Cuellar’s Bribery charges expose Azerbaijan’s influence game

Source: Responsible Statecraft
by Eldar Mamedov

“On May 2, U.S. law enforcement indicted Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) on charges of taking at least $360,000 in bribes from companies controlled by the government of Azerbaijan. In exchange for money, Cuellar would attempt to shape the U.S. foreign policy towards Azerbaijan by spreading narratives favorable to that nation’s interests through speeches and legislative measures. While the challenge of undue foreign interference in U.S. politics is not new, the case of Azerbaijan highlights a particular vulnerability in U.S. foreign policy: Washington’s fixation on inflexible alliances and enmities provides a fertile ground for foreign actors to exploit it to promote their own parochial agendas that have little to do with U.S. interests.” (05/09/24)