Terrorist and Subversive Activities of the Cuban
Government in Latin America
THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 1982
SUBCOMMITTEE ON SECURITY AND TERRORISM,
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:13 a.m., in room 2228 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator Jeremiah Denton (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Also present: Senator East.
Staff present: Joel S. Lisker, chief counsel and staff director; Bert W. Milling, Jr., counsel; and Fran Wermuth, chief clerk.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JEREMIAH DENTON
Senator Denton. This hearing will come to order. The Senate will be considering Senator Williams' case at 11 or 11:30. However, Senator Baker has indicated that he will not call for any roll call votes prior to 12, so we have at least until that time for this hearing.
Senator East has indicated his intention to be here. The other members of the subcommittee will be on the floor because of the Senator Williams discussions.
I want to welcome to the subcommittee a man whom I respect and admire, Dr. Fred Ikle, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. Appearing with him are Mr. Robert Turner, Dr. Ikle's special assistantCol. Heyward Hutson, the Regional Planner for Latin America; and Mr. Talbot Lindstrom , also special assistant to Dr. Ikle
Today and tomorrow we will continue the hearings of the Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism on the role of Cuba in international terrorism and subversion. Today we will hear testimony on the extent to which the Cuban Government, as a proxy of the Soviet Union, is directly involved in exacerbating and exploiting the social and political conditions that exist in Central America-- principally this is accomplished through terrorism. The purpose of the Cuban effort is to contribute to destabilization of the area with, as earner testimony has clearly established, the ultimate objective of bringing about the destruction of the United States. This object~ve is mandated to them by the U.S.S.R through the KGB which controls the Cuban intelligence service, the DGI, as was made clear in the testimony of Gerardo Peraza. I expect that the testimony today will help place in perspective the specific information we have received during earlier hearings.
A landmark in the context of today's subject is the address to the OAS on February 24 of President Reagan who reminded us of the importance to our own country of the security of other Western nations, particularly those in Central America.
In that speech, the President said "In the face of outside threats, security for the countries of the Caribbean and Central American area is not an end in itself, but a means to an end." Because that sentence contained the first step toward a basic understanding of the issues in the region, I repeat his statement today. The President's observation corresponds to my own view, a view reached as a result of some study and immersion in international affairs since I was in my late teens, some experience that I have had, including living in a Communist country as their "guest" for nearly 8 years, and extensive briefings that I recently received during a visit to Central America on the critical situation in that vital part of our hemisphere.
It is only when a nation is secure--free of both Communist tyranny and terrorism--that the application of the principles of democracy can develop and grow. When terrorism is rampant, the Government must try to take whatever action is necessary to end that terror. Communist states are ruled by terror, as Solzhenitsyn Sakharov, and others are imploring us to understand. They are ruled by terror so that the presence of externally applied or sponsored terrorism is nearly impossible; it's virtually a contradiction in terms to talk about external terrorism in a Communist-run government.
But for a non-Communist government, more or less democratic, the term "whatever action necessary," to end the terror generally leads to repression; repression often leads to revolution. And, I must emphasize, revolution is the ultimate goal of the Soviet Union, its allies, and its agents.
The Soviet Union is well on the way to its goal. Moscow employs a routine technique, which is not only evident, but boringly evident to any reasonably objective student of foreign affairs. Part of that technique is based on the simple observation that if there is repression, the road to revolution is relatively more easy. And the way to get the repression is to cause, encourage, and support terrorism. It is a tragedy that this fact is not being made part of the knowledge of the American public.
If terrorist-caused revolution results in a left-wing or Communist government, the nation is easily and shortly absorbed into the Soviet orbit. That nation is lost to the free world and to any prospect of freedom for its people.
If the revolution--again, terrorism-caused--results in a right-wing government, that government is held up for world denunciation, for castigation by its friends as well as by its enemies, and it becomes the target for the application of further terror, which is characterized as a struggle against an anti-democratic force. We can think of Diem, we can think of the Shah of Iran, we can think of many rulers in South America. This often succeeds in bringing about that government's overthrow and replacement by a left win regime, sometimes with the unwitting or shortsighted assistance of those whose best interests clearlymandate that they staunchly oppose exactly that result.
The Soviet campaign to undermine and overthrow all governments that are not under its control has made great progress in this hemisphere. Cuba is a wholly controlled surrogate of Moscow; Nicaragua has slipped away. E1 Salvador and Guatemala teeter on the brink. Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay have been on the brink.
It is clear that Soviet-supported--and in the case of Latin America--Soviet-directed terrorism seeks to cause repression in order to produce a dictatorship, ideally of the left. However, a right-wing regime soon becomes the target for a counter effort calculated to produce a revolution of the left.
All dictatorships--left or right, militarist, Socialist, or Communist--fear democratic ideals and sincerely held religious commitment
Our media, however, seem oblivious--and this is a general statement, not all in the media are under these illusions--to the fact that it is much easier to replace or to influence a right-wing dictatorship which has only limited local resources than it is to replace or even influence a left-wing dictatorship supported by the iron link of a Moscow-Eastern Europe-Havana supply of weapons, training, money, and propaganda. This is made painfully evident by the most casual review of reports appearing in U.S. media. It is an increasing mystery to me how liberals can still call themselves liberals and ignore the fact that if we are to have more liberalism and respect for human rights in South America, it will not happen through left-wing dictatorships held secure by the Moscow-Havana link.
Although several administration witnesses have testified before congressional committees on events in E1 Salvador and on the Soviet-Cuban-Nicaraguan supply of arms, the journalists who reported on these hearings and commentators who organized the news reports implied that there was no proof to support the statements and that the testimony was merely a vehicle to instill fear m order to justify direct U.S. intervention in Nicaraqua and E1 Salvador. Moroever, some Members of the Senate and House of Representatives have become advocates for the Sandinistas and the Com munist terrorists operating in E1 Salvador, apparently prepared to accept, without challenge, the views of agents of regimes now serving as surrogates of the Soviet Union with the mission of extending the influence of communism throughout Central and South America.
Well, we now have seen some of that proof, the stunning photographs so effectively presented and described on Tuesday . What Is so superficially attractive about these peoples regimes that it blinds us to the stark realities of what happens once the Communists seize power? Who speaks for the human rights of the Miskito Indians forced by the Sandinista regime into resettlement or worse? Where are the teams of human rights observers in North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Cuba, and even Poland? When will this absurd hypocrisy end?
Where are those people now who were screaming that the Ho Chi Minh government would be a better government than the Diem government or the Thieu government, now that the Communist buzzards, the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese Communists are fighting over the spoils, the human and natural resource spoils, of Southeast Asia?
An article on page A17 of the Washington Post today is particularly striking to me. About one-quarter of the article, dealing with what the headline indicates; namely, "Reagan Designates March 21 to Honor Afghan Resistance"--about one-quarter of the article deals with this, and this is a quote:
Asked by reporters as he left the room whether there was a difference between U.S. claims of Soviet interference in Afghanistan and Soviet claims of U.S. interference in Nicaragua, Reagan said "As I said before, they have a different standard of morality than we do we tell the truth."
How can this writer believe or think that the American public is so naive as to compare the divisions of Soviet troops in Afghanistan with what the United States has going in Nicaragua? An overt, naked aggression, the first since 1939, against a sovereign power by a superpower--he compares that directly to our interference in Nicaragua. Now, what kind of journalism is that? I wonder when there is going to be a sense of shame that comes I from honest journalists to overcome that kind of lie and misconception?
In a recent interview, Alexander Solzhenitsyn spoke of this problem when asked why it is so fashionable to praise the regimes in Nicaragua and Vietnam and the partisans in Salvador. He replied:
That is the fatal historical mistake of liberalism--not to see the enemy on the left to consider that the enemy is always on the right, and that there is no enemy on the left. [Emphasis added.] It is the same mistake which ruined Russian liberalism in 1917. They overlooked the danger of Lenin. And the same thing is being repeated today--the mistake of Russian liberalism is being repeated on a worldwide scale everywhere.
It is not that liberalism is wrong; it is this flow or mistake of liberalism in the international field which is tragically wrong.
In Central America, as in Vietnam, there are needs for social and economic progress, and there are people who are legitimately disaffected. But, as in Vietnam, we now see the creation of a myth that there flourishes in El Salvador a revolutionary movement free of outside aid or influence, that commits no violence on its own iniative, that is interested only in building schools and hospitals that all the people in its free zones support universally and with an enthusiasm that one can only rarely, if ever, find in the real world.
How can this myth continue to exist after the holocaust in Cambodia, Laos? How can George McGovern, Jane Fonda, and the writers who brought that victory for the Communists after we won a military victory sit calmly with their conscience or face themselves in the. mirror without confessing, as Joan Baez has, how wrong they were? Now we are dealing with another situation; namely, El Salvador which is in our own backyard.
This is despite the fact that Vietnam has sent captured American military supplies to the guerrillas--despite the fact that Yassir Arafat has admitted the presence of PLO operatives in El Salvador--despite the fact that, although political parties from the far right to the socialist left have agreed to participate in elections, the rebels are working to sabotage those elections--despite the fact that the Soviet Union orchestrates and sends aid directly and keeps up a flood of propaganda notable more for its enthusiasm and quantity than for its accuracy or originality.
Those who are familiar with the history of Vietnam, with the propaganda that presented the National Liberation Front as little more than a group of simple, indigenous agrarian reforming opponents of a cruel dictatorship will find alarming and enlightening similarities in the propaganda about the "resistance" in E1 Salvador. What is it about American journalists that makes them so credulous of Potemkin villages and assertions of goodness and good intentions that would furrow the brow of a saint?
Some may be motivated by a sincere belief that the poor will be better served by a different political system. I believe they have failed to recognize what should be obvious: in every nation where communism has been instituted, the standard of living relative to non-Communist nations has declined.
Pre-revolutionary Russia was the world's largest exporter of grain and had the most rapid rate of industrial growth in Europe. Now the Soviet Union is unable to feed its own people since communism brought with it 50 straight years of "bad weather," and its economy is unsuited to the production of anything other than military hardware designed to deprive others of freedom and to obtain grain and scarce resources from others. I note in today's paper that they are now going on credit to buy that grain.
The breadlines in Poland are a direct result of the Soviet Union bleeding off her production and of an unworkable economic system imposed from afar by Moscow. Consider Czechoslovakia, the toolmaker of Central Europe, whose standard of living declined atrociously and whose people, like those in Hungary and elsewhere, were driven to revolt against the tanks of the Soviet oppressor. Consider also the example of Cuba, a nation of 10 million which can barely feed 7 million, and which now survives as a nation only with massive economic and military assistance and whose people will seize any opportunity to flee. Cuba's dependence upon Moscow is not unrelated to its willingness to do Moscow's will.
So those who support Communist-sponsored rebels as a way of helping the poor do not help the poor at all. Their position is understandable but wrong. They are unthinking opponents of imperfect governments without considering the alternatives, the consequences.
Every Latin American diplomat I met at a large reception in Panama supports the election in E1 Salvador, and the role of the Latin American nations could be critical in helping resolve the turbulent situation.Latin American states such as Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and others have the capability to insulate Central America from the growing traffic of arms and advisers coming through Cuba and Nicaragua. Yet they are reluctant to have anything to do with it. They are reluctant to even speak above the table. They tell us under the table: you better do something there, or the end has come. But they are intimidated against speaking because of the threat of terrorism within their own countries, which they have been all too familiarized with in the past. Those are facts. Why has the American public been totally shielded from those facts?
Those South American countries which I mentioned are reluctant to speak up or do anything because they fear the reticence of the United States to defend and support them when the terrorists move again onto their territory. Look what happened to the Shah. He was perceived by the world as not liberalizing fast enough, and by his own nation as liberalizing too fast. The alternative was the great bearded prophet in Paris. What happened?
These Latin American states have been at the brink caused by domestic terrorism and if the United States did not try to push them over, our policymakers did not exert much effort to pull them back. The examples of Iran and Vietnam, of Afghanistan and Angola, even of their own experiences in recent years, do not encourage these nations to take actions which would be in our interest as well as in their own.
Our most serious problem in providing for the security of this Nation stems from a lack of understanding rather than from a basic lack of will. Since our experience in Vietnam, we have been progressively paralyzed by misinterpretation and misinformation.
We suffered an inability to do that which had to be done to protect American interests and the cause of freedom in the world. What I call "the Vietnam syndrome" was largely responsible for the decline in our ability to protect ourselves and our allies from Soviet aggression and imperialism. It's a mental thing, it's a psychological thing; it is not a matter of will.
For a long time I have feared that we would be like the man who hopes that if he feeds his brothers to the crocodile, the crocodile will eat him last. Will men conclude 100 years from now that we fed our brothers to the crocodile to delay but also to assure our own demise?
The media are full of comparison of Vietnam and E1 Salvador. Much of the comparison is ill informed, some is ill advised, but it is right in one essential respect: the crocodile now is not in faraway Southeast Asia but on our doorstep, in Central America.
Today, the subcommittee is delighted to have as a witness Dr. Fred Ikle, who was sworn in as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on April 2, 1981. He has worked with the Bureau of Applied Social Research, Columbia University, and with the Rand Corp. He has been associated with the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, and held a chair as professor of political sci once at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Ikle served as Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarm" amens Agency from 1973 until 1977.
From 1977 to 1981, Dr. Ikle was active in private business and as a consultant on national security affairs. He was the chairman of the Conservation Management Corp. and director of several other corporations and foundations.
Dr. Ikle, it is an honor and pleasure to have you with us today l hope you will pardon the length of my opening statement, but I believe you can understand the sense of urgency I feel about the ne cessity to get a true perspective on what is going on.
Would you please stand and raise your right hand so that I ma swear you in? [Secretary Ikle stands.]
Do you swear that the testimony which you are about to give before this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Secretary IKLE. I do.
Senator DENTON. Please be seated. DO YOU have an opening statement, sir?
TESTIMONY OF HON. FRED C. IKLE, UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR POLICY, ACCOMPANIED BY ROBERT TURNER, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO SECRETARY IKLE; TALBOT S. LINDSTROM, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO SECRETARY IKLE; AND HEYWARD G. HUTSON, REGIONAL PLANNER FOR LATIN AMERICA
Secretary IKLE. I do, sir.
I am pleased, Mr. Chairman, that you invited me to appear before your committee. You have asked me to discuss, among other things, the role of Castro's Cuba in promoting violence, terrorism, and armed opposition movements. The purpose of such Cuban intervention in other countries is to undermine governments that seek economic and social progress within a democratic framework, or to extend the global reach of the Soviet military establishment, or both.
With its population of less than 10 million and a land area of about 44,000 square miles, Cuba is involved globally, providing military and technical advisers and assistance thousands of miles away, as this chart which we have here will show you, in Libya, Iraq, South Yemen, Angola, Ethiopia, the Congo, Mozambique, and Vietnam, among others. Castro currently has about 60,000 Cubans serving overseas, including 35,000 military and 25,000 civilian technicians. Cuba has about 20,000 troops in Angola alone, and about 12,000 troops in Ethiopia.
[Chart No. 1 showing global Cuban military involvement follows:]
Given these far flung interventions, Cuba's military capability is obviously far in excess of any defensive needs. Its army of 225,000 includes 9 active and 18 reserve divisions. In addition, there are hundreds of thousands of reserves, militia, and other paramilitary forces. Cuba has 650 tanks, over 200 Mig fighters in its air force, including a recently arrived second squadron of Mig-23's. Cuba's navy includes 50 torpedo and missile attack boats, 2 attack submarines, and a frigate.
Overall, 2.3 percent of Cuba's population is in the regular armed forces, and about 1 of every 20 Cubans participates in some kind of security mission. By comparison, Mexico, with seven times Cuba's population, maintains regular defense forces half the size of Cuba's and involving less than two-tenths of 1 percent of its population. We in the United States have less than 1 percent of our people in the regular Armed Forces.
How does Cuba sustain such large forces on a faltering economy? It relies, as it has for twenty years, on the Soviet Union to keep it afloat. In 1981 the Soviets provided $3 billion in economic assistance, and at least $500 million in military assistance. The U.S.S.R. sent three times more military equipment to Cuba in 1981 than in 1980 and more than in any year since 1962. The U.S.S.R. shipped about 66,000 metric tons into Cuba in 1981. The next chart will show you the trends in this assistance. See the rising curve there in Soviet military assistance and deliveries to Latin America. It speaks for itself, Mr. Chairman.
[Chart No. 2 showing Soviet military assistance to Cuba follows:]
Senator DENTON. Could we let the press and the audience just see that for a minute, Dr. Ikle?
[Chart was turned so press and audience could see it.]
Senator DENTON. I notice one interesting thing, Dr. Ikle, and that is the drop of those supplies after the Cuban missile crisis when a Democratic President looked the crocodile in the eye and that dip took place--John F. Kennedy.
Secretary IKLE. That is when the pressure was on for this supply to be curtailed.
Senator DENTON. How his brother can now be, along with a Republican, calling for a freeze when they have a 6-to-1 nuclear ad vantage is incredible to me.
Secretary IKLE. Now, why, Mr. Chairman, is the Soviet Union willing to expend such resources on Cuba? Because the Soviets realize the importance of their position in Cuba as a threat to the Atlantic Alliance; they realize it more fully than do many Americans and more fully than most Europeans. Moscow knows that in time of war half of NATO's supplies would come through our gulf ports. They are aware that 44 percent of all foreign tonnage, and 45 percent of the crude oil for the United States, pass through the Caribbean. They understand the importance of the Panama Canal and the South Atlantic sea lanes of communication that carry about two-thirds of west Europe's petroleum and nearly half of our imports.
But perhaps more importantly the Soviets seek to change our southern borders from the peaceful conditions of the past by building potentially hostile forces in Central America and the Caribbean. They may expect that we will have to divert our attention and forces from other interests elsewhere. It is high time, Mr. Chairman, that our allies overseas begin to recognize this strategy.
Take Grenada; a highly visible ongoing Cuban project is the construction of their airport capable of accommodating advanced jet aircraft and a naval facility. In December 1981, Grenadian Minister of National Mobilization, Selwyn Strachan, publicly boasted that Cuba will eventually use the new airport in his country to supply troops in Angola. And ominously he added that because of its strategic location, the airport may also be used by the Soviet Union.
Senator DENTON. Would you repeat that sentence, the relationship between the airport in Grenada to supplies in Angola?
Secretary IKLE. This was the Minister of National Mobilization, Selwyn Strachan, who boasted that Cuba will eventually use the new airport that is being built in Grenada with Cuban and Soviet help to supply troops--yes, to supply troops to Angola, to move out to Angola from Cuba. And then he added that because of its strategic location, it may also be used by the Soviet Union to come into the Caribbean presumably.
Senator DENTON. It could be used by the Soviet Union to come into the----.
Secretary IKLE. Caribbean area.
Senator DENTON. The Caribbean area.
Secretary IKLE. Or the Cubans to move out via Grenada to Africa.
Senator DENTON. It could also be used to bring into the Latin American area a military air force presence which would be a very interesting factor in the balance.
Secretary IKLE. That is right.
Now, by relying on Cuban mercenaries as surrogates, the Soviets are able to carry out their interventionist policies without risking the hostile reaction or at least the same hostile reaction, from the America people an] the Third World that a direct involvement of Soviet troops and personnel would engender. That is the advantage from their point of view.
Latin America provides an excellent microcosm of how the Soviet-Cuba partners cooperate in tandem. As U.S. advisers with Latin American countries were cut back from--and listen to these numbers--from 516 in 1970 to 70 in 1981.
Senator DENTON. That's on the chart, and would you say again-- the abscissa and ordinate--what are those?
Secretary IKLE. The number of military advisers in Latin American countries, and you see the decline--the blue column there declining steadily from 1970, 516, to 70 in 1981. These are the advisers we have for the area to the south of the United States. Senator DENTON. Would you mind letting the press see that, for whatever use they care to make of it? [See Chart No. 3.]
[Chart No. 3 was turned so press and audience could see it.]
Secretary IKLE. The gray ones on top are the Cuban and U.S.S.R. advisers that have moved into the area, while we moved out. And you might show it to the press.
So 1981, as this chart shows, Soviets and Cubans had 50 times as many military advisers in Latin America as the United States-- Mr. Chairman, 50 times. Moreover, from 1962 to 1981, the Soviets provided more than twice as much security assistance to Latin America as did the United States, roughly $4 billion for the U.S.S.R. compared with $1.5 billion for the United States. [See Chart No. 4.] Again, you see here the blue line, the U.S. security assistance to Latin America declining, particularly after 1975, and the red line rising, the Soviet assistance to Latin America.
[The charts referred to follow:]
Senator DENTON. With respect to your chart showing the Latin American advisers and to place in perspective the comparison with Afghanistan, in which the Soviet Union has division upon division, to our involvement in Nicaragua, how many advisers do we have in Nicaragua?
Secretary IKLE. In E1 Salvador?
Senator DENTON. I think they compared it to----
Secretary IKLE. E1 Salvador, I'm sure. In Nicaragua, of course, we just have the Embassy personnel.
Senator DENTON. They compared it to U.S. interference in Nicaragua, sir.
Secretary IKLE. Oh, right, but they would not call those advisers. But, in any event, the people cannot tell the difference between 50 and 90,000 maybe. We have 53 advisers, up to a maximum of 53 advisers in E1 Salvador, and there are over 80,000 Soviet forces in Afghanistan.
So we need not wonder that totalitarianism is making inroads; it is receiving far more support than democratic pluralism. Not only 50 times as many military advisers, but a far higher level of military assistance.
Mr. Chairman, the Castro regime is linked to the Soviet Union not only through its tools but also through its methods. Castro has not only been armed with all this weaponry by his Soviet masters, he has also been inspired and tutored in the methods of totalitarianism by experts in Moscow. I would like to illustrate this for three issues that are of central concern to your committee.
First, the use of terrorism to spread totalitarian control has been practiced in strikingly similar fashion by the Soviet Union and by Fidel Castro.
Second, the use of deception, particularly deception to mislead Western media, has been developed to a fine art by both Castro and the Soviets.
Third, there is the destruction of the chances for democratic elections by the entrapment of Western democracies into alleged negotiations which become a process for the totalitarians to seize the monopoly of power.
Let me add some more details to describe each of these three practices.
First, on terrorism. A great deal of the current debate has been about the question of Soviet control over various terrorist groups. This is, of course, a question of some importance. However, it is by no means the only important issue in determining Western policy toward terrorist groups. In the first place, terrorism is an assault on the most basic human rights, an attack on civil society. In the second place, terrorism is usually associated with a political program. It is a device for seizing power and maintaining it, foreclosing for the indefinite future any substantial expansion of elementary political liberties. Third, even if terrorist "armies" are not directed from Moscow, their acts may lead to the expansion of Soviet influence and control, and indeed, in some cases, they aim precisely at destablizing a government, allied or otherwise associated with the United States, at detaching it from the open Western world and forcing it into the closed Soviet orbit.
Senator DENTON. In previous hearings of the subcommittee, we have established our awareness of the fact that the evidence does not indicate that the Soviet Union by any means exercises complete and detailed control over terrorism globally. She has just made a gross bet on the side of terrorism, black or red, left or right, as being to their net advantage.
But in some areas of the world, such as Latin Ameriça, they have relatively direct control over the degree, kind, and direction of terrorism. This is the case with the Moscow-Havana link where a Soviet general exercises control over the intelligence service of Cuba, the DGI.
Secretary IKLE. Right, this assessment is correct.
Senator DENTON. We have also brought out, sir, that since the Tricontinental Conference in 1966, there exists a marked commonality among terrorist groups, a commonality that extends even to textbooks, such as the "Mini-Manual for Urban Guerrillas" which can be found in Czechoslovakia, in the Sudan, in Libya, in New York City, as well as in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and elsewhere. It is a coordinated effort, blatantly similar in terms of tactics, direction, and technique, a technique which, as I said before, is boringly evident to anyone who takes more than a casual look at it. Yet, this is not known in the United States. In fact, when the name Carlos was brought up with respect to the Qadhafi threat against the President and other officials, the members of the Foreign Relations Committee who were present did not know who Carlos was. To me, this is incredible but understandable in that what has been revealed in this subcommittee as fact has not been reported to the American public.
Secretary IKLE. Adding to what you just said, Mr. Chairman, let me introduce a particular example of Soviet-controlled terrorism which has received little attention. One of the most dangerous and most neglected of all the terrorist movements, the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA). It has formally announced that its strategy is to gain control of the eastern third of Turkey, our ally, to "free" it so called from the Turkish Government and to unite it with the Soviet Union. This is an area of the world which is, of course, critically important for the eastern Mediterranean and for the southern region of NATO. It is also critical for Egypt and Israel and the rest of the Middle East.
It does not matter very much whether the Armenian Secret Army is directly commanded by Moscow. It is an efficient and brutal executor of the murder of innocent civilians. It has intimidated governments allied with Turkey and law-abiding Armenian communities as well. If it were to be successful in its aims, it would lead directly to the expansion of the Soviet Union.
Perhaps more than any other terrorist movement, it illustrates the irrelevance of some of the issues that have preoccupied the debate in the West on terrorism. Whether the Armenian terrorist movement is acting on its own, or under Moscow's direction, if it succeeds, it will come down to the same thing. Here lies a lesson for our current concerns in Central America.
Let me turn now to the related question of deception. Marxist guerrillas in Latin America have been largely recruited from the upper and middle classes and the student population. They use deception to make it hard for domestic or foreign intelligence agencies and--an important point--even harder for the press to identify and track them. The guerrillas disguise themselves often as peasants, and sometimes as government soldiers. Government uniforms serve as cover for an assault on the government, or as cover for terror against the population in their campaign to destabilize the country and to have the government forces blamed for the terror It serves to confuse domestic and foreign opinion. And the terrorists disguised as peasants can lead even a carefully controlled government counterattack to be misdirected at the real peasants, or appear to be misdirected to the media observers when it hits guerrillas in peasant costume.
So Marxist guerrillas, using terror to inspire counter terror and to disrupt civil society, create a Catch-22 situation for any regime attempting to improve civil rights and specifically to introduce elections. The guerrillas say that fair elections are impossible in a situation of great civil disorder, while they do everything they can to create such disorder.
Guerrilla disguises do not include only their dress, but also their words. Rebel leaders argue for negotiations and political solutions instead of an election. The phrase political solution should be understood as a code word for a coalition, sometimes encouraged by friendly as well as hostile outside powers, in which the rebel leaders will dedicate themselves ruthlessly to eliminate all other members of the coalition, and in particular those who favor progress toward a representative government and civil rights. The so-called broad-based coalition will then narrow to the rebel leaders themselves. This is the process, of course, that has been happening in Nicaragua.
Senator DENTON. And it is the process by which they approached the so-called unconditional negotiations in Vietnam.
Secretary IKLE. Right. Guerrilla leaders in Latin America sometimes sound like democrats when they protest oppression of freedoms in current traditional authoritarian societies or even in democracies. This should not confuse us, Mr. Chairman. Castro, for example, has been entirely frank in identifying democracy as an anachronism. Speaking in Chile at the time of Allende when he visited down there, Fidel Castro said that anachronisms such as elections and freedom of the press are doomed by history. They-- and I am quoting Castro--"exist as long as the people do not have enough strength to change them."
Now, this leads to my third point, Mr. Chairman, the substitution of alleged negotiations for genuine elections so as to eliminate the possibility of free elections ever thereafter. This was the method chosen to cover up the Stalinization of Eastern Europe, and this Is the method now being peddled in this country--including Mr. Chairman, here on Capitol Hill--to cover up the Stalinization of Central America.
Far too often have the governments of the great democracies used their influence to press moderate leaders into coalitions with Marxists where they were unlikely to survive since the Marxists
were intent on seizing the monopoly of power. Sometimes we seem to have trusted Marxist assurances that liberty would be introduced in due time, as Harry Hopkins relied on Stalin's assurances about freedom in Poland. Sometimes, eager to get Soviet cooperation on other matters, we used a coalition as a face-saving way of abandoning support for democracy. So, at the close of World War II, American and British leaders gradually pressed the Polish Government in exile in London, which included socialists and a wide range of political views, to enter the Soviet-controlled Lublin government with the result we see persisting four decades later. Something similar happened in each of the six East European countries.
DEMISE OF COALITIONS BY MARXISTS
In Romania, for example, the Allied Powers meeting in December 1945, agreed that the Government should not be broadened to include members of the opposition, but the opposition leaders that counted were excluded at the insistence of the Soviet Union. The two opposition parties were represented by two carefully selected nobodies. The coalition government then proceeded to exclude them by giving them no ministerial portfolios, and then by excluding them from cabinet meetings. The United States and the United Kingdom protested to no avail. An election was eventually held under general conditions of intimidation, with the inevitable outcome. Then a mass trial of 91 dissidents modeled on the Moscow trials.
When Somoza was replaced in Nicaragua by the Sandinistas, the OAS was promised there would be elections. Now these elections have been indefinitely postponed and the repression of opposition groups and of freedom in Nicaragua is going on with full force.
Constraints on civil rights, poverty, and inequities, all too frequently exist in developing societies. They are not, however, the cause of Marxist attempts to overthrow the government. And when the Marxist guerrillas succeed, they do not improve civil rights-- they worsen them. Nor do they improve the economic situation, as we well know. Cuba had one of the highest per capita incomes in Latin America--indeed, it was No. 3 in the hemisphere before Castro came in, I think it is now No. 12. Castro's economic policies have been an unmitigated disaster. And in Eastern Europe the economic failure of the Communist economic bloc is plainly visible today.
We know that Cuban subversive activities are not confined solely to E1 Salvador. Cuba has coordinated clandestine support organizations in Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. Cuban subversive activities have surfaced in virtually every Caribbean basin country. Even Mexico, which thinks it has good relations with Cuba.
In South America, Cuba provides advice, safe havens, communications training, and some financial support to many clandestine I organizations that employ violence, including Colombia's M-l9, Uruguay's Tupamaros, Argentina's Montoneros, and Chile's MIR.
I think you know, Mr. Chairman, the Cubans became involved with known arms smugglers in supplying the Nicaraguan revolutionaries prior to the ouster of Somoza in July of 1979. They found that connection mutually profitable and expanded their ties to include known drug smugglers who had the contacts and the equipment necessary to facilitate arms shipments. One of the Colombian drug dealers was involved on behalf of Havana in a clandestine shipment of arms to the Colombian M-19 in an operation that involved hijacking a Colombian cargo plane. Cuba provided the funds used by the dealer to purchase the arms and transport them to Colombia. In return, Cuba facilitated the drug dealer's marihuana traffic to Florida. Just recently, this drug dealer was arrested in Mexico after he had arrived there with $700,000 which the Cubans had given him to purchase arms for the Colombian M-19.
And the Cuban connection with the PLO is well-documented. In recent years there have been dozens of contacts between Cuba and PLO leaders. In fact, on November 17, 1981, PLO leader Yasir Arafat sent a message to Castro reaffirming his support for Cuba.
Before concluding, let me try to dispose of a fallacy about our relations with Castro that is fairly common in Europe, and even has its defenders here. It is sometimes argued that Fidel Castro became a pawn of Moscow out of necessity, that he has been hostile to the United States simply in reaction to our hostility toward his regime. Implicit in this line of thinking is that if we would only be nice to him and try to understand him, he would moderate his behavior. We have a test of this theory. The previous administration conducted a test.
They made significant efforts to improve U. S. relations with the Castro government. The previous administration opened an interest section in Havana and permitted the Cuban Government to do the same in Washington. It relaxed travel restrictions on Cuban diplomats and lifted the restrictions on vessels which had called at Cuban ports, formerly restricted from calling on U.S. ports. The Carter administration also encouraged increased cultural exchanges, lifted the ban on travel by U.S. citizens to Cuba, and permitted the resumption of charter flights between Cuba and the United States.
It is worth recalling the response of Fidel Castro to those friendly overtures. During the Carter administration Castro increased military personnel in Angola by more than 40 percent, from about 14,000 to 20,000. He introduced the Cuban presence in Ethiopia, reaching a high of 17,000 men in 1978. He initiated a massive effort to subvert non-Communist regimes in Latin America. These actions hardly support the contention that a more conciliatory approach by the United States to United States-Cuban relations will make Castro our friend.
Mr. Chairman, some of your distinguished colleagues in both Houses seem to be suggesting that we should deny help to the Government of El Salvador, a government that is now trying to hold genuine elections and to build and protect a democratic order. Some suggest that instead of elections there should be negotiations, a compromise with those who are ideologically opposed to the very idea of elections.
I wonder if those who offer such counsel know what sort of precedent they are suggesting. They are saying, are they not, that President Truman made a mistake in supporting the Government of Greece against Communist terrorists, and that we should have had negotiations to bring the totalitarians into power in Greece, like in the rest of Eastern Europe. They are saying, are they not, that it was a mistake for Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter to support Israel against the terrorist onslaught, and that instead we should have negotiations with the PLO.
This is the large issue of principles, Mr. Chairman, that is at stake.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator DENTON. Thank you, Dr. Ikle. I want to recognize my distinguished colleague from North Carolina, Senator East, and wish him good morning. As usual, his questions and comments will be valuable.
Senator East, if you would care to make an opening statement, we would invite it at this time.
Senator EAST. I would at some point like to engage in a little dialog with our distinguished witness this morning, but I shall forego an opening statement, thank you.
Senator DENTON. All right, sir, I will give myself 10 minutes and then you 10 minutes for questions.
Senator EAST. All right, we will have a good time that way, I think.
Senator DENTON. Dr. Ikle, it is my understanding that you have some prepared charts showing the countries which have come under Communist domination since World War II. It is being postulated that too many people are seeing Communists under every rock, that there is no real threat here, that the Soviet Union is just another superpower like the United States in its aspirations and goals.
Would you mind showing these charts which I trust will assist us in seeing and understanding that there truly is a threat even when viewed simply from a geographical perspective.
[The charts referred to by Senator Denton follow:]
Secretary IKLE. We don't have enough charts to show the full historic development. We show here the Soviet Union in--pre-World War II--1939, which, of course, does not show the prior situation before the Moslem areas in the south, in Outer Mongolia, were annexed by the Soviet Union in pursuit of the czarist-imperialist tradition.
What happened since then I think will demonstrate to you, Mr. Chairman, that you have always been right in your concern about communism; there is really a problem. We will show it to you in the next chart.
Senator DENTON. Please show that to the press on the right side of the room.
[Chart was turned so the press could view it.]
Secretary IKLE. I think the next overlay--here it is, right.
Senator DENTON. That is sort of the beginning, as it were.
Secretary IKLE. Since then, of course, it is important to recognize amongst the Communist countries the very important schism between China and the Soviet Union--we fully recognize that.
It is also worth recognizing, in this context--and that relates to the words "Better red than dead"--that the most brutal wars, the wars that create the most killing, the most dead, are the ones fought among the reds--in Cambodia, for example.
Senator DENTON. A frightening example of not only wars fought among Communists--I believe it can be established as a fact that the United States in retaliation to a Soviet first strike would be able to cause fatalities among a proportion of the Soviet population which is less than the proportion which the Stalin regime, in the purges after 1917, caused within the Soviet Union itself. In other words, they have killed more of their own people percentage wise than we would be able to get in a return strike now.
So those who think there is not a strategic imbalance, when you realize they can get about 70 percent of us, a figure even the left-wing think tanks agree with, had better think twice before dismissing all this as a myth.
Secretary IKLE. The final overlay will show the expansion of the empire that has taken place in more recent years. In other words, there has been a geo-strategic trend in that many areas of the world, which were friendly and less developed countries, are now available to the Soviet military or are military outposts for the Sonet Union.
Senator DENTON. One thing that the chart does not show is the potential for terrorism, for strikes, for destabilization, which now exists in countries colored white on the chart which is a tremendously inhibiting factor, for example, in South America. They have experienced it, they know what will happen were they to become more open with respect to their foreign policy statements.
In a recent interview, published in the March 8 issue of U.S News & World Report, CIA Director William J. Casey was asked "Does what is happening now in Cuba violate the 1962Kennedy Kruschev agreement ending the Cuban missile crisis?"
His response was: "Oh, sure, it does, because the 1962 agreement aid the Soviets would send no offensive weapons, and it also said there would be no export of revolution from Cuba."
I would like to insert the full text of Director Casey's interview into the record, as it bears directly on this inquiry.!
Another example for insertion in the record is a press article disclosing that a Soviet strategic submarine base has been built at Cienfuegos, complete with a nuclear warhead handling facility. It appeared in The New York Post on March 11, 1982, and is entitled "Nuke Bases in Cuba." 2
In part, it states there have been many visits of Soviet Golf and Echo class submarines to Cienfuegos carrying strategic nuclear weapon warhead-equipped missiles. This compares to the violation that occurred with respect to Japan when we got a ship in there that had some kind of reported nuclear support equipment aboard.
There have been accounts of TU-95 Bear bombers regularly flying to Cuba, reports of 66,000 tons of Soviet military equipment shipped to Cuba in 1981 alone, three times more than in 1962 when we took this to the summit. The nuclear-missile-equipped Soviet naval task force tours of the Caribbean in 1981 threatened vital oilfields. There are reportedly 40 nuclear-capable Mig-23's and Mig27's now in Cuba, at least one Soviet combat brigade in Cuba.
[See exhibit A in appendix to this hearing.]
If, in fact, these press reports are accurate--and we have other reasons to believe that they are--in your opinion, have the Soviets engaged in a clear cut violation of the Kennedy-Kruschev agreement of 1962?
Secretary IKLE. There are two observations to be made. One, in direct answer to your question, that agreement has been constantly eroded so that there is very little left of it, indeed if there is anything left. Second, it is really not an actual agreement; it is a juxtaposition of unilateral positions, and one of the conditions, the verification condition of President Kennedy, was never fulfilled.
So, in that sense, their part of the bargain at the very outset was not completed. But even apart from that, what remained of their promises, as I said, has been constantly eroded.
Senator DENTON. During the period 1970 to 1971, is it true that Henry Kissinger conducted negotiations with Dobrynin and Berentsov on the so-called Kennedy-Krushchev agreements concerning the basing of strategic offensive arms in Cuba? Were similar negotiations conducted during the Carter administration, and, if so, what concessions were made to the Soviet Union?
Secretary IKLE. I could not be here in the open session to testify about these negotiations. In any event, Mr. Chairman, I believe the State Department would be a more appropriate department to pro vice a witness on these negotiations.
Senator DENTON. We shall ask that question of Secretary Enders who is to appear tomorrow.
Do the 10 or so Russian military advisors in Nicaragua carry rifles? How about the more than 2,000 Cuban advisors, the East Germans, the members of the PLO?
Secretary IKLE. Well, many of these Communist advisors and supporters are heavily armed; others, of course, are disguised and are not armed or less armed. Deception is often more important than the actual arming of people involved.
Senator DENTON. Defense Secretary Weinberger stated--and you have reiterated today--that the Soviet influence in Cuba is all-pervasive. The subcommittee has received testimony in support of that view from several witnesses who say that the Cuban intelligence service, the DGI, is totally controlled and directed by the Soviet KGB, as I said previously.
In your opinion, or in the Department's opinion, is there any area in which the Cubans are given a free hand? Are all activities of the Cuban Government--economic, military, intelligence--directed by the Soviets? How total and complete is the Soviet grasp on Cuba, from your understanding and point of view?
Secretary ISLE. There probably is a certain degree of freedom given both by the distance of the island from Moscow and the temperament of Fidel Castro, and particularly it is clear that the style used by Fidel Castro is obviously quite different from the style that the leadership in Moscow tries to practice.
Indeed, that has been one of Castro's assets that he is adept at practicing a style that beguiles many people here into feeling that they are seeing a true revolutionary in the sense of a person who introduces reform and brings in a new and better life for his people--in the sense that we understand revolution in our classic history. Whereas, in fact, he is really a promoter of a totalitarian anachronism, an imperial reach of Cuba into Africa and other parts of Latin America, which, if you wanted to find parallels, you would have to go back maybe to imperial Portugal, that established its outposts in Macao and Brazil and so on. Yet at the same time, he's able--for Castro has undoubted skill in his relations with the media--to pose as a reformer-type revolutionary.
Senator DENTON. Senator East.
STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN P. EAST
Senator EAST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to just make a few observations, and I wish to commend you for holding these hearings and helping us to get a firmer understanding of what is occurring in the world in terms of the Soviet-Cuban connection, as well as others. So I, as one colleague, greatly appreciate and respect your leadership in this area.
I would like to thank the witness, the Under Secretary, for coming this morning and taking his valuable time to share this testimony with us.
To me, as a freshman Senator, in view of the world as I see it and understand it, it is refreshing to have a colleague like Jeremiah Denton chairing a subcommittee of this kind, and it is extremely refreshing to hear someone from the executive branch, like yourself, come over and begin to talk candidly about the world as it is rather than how the visionaries have been assessing it in recent years and decades.
I think that our problem is an educational one, and you are helping perform that role, and so is Senator Denton--and I would like to say publicly I think your chief man over there, the Secretary of Defense, is doing extremely well, and trying, in a very civil and rational way, to explain the realities of the world to the American people in this area of defense and Soviet and Cuban intentions in our own hemisphere, and elsewhere.
I noticed in the immediate past issue of U.S. News & World Report there is an interview with him there in which he talks intelligently and with a profound sense of realism about what is going on in the world. Again, I will not read this verbatim, but it talks about the Soviet-Cuban connection, it talks about the impact of this in our own hemisphere. He makes the point, which would certainly come within the purview of the comments that you are making, that if we do see achieved in Central America on the mainland there a Communist bastion, as he calls it--he says, "It would make the defense of the United States infinitely more difficult"--and he speaks of American security.
And, again, this is refreshing; we have simply not had this from Washington; we have been constantly on the defensive.
One frustration I have, as a new Senator--and I am not faulting them, I am simply stating a fact, I appreciate the great time restrictions under which the national media work--but, for example, if Members of our body who take another point of view on this matter go down to Central America, a great deal of attention is lavished upon them, and the impression is given that they represent the U.S. Senate, they speak for the majority sentiment here. And I would like to reassure you, that is not true. And we appreciate what you are doing and what the Secretary of Defense is doing--and Senator Denton's point of view, and that is why I greatly value his leadership here, is infinitely more representative of a strong sentiment in the U.S. Congress to do something about this.
And the first task we face is to educate the American people. I am somewhat subjecting you to a bit of a minisermon here--you don't need it, I am preaching to the choir--but what I would like to try to do with you is to underscore that I as one person deeply appreciate the leadership that you are obviously giving here, and also the Secretary of Defense. It is refreshing; it goes to the heart of the matter. And, as it ought to be in a democracy, the fundamental problem we have is educating the American people to the realities of Soviet intentions and Soviet power in the world. We are deeply dependent upon the media to try to give a balanced view of this assessment. I am not quite sure that has been done. That isn't a place to belabor you.
But there is a point of view that feels that the Soviet Union is using Cuba and other proxies clearly to subvert the underdeveloped part of the world; it's part of a new colonialism, the new colonialism in Africa via Cuban troops, the new colonialism in Central America via Cuban troops, the new colonialism in Southeast Asia via Vietnamese troops--Cam Ran Bay is today a Soviet naval base.
And I would submit, Mr. Chairman, in Central America we are seeing the Caribbean being turned into a predominantly Soviet-Cuban area of influence, if we do not manage to stop this. Africa has increasingly seen Soviet and Cuban incursions. It is even occurring in the Middle East via the PLO and Cuban troops in South Yemen.
Now, for those who are willing to look at facts and are willing to take off the ideological blinders and are willing to look at the real world of power politics, it is clear what the Soviet Union is doing. And the frustration is to try to get the American people to understand that.
To my point, I think the executive branch is in a unique position to do this. They can obtain the forum, the President can obtain it, the Secretary of Defense can obtain it. I regret to say it is not possible for U.S. Senators who share that point of view to get that kind of attention. It will be, as I repeat, lavished upon those of the contrary point of view, those who recently went down there. You know who they are as well as I do--from the House and the Senate. Fine gentlemen, I respect their integrity and the point of view, but it is one monolithic point of view--negative, pull out the rug, get out, let it go, none of our business, there is nothing going on here but agrarian reform. We have heard that scenario over and over and over and over and over again since 1945. And the cycle is being repeated again. And every time the Communists take over, the bloodbath is enormous, as it was in Southeast Asia, as it is everywhere where these people have taken over. And it is just an enormous frustration that that kind of message cannot be communicated to the American people, because I am thoroughly convinced, Mr. Chairman, if they knew what these gentlemen are saying, and what the administration is trying to say and the Secretary of Defense--and, I might note, the Secretary of State--I think we could genuinely stem this and begin to turn the tide in favor of anti-totalitarian philosophies and points of view.
I would submit as important as the economy is, and it is vital and we are greatly preoccupied with it these days, certainly of equal importance or a very strong second is this one, what's occurring in the world in terms of the enhancement of Soviet power via its proxies like Cuba, and a certain naivete and indifference to it on the part of many people in this country.
And I like to avoid emphasizing the problem of how fair the media has been with it. I don't think it's a matter of fairness; I think it's just a matter of trying to get out the other point of view on it, from Senators and Congressmen and others who do not agree with these other people who go down there and come back with this message and receive all the attention that is lavished upon them. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it merely is happenstance, it's inadvertence, no great design to do it--I am not impugning any motives, I am simply saying what anyone can observe on television, the major networks, who watch it night in and night out. I have not seen a Senator on there or a Congressman who would share your point of view. But night in and night out, in the morning television shows and in the evening, I see a constant point of view of the other one; we are constantly told that there is growing a strong opinion in the Congress against what the President is trying to do.
It is simply not so. It is simply not so.
And there are those who deeply appreciate what you are trying to do and share your frustration. And, again, Mr. Chairman, I commend you for trying, doing a noble and valiant effort here to try to continue to push this issue. The problem is fundamentally an educational one. So I really do not ask a question; I simply state a point of view. And often witnesses who come over here are badgered by committees and insulted and pommeled and. their integrity questioned, so I would maybe like to be a little more refreshing today and say we appreciate what you are doing. And keep plugging, have patience-- it s tough. And keep in mind that we live in a free society, a democratic society--we are trying to keep it that way against the totalitarian forces in the world today. And it is an educational problem, getting our fellow Americans to understand what is occurring. The totalitarian systems have an enormous advantage over us: they simply repress all opposition and do what they want to do and be done with it, as the Soviets are doing wherever their activities are going on.
But we don't work that way, fortunately, and the problem is educational, and we all must keep working at it, Mr. Chairman.
Senator DENTON. Thank you, Senator East, for those enlightening comments from a man who has spent so much time in academe and is such a respected political scientist in his State.
I believe the only hope for this country lies in the education you are talking about. I believe the American public is not difficult to educate; all they have to have is the information. And that information has to be at least somewhat balanced.
And I think that the hope for this country lies in its media. It is either going to transmit some kind of balance, or it is not; if it does not, I don't see how we can save ourselves.
I share the admiration which Senator East expressed toward you, sir, and the patience and frustration he's acknowledged that you all must feel. I share his belief that you should be assured that Senator Pell's and Senator Leahy's visit to E1 Salvador and the attention given to it is not representative even today of that which is the belief here in the Senate.
I mention some naivete with respect to terrorism, because I myself have learned a great deal that I did not know. It has boggled my mind to learn the degree to which terrorism is now such an effective sector of the spectrum of Soviet influence in the world. And it is not surprising that my colleagues as yet are somewhat naive about that.
But, again, we face the barrier of people not reporting what has been revealed in these hearings. They are saying we are not having unfriendly witnesses--we have had some. But why we can't get anything reported through here without a challenge to the fact that they are facts, they simply don't report it--it makes it somewhat frustrating, and I am going to try to continue to work on the hope that the press will pass it through--and the electronic media.
There has been extensive press coverage of Secretary Haig's discussion with Mexican officials concerning the Mexican proposal for a so-called negotiated settlement in E1 Salvador. And I recognize that the Secretary of State has to deal with what the consensus is as he approaches such proposals, rather than deal from what he sees the situation to be.
But from the perspective of the national interest of the United States and secondarily from that of E1 Salvador, what advantage, if any, do you see in U.S. support for the Mexican suggestion?
Secretary IKLE. I would not want to comment, Mr. Chairman, on the negotiations between the Secretary of State and the Foreign Minister. The State Department witnesses would be the appropriate people to ask about that.
Senator DENTON. Excuse me, sir. I have to announce that the Senate is in recess until 12:45. There will be no further floor action until 12:45.
Go ahead, Dr. Ikle.
Secretary IKLE. But relating to the subjects we have been discussing, that I have discussed in my testimony and in response to your statements, there is, of course, the proposal that was publicly described by Castaneda, the Foreign Minister of Mexico. And since the Foreign Minister chose to express these ideas in our newspapers, it is probably not improper, in all respect for the Mexican Government, to look at what he said in the public arena for our public debate, and that relates, indeed, to what Senator East said about the public debate.
We are engaged in a public debate. It is open. We are delighted to have the contribution in one of our largest newspapers, the New York Times, from the Mexican Foreign Minister. I do not know whether it would be welcome if Secretary Haig put his view into the Mexican newspapers. I assume it would be.
The contribution of the Mexican Foreign Minister in our public debate, in the New York Times--and I stress again that I am not talking about private, diplomatic negotiations, obviously--is, as I say, a welcome one, to have the ideas clearly there. But it does underline the problem I mentioned of getting caught in this idea of negotiation as a substitute for election.
This piece by the Mexican Foreign Minister, for example, talks about the idea of dismantling the bands of Somoza guards operating along the Honduras-Nicaragua border on the one hand, and on the other hand the piece remarks that the junta in Salvador was itself the product of a coup. Well, that leads us to ask of the Mexican Foreign Minister whether the Sandinistas were put in there by elections when, in fact, as we know, they were not.
And if you talk about negotiations for the junta, which the Mexican Foreign Minister says was as a result of a coup in El Salvador, wily shouldn't there be negotiations for the Sandinistas in Nicaragua--if that is the result of a coup, why shouldn't they negotiate with these alleged bands of Somoza guards or with the Miskito Indians that they drove out of their homes into refuge in Honduras? If negotiation is good for El Salvador, with the opponents of the Government in El Salvador, why isn't it good for Nicaragua, with the opponents inside and outside of the regime of Nicaragua?
There is a further point, which I stressed before, the idea of negotiations with the totalitarians, that would then, as this piece by the Mexican Foreign Minister says, culminate in elections versus a continuation of the bloodbath. This flies in the face of the position taken by those who now oppose elections in El Salvador by violence and force and who very often, as I cited in my opening statement, come out publicly that they are, in principle, opposed to elections, either now or later. It is this kind of confusion or deception or illusion that is so troublesome. It is very important, therefore, that we keep the record straight.
Senator DENTON. Have you seen any evidence that guerrilla training of insurgents targeted in Central America has occurred in Mexican territory, and if so, would you describe the extent of such training and the nature of such evidence?
Secretary IKLE. I'm having difficulty with your question, Mr. Chairman. I don't know whether these things can be confirmed or denied or whatever the case may be in on-the-record testimony.
I did recognize that Admiral Inman gave extensive testimony or a presentation the day before yesterday, and I understand more presentations will be given to the public about these matters. So perhaps your question will be answered there. If not, I suggest you may want to get a classified briefing on that issue.
Senator DENTON. If the so-called Kennedy-Khrushchev agree meets have eroded away to practically nothing, is there any commitment on the part of the United States to the Soviet Union against the Soviet Union's invasion of Cuba? Is there any commitment remaining whatever now with respect to the Monroe Dock trine or the 1962 agreements or the Rio Treaty? Is there any commitment on the part of the United States to the Soviet Union not to invade Cuba?
Secretary IKLE. The 1962 agreements, as I said before, are really not formally valid agreements. A part of the bargain was never de" livered at that time. The rest of the bargain, as I said, eroded over the last 20 years. Therefore, one cannot talk about a formal commitment relating to an alleged agreement on the part of the United States. I think it is important to keep that straight.
On the other hand, as you indicated in your question, it is worth looking back at the Monroe Doctrine and what it said about European imperialist interference in our hemisphere and how that has eroded. Of course, we have replaced, in coordination and consultation with our friends in the hemisphere, the Monroe Doctrine by the Rio Treaty. That, in itself, in its principal provision, is now being put to test.
Senator DENTON. Information has come to my attention, and per haps yours, sir, that Soviet transport planes have been stopping in Gander, Newfoundland, to refuel, then proceeding directly over the east coast of the United States to Managua, Nicaragua, with military equipment and supplies. Apparently, the Soviets have the option of running these supplies through Cuba or dealing directly with the Nicaraguans themselves.
Would you comment upon these reports?
Secretary IKLE. This is an important question, Mr. Chairman, and I would like to get you an answer for the record on it, if I can.
Senator DENTON. Yes, sir. We will accept it as part of the record.
Several references have been made by DOD in recent statements and reports concerning the role of East German policy experts and police in assisting Cuba and its efforts in various parts of the world.
What role do you see East Germany playing in the Soviet-Cuba effort in the Caribbean?
[Subsequent to the hearing, a classified answer was furnished to the subcommittee.]
Secretary IKLE. AS far as we can tell, the East Germans are particularly adept at setting up totalitarian police systems. Maybe that's something that goes back to the Gestapo days, I don't knot They have been doing that in a number of places, in South Yema, in Ethiopia, and they are also advising, and that's ominous, in Nicaragua.
Senator DENTON. Are they in influential positions in southern Africa, for example?
Secretary ISLE. I believe they are present in Angola and Mozambique.
Senator DENTON. Could you describe the duties of civilian advisers from Cuba which are present in large numbers in countries like Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Grenada, that is, advisers in addition to military personnel which have been reported there?
Secretary IKLE. It differs somewhat from country to country. In Ethiopia they help to prop up the rather ruthless regime that incidentally is suppressing a genuine war of liberation, the Eritrean Liberation Movement, and the Cubans, in a true imperialist tradition, find themselves on the other side.
In Angola they are, of course, supporting the Central Government there that is fighting, as we know, against genuine indigenous movements to free the country of foreign influence. The Cubans are involved as military experts and advisers, some having been captured in that connection.
In Grenada, they are supporting the Government there to help it become more entrenched, and we assume they are involved in funneling assistance for the airport expansion.
Senator DENTON. While I was in Panama, I was introduced to diplomats from all over Latin America. I would say over two-thirds of them are well to the left in their orientation politically, which I think is natural in view of the fact that there are valid reasons for disaffection with respect to the needs for land reform and so forth. They can t be judged from a purely U.S. perspective; they have to be Judged from the historical perspective in which those nations have come along. I acknowledge, as the President did, that we have been somewhat exploitative in our own history in South America and neglectful there, but we were doing it in an era in which everyone else was doing it, as it were.
Acknowledging all of that, those diplomats down there realize that the United States is an extremely benevolent nation. I had Communist captors, officials, agree with me, that the United States has been the most compassionate nation in international affairs in the world. But they see where the strength lies; they see which way the tide Is flowing.
I find it most frustrating that our press do not go down there and talk with those diplomats, because they will express to them what they did to me, as long as they are not named, as long as you don't use their names. Terrorism in other parts of the world, such as in Turkey and Italy, has been better contained, compared to what has gone on In Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and those places, here the government is relatively less capable of assimilating that degree of terrorism. It seems that somehow our media would become aware of the threat. Whatever rulers in South America feel toward terrorism, the potential exists in a much greater degree in those countries for it to be released if they become too overt in saying things like "We've got to do something about El Salvador."
They can't say it overtly. They can say it under the table, and they said it unanimously. They are all in favor of the election but there is an unwillingness on their part to send observers to the election for the reasons I have just stated.
Senator EAST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think, Mr. Chairman, in getting the testimony here from the Under Secretary, that a compelling point as one looks at all the documentation, it is so easy to go back from there and to look at the Leninist and Maoist view of the world in terms of what they very explicitly said ought to be the strategic approach. Marx, in his theory, you will recall indicate ed that totalitarianism, a la Marxism, would prevail first in the great industrial democracies of Europe and the United States.
The modification that Lenin and Mao made to Marxist thought was that the better way to accomplish the goal was, of course, to subvert the underdeveloped part of the world, as Lenin called them, the soft underbelly. That is the Leninist contribution. Mao raised it to a high level of perfection, and Castro is a contemporary manifestation of it.
The whole network that you are very carefully documenting here for us, via your statement and elsewhere, is simply a practical example and implementation of the Leninist strategy, that you take the soft underdeveloped continents, subvert them, and then, as they put it, the major industrial democracies would fall. That's the worldwide strategic concept that Lenin very explicitly articulated.
I would submit that in any region where they have engaged in their activities, they use it on a tactical basis. They take the rural areas--they did in Vietnam--and then choke off the urban areas, like Saigon, and they become Ho Chi Minh cities. Then the great blood bath begins and the boat people and the whole cycle repeats itself.
I appreciate anything of this kind, and the critics will say, "Well, you oversimplify and you see too much simplicity in it.' Well, I would submit that that could be. There is always a risk in summa rizing and trying to discern the broader patterns. But I would submit that in any college debate on the subject I would much rather have to take the position of showing that what you have shown us here is really a practical implementation of the basic Marxist-Leninist-Maoist theory. It is the great compelling interns tional event of our time and will be for the balance of this century The stakes are enormously high.
Because at some point, I would submit, Mr. Chairman, the teal ance shifts against you, against us. I'm not saying it has occurred I don't know where the point is in the great geopolitical world, the great chessboard of geopolitics, I don't know that anyone can se! when that occurs. Maybe it has already occurred. Solzhenits~n thought it occurred in Vietnam. He may be wrong. I don't knot` No one knows, I suppose.
But it is like the health of an individual. At some point you go beyond the point of no return. The terminal illness plays its way out.
I would submit, Mr. Chairman, that this is really what is occur ring in the world of our time. And on this Central American ques tion, which the Secretary of Defense, and you, and the Secretary of State are now focusing in the administration--and I give them great credit for it, because they face enormous odds--this is going to be one of the most fundamental breakthroughs in the implementation of the Leninist-Maoist scheme; namely, within our own hemisphere, that the Soviet Union and Cuba managed to convert the Caribbean principally into a Soviet colonial sphere. That's what is occurring. To me, it's that elementary.
I submit again and again--and I don't wish to go on ad nauseam--but I am firmly convinced, Mr. Chairman, that if the American people could get it in that kind of perspective and could hear this gentleman and the others who are trying to make the point, that a deep sense of realism and commitment could develop in this country. But we have a long way to go with it.
But I do want to make that observation, Mr. Chairman. I don't wish to monopolize your time because you have many excellent questions here and building the record. But I wanted to make that observation and again thank the Under Secretary for coming.
I would like, for one, since Senators can only speak for themselves, I would certainly like for you to take back to the Secretary of Defense my personal appreciation for the great job that I think he is doing, not only in the technical sphere of restoring America's national defense and holding firm, and doing it in a very effective way, but in trying to relate this to the broader policy concerns-- and that's your specialty, too. Defense, as a technical matter, is fundamental, but it has to relate to the broader strategic concerns, the policy dimension of it, as your title suggests.
I would submit, trying to play the political scientist for a moment, he is among the most effective members of the President's Cabinet in doing that. I would like for you, please, to convey that sentiment back to him and to let him understand. As I had the opportunity to explain to the Secretary of State the other day, there are a lot of people in the U.S. Congress and in this country that appreciate the position they are taking and the job they have, and they ought not to be deterred and discouraged by a constant drum beat from the other side.
This business gets discouraging, particularly when you cannot get a balanced coverage. It's discouraging. But the great consolation we have is that there is great support, I am convinced, among the American people for what we're trying to do, to understand where we're going and the spirit in which we are doing. So again, it is a refreshing period in American politics, as far as international relations go, to get the kind of candor we're getting out of the State Department today and out of the Defense Department. So it does brighten my day a bit.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator DENTON. Thank you, Senator East.
I made a statement of support for the President's program yesterday. I spent about 50 hours on that speech. A speech by Senator Hollings, a man whom I admire and respect and who is a friend, which he says he made up in about 3 minutes and gave in 2 or 3, was covered in great length. A speaker in the House yesterday, who again spoke off the top of his head to an empty Chamber, was Even a great deal of coverage because he was speaking in opposition to the things which we are propounding today.
Not a line of my speech was covered. I feel no sense of personal loss, but I do feel a sense of loss in terms of the aims which brought me to this body.
One of the points I made was that the perception is being bans misted through much of the media that we are making a choice between the welfare of our citizens and defense. It seems a tragedy to me that we are unaware of the economic effects in the United States of forfeitures in the international field due to lack of military power, or due to the lack of the proper perspective on when to use it. For example, in Vietnam, having lost the economic abilities for trade which otherwise would have existed, how much oil avail ability did we lose? How much are we losing now in the way of trade in Western Europe which is leaning toward the East rather than the West in such matters as the pipeline. How many trade opportunities which otherwise would exist as a result of the Carib bean Basin initiative on the part of the President will not exist be cause of intimidation in that area? Clearly, our economic well being is directly related to our military preparedness and strength yet so few people seem to understand this fundamental relationship.
For example, I would ask this question. On March 4, 1982, before the House Committee on the Budget, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Jones, testified as follows: "The Soviets are now the dominant military power in the Caribbean by a wide margin." I have the question by Congressman Kemp and the answer by General Jones, but do you agree with that assessment?
Secretary IKLE. I would certainly not disagree with the chair man's assessment. We work on these evaluations together.
The U.S. strength, however, should not be underestimated. I know, obviously, the chairman didn't have that in mind at all. Potentially, we can pull together our strengths and bring it to bear to maintain the peace and to deter aggression and that is what we are doing.
Senator DENTON. When I spoke about the economic effect, I did not mean it in imperialist terms. I simply meant it as a fact. If we had the advantages economically which would be accruing to us now, had we not forfeited the situation in Vietnam, and were we not forfeiting the situation in other parts of the world such as Africa and Central America, we would have so much additional economic advantage that we wouldn't have the current economic situation.
For example, the welfare of our people would be served by more revenues which would be accruing and we wouldn't have this prod fem. There is a relationship between the military, foreign affairs, and economics and welfare. This situation is escaping many people and it is escaping them to our great disadvantage.
A Reuters news article dated March 8, 1982, states that two Nicaraguan pilots defected to Honduras by flying a C-47 to protest the Marxist-Leninist course that Nicaragua's Sandinista leaders had taken. They claim that Fidel Castro rules Nicaragua through advisers, giving as an example that each of the nine members of Nicaragua's ruling National Directorate have two or three Cuban advisers whose instructions are unquestionably followed.
Can you furnish the subcommittee with more complete information on this incident, and are there any comments you would care to make on it?
Secretary IKLE. Mr. Chairman, let me propose--I know there are a lot of important questions of this kind that we try to furnish answers to you, and you or your staff may have additional questions, and we would prepare as much as we can on the answers. We will sort out what is classified and what is not and brief you in either category as appropriate. I think that would be more economical in regard to your time.
[The following was subsequently submitted for the record by Secretary Ikle:]
As I testified in December 1981, there are now between four and five thousand Cuban civilian advisors and about 1,500 Cuban military and security advisors in Nicaragua. Cuban advisors are believed to be serving in key posts throughout the government in which they exert considerable influence.
Senator DENTON. In that regard, I am sure you are as delighted as I, that we are making a tremendous effort to declassify as much as possible without compromising sources to bring the facts before our media, and thus before the public. I hope that we continue this effort and the evidence that our Government agencies have is passed on to our public without so much tongue-in-cheek as to destroy the credibility of our Government.
The flow of refugees was a subject which came up in my recent visit to Panama. They said--and these were leftists as well as people who we would consider sort of in the middle--"If you think you have seen something with the boat people, if you think you have seen something with the Cuban and other refugees from the Caribbean, wait until you see what happens from South America if El Salvador goes." They said that the train of events within a couple of years would result in millions of people walking from Latin America across Mexico, across our borders, taking the same kinds of chances with their lives that the boat people took after the benign Ho Chi Minh oriented regime took over to the delight of the so-called liberals. What is liberal about what is going on in Southeast Asia?
Would you give the subcommittee the benefit of your assessment of the present status of the refugees from those countries in which Cuba and Cuban-sponsored or supported insurgents are active and trying to take over the government? Does DOD have any informat~on showing the flow of refugees into any of these countries where Cuba is active?
Secretary IKLE. I certainly agree with you, Mr. Chairman, of the f ~ afire eliVlilIVUb flow ol refugees, which was expressed so vividly by the President in his speech, that comes from the areas where totalitarian communism took power, and the flight is always in the direction toward the large Western democracies and, of course, this country.
The point, I think, is sinking in now among the public here, that if the spread of totalitarianism continues in Central America, the flow as well as the pressures on this country would be enormous .\nd we like to keep our borders rather open. The costs imposed on this country in maintaining security along that border and caring for the people would outweigh by a factor many, many times the kind of assistance that the President has asked for from you and your colleagues in Congress.
Senator DENTON. I think the President asked for $351 million for the entire area, which is a figure that is tossed around in my Subcommittee on Aging, Family and Human Services like it's a nickel.
With all due respect to the immediate needs of our needy, I am convinced that 5 years from now, if we have failed to provide financial support for Central America, giving them a belief that we will invest in their security and prosperity, our needy will be much worse off because we will have that much less resource from which to dispense our compassion toward them, again a fact which is tragically being ignored.
I am going to ask you one more question, sir, and then we will adjourn at 12. I know about your schedule and my own has a limitation, too. But, we will submit further questions and ask you to sort them out in terms of classification.
Secretary IKLE. Certainly, please do.
Senator DENTON. I have an article published in the New York, Times magazine, October 4, 1981, entitled "Cuba's School for Ex porting Marxism.'' l It is about the so-called Isle of Youth, which is the new name for the former Isle of Pines. It is a small island On miles off the southwest coast of Cuba, as you know.
According to the article, since 1977 some 26,000 children front Cuba, Africa, and Central America have been brought to this Cuban island for a controversial "work and study program" that is a mixture of general education and Marxist indoctrination. There have been reports for several years that not all the children on the island, especially those from Africa, are there voluntarily. I might mention at this point that the subcommittee will be holding hearings beginning March 22, 1982, at which time we will examine. among other things, the so-called Communist volunteerism in Africa.
But, these children are not there voluntarily, according to some reports. For instance, Jonas Savimbi, on the occasion of his recent visit to the United States, stated that many Angolan children had been abducted and sent to the Isle of Youth without knowledge or consent of their parents.
DO YOU have any information you can furnish in an unclassified manner concerning this island, and especially concerning these al legations of child abduction? Before you answer, I want to insert a copy of the article that I mentioned in the record.
Secretary IKLE. Mr. Chairman, as I understand it, it is much more than allegations. It's facts, though the actually precise stasis tics, of course, are hard to obtain. But as we see the data, 3000 Ethiopian students and, indeed, children, ages 9 to 18, are trained in ideological indoctrination on this island. Also teachers and others are going with them, and children from other countries and young students as well.
It is quite a remarkable undertaking that has been reported here, and it would be interesting to speculate the kind of interest that would be stirred up if such an island were set up by some other government, the Government of Chile or some other government that often comes under criticism for human rights violations.
But I think it is rather unique--of course, the Soviet Union has been doing that and back in Nazi Germany when they imported youths to give them ideological training, and we are now seeing Castro doing it.
Senator DENTON. I want to thank you, Dr. Ikle, and Colonel Hutson, Mr. Turner, and Mr. Lindstrom, for your testimony this morning. It will constitute an important part of our findings. I do hope they will find their way somehow into the public domain as part of a balanced presentation of news. l
Thank you very much.
Secretary IKLE. Mr. Chairman, thank you for inviting me, and thank you for the kind remarks from Senator East. My time is always available to Members and it was a pleasure to testify here.
Senator DENTON. This hearing stands in recess. The subcommittee will continue an examination of these issues tomorrow, March 12, 1982, when our witnesses will be Ambassador Thomas O. Enders, Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, and Mr. Daniel James, a journalist and specialist in Latin American affairs for more than 25 years.
[Whereupon, the subcommittee recessed at 12:03 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday, March 12, 1982.]