Special Reports

April 22, 2011 6:04 PM

WikiLeaks cables bare secrets of U.S.-Laotian relations

The 2007 U.S. arrest of the late Hmong leader Vang Pao hurt him, but it did wonders for U.S.-Lao relations, classified State Department cables show. Lao officials were "pleased and surprised" by the arrest of the man who'd long denounced their regime, a U.S. diplomat reported. Suddenly, Lao military officers began talking. Bureaucratic barriers shrank. Cross-cultural exchanges became feasible.

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