The embassy statement also expressed its "surprise and regret" that van Schaick went to the press with his denouncement, rather than approach the embassy or the Fulbright commission first.
"If he had done that, this situation would have been corrected immediately," it said.
Van Schaick told ABC News today that he stands by his decision to blow the whistle, noting that Peace Corps Deputy Director Dorene Salazar took the route that the embassy recommends, to no avail.
"The Peace Corps staff complained internally, and less than four months later, the problem arose again," says van Schaick, referring to the fact that peace corps official Doreen Salazar sent an e-mail complaining about Cooper's actions and was assured that the situation would be rectified. "Why would it be any different this time?" van Schaick said.
On July 29, 2007 Cooper gave a security briefing to 30 Peace Corps volunteers before their swearing-in ceremony, instructing them to report back to the embassy with information on the Cubans they meet, according to Salazar and several volunteers who were present. According to van Schaick, Cooper asked him to provide the embassy with information regarding Venzuelans and Cubans and gave him the reasoning, "We know they're out there, and we just want to keep tabs on them." The U.S. State Department claims that these instructions are a breach of U.S. policy.