José Sorzano

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José S. Sorzano (b. Cuba November 9, 1940) is a Cuban American who has been Chairman of The Austin Group, Inc. since 1989. The Austin Group is described as an "international corporate consulting firm." [1]

He is currently the director of a number of other private companies and of the Center for International Private Enterprise which describes itself as "a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy." [2]

In May 2002, Sorzano was appointed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to the 'board of visitors' of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). [3] WHINSEC, previously known as the U.S. Army School of the Americas, is notorious for its role in training Latin American military officers, many of which have been implicated in human rights abuses.


Sorzano fled Cuba in 1961 and "started out with $5 in his pocket and a job cooking French fries in a D.C. Hot Shoppe." [4] "In a real American success story, by 1983" Sorzano was a Professor of Government at Georgetown University. From 1983 to 1985 Sorzano was Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, with the rank of Ambassador, and an aide to Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick. [5][6][7]

In 1987, Sorzano served as President of the Cuban-American National Foundation, left to become the Senior Director for Latin America in the National Security Council Ronald Reagan's administration. [8] [9] "From his White House office, Sorzano worked on policy issues such as [supporting] the Contras, Panamanian drug trafficking, and other issues affecting United States-Latin American relations." [10] In 1988, Sorzano "quit" the NSC in protest. [11]

After graduating from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1965 worked as an "escort interpreter" with the U.S. Department of State between 1963 - 1965. He was Director of the Peace Corps in Bogota, Colombia between 1976 and 1979. [12]

He was also appointed in 1992 by George H. Bush as a member of United States Commission on Improving the Effectiveness of the United Nations. [13] He was a member of the Working Group on U.S. Relations with Cuba in approximately 1994. [14] (Pdf)

From 1969 to 1987 he was associate professor of government at Georgetown University. He conducted lectures and seminars at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Sorzano on the United Nations

When George W. Bush nominated John Bolton as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Sorzano was one of his supporters. In an interview with Jim Lehrer, Sorzano said that "he has the credentials and the achievements that indicate that he will be a good ambassador, a superb ambassador ... the criticisms that are made of him, I believe, make him directly a good appointment. They say that he is blunt. Well, there are times in which you have to call a spade a spade."

In an interview with the New York Sun in 2004 Sorzano described the United Nations as "an unbelievable waste of time and waste of resources and waste of money" for the U.S. "From the point of view of the U.S. it's a rather debilitating experience, because the name of the game is 'Stick it to Uncle Sam,'" he said. Sorzano supported the idea of the U.S. creating an alternative to the U.N. that would only be open to democratic states.


1994 - :*The Austin Group, Inc.; Board of Directors (and Chairman since 1989).
a director of Ultra-Scan Corp, "a privately held biometric company"; [15]
a director of Mastec Inc since 1994 [16]
1987 - 1999: Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, serving as President Ronald Reagan's Latin American specialist; During this period he toured US universities to "sell" the Contras -- his speaking engagements were organized by the Puebla Institute.
1983 to 1985: Ambassador and U.S. Deputy to the United Nations
1976 - 1979 he was Director of the Peace Corps in Bogota, Colombia; [17]
1969 - 1987: Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University [18]
He was "escort interpreter" with the U.S. Department of State in 1963 - 1965; [19]
Graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1965 and gained a Ph. D in 1972. [20]


Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. About Us, Center for a Free Cuba, accessed August 22, 2007.

External links

Biographical Notes

Articles, Speeches and Interviews by/with Sorzano

General Articles