There are no fewer than 251,287 cables from more than 250 US embassies around the world, obtained by WikiLeaks. We present a day-by-day guide to the revelations from the US embassy cables both from the Guardian and its international media partners in the story.
Day 11, Thursday 9 December
• Ann Pickard, Shell’s VP for sub-Saharan Africa, claimed in Oct 2009 that the oil giant had infiltrated all the main ministries of the Nigerian government.
• Two British civil servants, Dr Richard Freer and Judith Gough, contradicted Gordon Brown’s statement on reduction of the Trident fleet in conversations with US embassy officials in London.
• A Moscow-based US diplomat, Matthias Mitman, persuaded the Obama administration to lobby the Russian government on behalf of Visa and Mastercard to ensure new Russian legislation did not adversely affect their interests in the country.
• The US ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, warned in a January 2010 cable that corruption among the country’s political elite risked tipping the nation into violent chaos. A February cable expressed concern over the increasing influence of China in the region.
• Eritrea is at risk of a military coup or “implosion”, according to cables sent by the-then US ambassador to the country, Ronald McMullen, in February 2009.
• The US ambassador in Kampala sought assurances from the Ugandan government in December 2010 that it would consult the US before using American intelligence to commit war crimes in the conflict against the LRA.
• The Swiss diplomat charged with brokering a deal with Libya, following the arrest of the son of Colonel Gaddafi in Switzerland, and Libya’s abduction of two Swiss businessmen in response, struggled to cope with the pressure. Stefano Lazzarotto is quoted as saying: “They do not understand the kind of pressure I am under. I have lost seven kilos in the past 10 days.”
• The sale of patrol boats and transport planes to Venezuela divided the Spanish government in 2005 and slowed down the normalisation of relations with the US following the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq.
• In 2009, Russia sold at least 100 anti-aircraft missiles to Venezuela, worrying the USA.
• The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, became so fixated on the plight of Ingrid Betancourt, held by the Farc in Colombia, that he was prepared to get her free at “any price”.
• In August 2005, the US told Colombia that lack of progress in human rights remained an obstacle to good relations with the US, and particularly in fighting an effective war against drugs in the region.
The New York Times
• Websites of multinational companies deemed hostile to WikiLeaks, such as MasterCard and Paypal, have been hacked by cyber activists in a retaliatory move.
• The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, met with President Karzai of Afghanistan in Kabul, to the backdrop of more Wikileaks revelations about the war in Afghanistan.
• Revelations that US officials put pressure on Germany not to arrest Central Intelligence Agency officers involved in the 2003 kidnapping of a German citizen mistakenly identified as a terrorist.