This is an installment from our on-going series on the adventures of American diplomats and the people they monitor. The red button below will take you to another random episode.
Prince Andrew brunches with British businessmen in Kyrgyzstan.
FROM: BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN TO: STATE DEPARTMENTSEE FULL CABLE
DATE: OCTOBER 29, 2008 CLASSIFICATION: SECRET
While claiming that all of them never participated in it and never gave out bribes, one representative of a middle-sized company stated that "It is sometimes an awful temptation." In an astonishing display of candor in a public hotel where the brunch was taking place, all of the businessmen then chorused that nothing gets done in Kyrgyzstan if President Bakiyev's son Maxim does not get "his cut." Prince Andrew took up the topic with gusto, saying that he keeps hearing Maxim's name "over and over again" whenever he discusses doing business in this country. Emboldened, one businessman said that doing business here is "like doing business in the Yukon" in the nineteenth century, i.e. only those willing to participate in local corrupt practices are able to make any money. His colleagues all heartily agreed, with one pointing out that "nothing ever changes here. Before all you heard was Akayev's son's name. Now it's Bakiyev's son's name." At this point the Duke of York laughed uproariously, saying that: "All of this sounds exactly like France." Browse the Cablegate Chronicle archive.