A December 2010 New York Times article states that Espy appeared on Ivorian TV for Gbagbo in support of his administration.
“Mr. Espy, who was traveling Wednesday and could not be reached for comment, had been in Ivory Coast this week making appearances on state television in support of Mr. Gbagbo’s administration.”
In a UK Telegraph article, Espy was resolute on Gbagbo’s behalf saying,
“President Gbagbo is very clear that he’s not backing down,” Mr Espy said after meeting the Ivorian leader and his senior advisers in Abidjan. “He is absolutely certain that this election was stolen by the rebel forces in the north. He is not going to abdicate.”
In the same article, Espy was further quoted as saying,
“If any move is made by the UN or other forces to jeopardise the safety or position of the president, his supporters would come out.
“The president and his advisers believe the result of the vote was not accurately reported. They produced a stack of documents and witnesses detailing how in the north, ballot boxes were stolen and his polling monitors were harassed, threatened and in some cases were killed. The [show] evidence of election fraud, repression and violence.”
In addition to misrepresenting to the press the lobbying effort on behalf of Ivorian cocoa and coffee farmers, Espy was also pursued by Gbagbo to represent the Ivory Coast’s interest to the Obama administration and the United Nations, according to the UK Telegraph report.
Y’all Politics reached out to the Espy campaign to determine whether or not Espy’s appearance on Ivorian TV was connected to the Coffee/Cocoa Board lobbying engagement.
The Espy campaign was unwilling to provide comment to our questions.