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The Joys and Perils of Serving Abroad: Memoirs of a U.S Foreign Service Family

408 pages5 hours


Diego Asencio met Nancy Rodriguez in 1951, and the young couple married in 1953. Diego entered the U.S Foreign Service in 1957, and thus began his, Nancy's and their children's life as a U.S. Foreign Service family.

Diego's first overseas assignment was to Mexico, where he assisted jailed or troubled Americans and shipped dead Americans home, tasks that were "an effective introduction to the Foreign Service," he opines. After his initial service as vice consul in Mexico City, Diego was assigned increasingly responsible diplomatic positions in Panama, Portugal, Brazil, and Venezuela. He also served as Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs and retired as ambassador to Brazil in 1986.

Diego was named ambassador to Colombia in 1977. It was during this assignment that Diego and several other ambassadors and diplomats were kidnapped at a party at the Dominican Republic embassy by the M-19, a paramilitary terrorist group. Diplomats & Terrorists Or: How I Survived a 61-day Cocktail Party, written by Diego and Nancy, is an account of how Diego and the Mexican and Brazilian ambassadors talked themselves out of their predicament.

This book, The Joys and Perils of Serving Abroad, is the full account of the Asencio family's experiences over the course of Diego's career as a Foreign Service officer.

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