has long been sought by Venezuela, "may be a completely manufactured issue," and that Posada "might not have been in the United States."[2]

Noriega was a major force behind the Bush Administration’s policy of aggression towards Cuba and Venezuela.[3]

In 1996, Noriega co-authored the Helms-Burton law which tightened the 40-year-old embargo on Cuba.[4]

In April 2002, Noriega publicly clashed with United States Secretary of State Colin Powell when he applauded the short-lived coup d’état in Venezuela, forcing Powell to distance himself from Noriega’s comments after Hugo Chávez was returned to power.8

Noriega resigned from the State Department in 2005 to join the private sector.[5] In 2009, he was hired as a U.S. lobbyist by the interim government in Honduras during the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis when then President Manuel Zelaya was ousted for attempting to side step the Honduran constitution.[6]

Since leaving office, Noriega has written on Western Hemisphere issues, including a claim that Iran has helped Venezuela start their own secret nuclear program.[7]

As Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs under President George W. Bush,[8] Ambassador Noriega was responsible for managing U.S. foreign policy and promoting U.S. interests in the region.

References[edit]

  1. ^ David Gonzales (5 September 2002). "Western Hemisphere's States Support Unblocking of Aid to Haiti". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Duncan Campbell (18 May 2005). "Mojitos in Miami". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ Joshua Kurlantzick (November–December 2004). "The Coup Connection". Mother Jones. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Ginger Thompson and Ron Nixon (7 October 2009). "Leader Ousted, Honduras Hires U.S. Lobbyists". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Pablo Bachelet (30 July 2005). "Outspoken Latin America envoy resigning". Miami Herald. 
  6. ^ Ginger Thompson and Ron Nixon (7 October 2009). "Leader Ousted, Honduras Hires U.S. Lobbyists". New York Times. 
  7. ^ Noriega, Roger F. Chávez's Secret Nuclear Program Foreign Policy Magazine, 5 October 2010
  8. ^ Tom Barry (5 January 2007). "Hawk for Hire". Counterpunch. Retrieved 24 June 2010. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Otto Reich
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs
July 31, 2003 – October 6, 2005
Succeeded by
Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.