In many instances naval officers were selected as diplomatic emissaries because of their knowledge of foreign governments and customs and their ease in dealing with foreign representatives. It was in this context in the spring of 1819 that Oliver Hazard Perry, a native Rhode Islander and career naval officer, was chosen as an agent to the yet unrecognized government of Venezuela, then involved in a protracted war for independence from Spain.
Cherpak, Evelyn M.
"The Naval Officer As Diplomat: Oliver Hazard Perry's Mission To Angostura, Venezuela, 1819,"
Newport History: Vol. 57
, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.salve.edu/newporthistory/vol57/iss193/1