Van Schaick's account matches that of Peace Corps members and staff who claim that last July their entire group of new volunteers was instructed by the same U.S. Embassy official in Bolivia to report on Cuban and Venezuelan nationals. [...]
"I am supposed to be a cultural ambassador increasing mutual understanding between us and the Bolivian people," van Schaick explains. "This flies in face of everything Fulbright stands for."
The Fulbright program receives its funding from the U.S. State Department and the Peace Corps is a federal agency, but the State Department insists that neither group has the obligation to act in an intelligence capacity. In fact, both have strict regulations against members getting involved in politics in their host country.
Robert Naiman points out that Cooper tried recruiting the Peace Corps class back in July and the incident with van Schaick occurred in November.