CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE AS SANITIZED
Soviet Policies and Activities in Latin America and the Caribbean
Special Nalional Inielligence Estimate
SOVIET POLICIES AND ACTIVITIES IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
iiUe not ISrn! in ihr picpdnion ol lhi> Ruinate
Mi7.ievx has been app;u'-va tor release through the HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM of the Central Intelligence Agency.
THIS ESTIMATE IS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTEUIGENCE.
THE NATIONAL FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BOARD CONCURS.
The following intelligence organizationt participated in the preparation of the Estimate;
Tho Cenlrol Inleilioence Agency, the- Defense intelligence; Agency, lhe Nolionol Security Agency, ond Iho infeiigence orgoniiolion ol Ihe Deportmenl ol Stole.
The Ati. stent Oiiol Ot Stotf lor Inletgence. Deportmenl of tha Armyclor ol NorolDeeortrnont ol the Novyhia' ol Sfoll. Intet>gence. Deportmont ol Ihe Ac fore* Tht Direclor ol InsoKgcnce, Heodovortors. Menme Corps
Role of Cuba
Soviet Policies and Tactics
Consolidation of Revolutionary Regimes
Support for Insurgencies and Revolution
Bilateral State-to-State Relations
Prospects and Imputations for the United Slates
Soviel activity and interest in Latin America have increased significantly in the past few years, and in the aftermath of the battle for the Falklands the Soviets and their Cuban allies will be probing for new opportunities.oscow has moved more aggressively to eiploit opportunities presented by pressures for revolutionary change In Central America and the Caribbean and by the willirigness of Latin American stales to deal with the USSR and ils allies. The Soviet Union has helped to consolidate revolutionary regimes in Nicaragua and Crenada, has provided considerablethrough proxies and olher thirdrevolutionaries elsewhere in Latin America, and has intensified its efforts to develop favorable political and economic ties with such countries as Argentina. Brazil, and Mexico. Despite thu intensified interest, geographic remoteness has tended to relegate Latinforthc periphery of Soviet security concerns.
Cubaentral role in Soviet relations with Latin America not onlyependent client serving Moscow's interests but also as an independent actor influencing Soviet policies and tactics. Fidel Castro's vigorous support of Nicaraguan revolutionaries, for example, wasuban initiative andarked impact on Soviet attitudes and policy toward the region. Soviet leaders came to shore Castro's assessment that the prospects for the success of revolutionary forces in Central America were brighter than they had earlierThc Soviets have been working closely with the Cubans to consolidate lite Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, which both view as central to promoting leftist gains in the region.
The Soviets have by and large successfullyolicy of encouraging unrest in various Central American states,oothold in Nicaragua, and Improving lhcir relations with theof the more important South American countries. From the Soviet perspective,olicy has potential for distracting American attention from other regions; is relatively cheap in economic terms; has noi required major commitments to local allies; and has not raised confrontation with the Uniied States lo an unmanageable level. The Soviets are thus likely to persist wiih this strategy.
Sovjei support andatin American revolutionary movements now focus on:
Encouragement of broad revolutionary coalitions, uniting pro Soviet Communist parties with their traditional leftwmg rivals.
Creation of loyal military components
Use of hemispheric and cutrahemispheric intermediaries.
Training of revolutionaries.
In El Salvador the Sovieis have facilitated the flow of arms and military equipment to the Salvadoran insurgents from Cuba and other third parties. Although Moscow does not appear sanguine about the insurgents' short-term military prospects, it probably still believes that they can seize powerrolonged armed struggle.
In Cuatemala and Honduras, the USSR and its allies have been pressuring the local Communists to nun broad revolutionary fronts and participate in armed struggle The Soviets and Cubans have providedassistance and training
Moscow undoubtedly sees potential opportunities for lhe lefi in Colombia, thc Dominican Republic, and Chile
In Argentina. Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. Moscow's policy has aimed largely at cultivating positive slate-to-state relations. This approach has emphasized trade expansionsometo sell military hardware. Although these efforts have not usually been translated into increased Soviet influence, they have given some Latin American countries additional opportunities to assert theirof thc United States By building on bilateral ties, the USSR also seeks to achieve specific economic objectives and hopes to gain broader political support for its policy initiatives in the hemisphere and elsewhere in the world.
oviet economic interest and activity in Latin America have intensified. The USSR has become Argentina's largest grain buyer, incurring large trade deficits. Despite lhc Falklands crisis, this year's purchases are still expectedillion tons, or about one-fourth of the USSR's total grain imports
In pursuit of major arms clients over thc last decade, lhe USSR has secured onlyit is now the primary supplier of air and ground equipment. Moscow's military relationship with Lima, however, has given the Soviets little leverage over Peruvian policies.
Despite Soviet success in Peru, most of tbe Latin American military establishments have preferred Western made arms and have been suspicious of the Soviets. Moscow surely hopes, however, that its support for Argentina in the Falklands dispute and interruptions in the supply of arms from some Western sources will make at least tlvc Argentine military more receptive to Soviet offers.
Even in countries where the USSR's policy is keyed to developing bilateral state-to-state ties, as in Mexico, Moscow continues toariety of covert activities and other "active measures" to improve its position and play upon domestic vulnerabilities over the longer term. These activities include:
Funding local Communist parties and front organizations.
Disseminating disinformation and forgeries aimed at the United States-
Drumming up support for hemispheric revolutionaries.
Infiltrating military and security services as well as other important sectors of Latin American bureaucracies
Manipulating the media and mass organizations.
Developing and using agents of influence, mainly through the Cubans.
The Soviets are also educating numerous Latin American andstudents in the USSR, cultivating organized labor, and profiting from the growth of pro-Marxist sentiments among religious activists.
Despite increased Soviel optimism about trends in Latin America. Moscow recognizes that there are major constraints on its ability to influence developments there. Foremost is US political, economic, and military strength; but pervasive Latin American antipathy to Soviet Communismoviet desire not to alarm regional governments through too blatant backing of leftist insurgencies also inhibit Moscow's actions. Moscow has therefore moved in ways designed to avoid directly provoking the United States. In conttast to the USSR's overt and direct bilateral dealings with the larger stales, its support for revolutionary movements has been low-key and indirect, often employingand surrogates.
Moscow's long-term objectives of eroding and supplanting US influence in Latin America arc unlikely to bc affected, however, by its recognition of these obstacles lo Its ambitions. Over the next few years. Soviet efforts to gain Influence are likely lo increase. Washington's
response lo Ihis challenge will be complicated by the fact that its own deep concern aboul Soviel Iroublcmaking in the area is not shared by many regional governments Sympathy with revolutionary causes will persist in countries such as Mexico and Panama Even countries less sympathetic to leftist causes, such as Brazil and Venezuela, would be opposed lo US military intervention to check revolutionary gains in Central America and the Caribbean.
The persistent strain of anli-US sentiment in the region, which has been accentuated by thc Falklands crisis, offers the Soviets some new opportunities to expand theii influence However. Soviet initiatives arc of less inirinsic significance ihan US policies and actions. US efforts to build hemispheric solidarity with lhe current Salvadoran Government and Io gain Latin American support for countering Soviet-supported leftist insurgency elsewhere in Central America have been damaged. The Soviets are certain to atlempl lo exploit what they perceiveS setback.
The large and growing quantity of military hardware in the hands of Soviet clients has major implications for the region. In addition toboth Cuba and Nicaragua against altack. such military power-especially insupport to the Salvadoranand provides shelter for the guerrilla infrastructure. Within the term of this Estimate, other objectives behind arms supply from the USSR and various intermediaries piobably include:
Intimidating Nicaragua's neighbors, thus disposing themacfluiescerice in the Soviet-Cuban foothold in Central America.
Supporting insurgenls in Guatemala.
Laying the groundwork for support of possible futurein Honduras, Costa Rica, and elsewhere in lhe hemisphere.
The recent US warning of the consequences of delivering Soviet-supplied MIG aircraft to Nicaragua may have prompted the deferral of such deliveries. Nevertheless, preparations for their arrival arc continuing.
Over the longer term, there isossibility that thc Soviets may seek access io naval and air facilities in Nicaragua and Grenada. Such access wouldignificant impact on US security interests, especially with regard lo the Panama Canal and other lines of communication
1 Soviet activity ind interest in Latinave increased significantly in the past tew years Moscow has moved to exploit new opportunitiesby pressures for revolutionary change inAmerica and the Caribbean and by the willingness of Latin American states to deal with the USSR and its' allies-9 the Soviet Union has helped to consolidate the revolutionary regime in Nicaragua, has provided considerablethrough proxies and olher thirdrevolutionaries elsewhere in Latin America, and has intensified ils efforts to develop favorable poliiical and economic lies with such countries as Argentina. Brazil, and Mciico.
Despite this intensified interest. Latin America's geographical remoteness from lhe USSR has tended to relegate II lo the periphery of Soviet security concerns, except when Soviet involvement with Cuba ot Cuban activities have threatened loerious crisis in Soviet-US relitiorj' Over the years Latin America has been less important in the USSR's rivalry with the United Stales lhan other Third World areas such as Asia and the Middle East, where Soviel slakes are greater and Soviel power less constrained
Soviet interest In Lalin America isubstantial degree motivated bv the USSR's global competition with thc United States and its ideological andcommitment to support revolutionary causes worldwide Moscow's basic aim in the region is to undermine US influence, which it seeks to achieve
' For purposes ct tail Ea-miM. latin Acetic* iall mjjJind courtnes/ictHorn-lototaoresrirs (rorn Meuiea tewta le Artefirj Ceaaral America refers so Brfcteotiduiai NiciragBi. Coat* glee, and Panama TW Caribbean includes thoae u'-and itnes/imllorlrs/deperalenetei -lidcoast on the Caribbean Sea
The Eitiniale considers Soviet ptospeeli in Latin Amenta and lhe Caribbean over ipproiiniitely the neit two years.
'Thii tliiuisaie eiacunn lhe Mcacoa Havanaean apon ike laaavtatJee, and MBtraareea'iaa ol Soviet pafcey toward lat.ii America and the Cejibbnan Analyse ol ihe overall bilateral Sonet Cuban retitWralilp don nd (ill -ithln th* aeope ol llie paper.
both by strengthening Soviet diplomatic, economic, and military ties with governments of the region and by promoting radical change Thb approach is In line wiih Moscow's forward strategy in thc Third World, which has the long term aim of changing theco-relation of forces in favor of thc USSR
4 The Soviet leadership understands lhat growing instability in Central America creates serious policy dilemmas for Washington In Moscowiew, if the United Slates does not respond effectively in Central America during lhe nexl few years, revolutionary momentum will accelerate there and elsewhere in Latin America. If Washington intervenes diiectly, however. Moscow perceives lhat it will be able to stimulate international criticism of US action In either case. Moscow anticipates that revolutionary- ferment in America's own backyard will divert US attention and resources from more distant problems, sow divisions between the United States and its allies, and undercut Washington's credibility in the Third World.
Moscow's current suppori for revolutionary causes should not obscure ils other important priorities and interests in the area, which il promotesand sometimes in contradiction to its backing for revolution. The level of Soviet economic, military, and political aclivity with the larger countrieslhat they are major targets in Soviet strategy toward Latinubstantial share ol lhc USSR's agricultural imports comes from Argentina and Brazil, and Moscowajor arms supplywith Peru Such state.to-state relations give tbe Soviel Union an opportunity to expand its presence and influence in specific countries. The Soviets, of course, abo seek to encourage looseasadopt policies independent of the Uniled Stales
Nlcscow regards the Falklands sitiialionignificant opportunity lo intensify Latin American alienation from (lie Uniled Slates and expand its own Influence In the region. It is trying lotin American lescnlment of US support for Britain and to Stimulate distrust of thc US commitment to regional
II almosi certainly sees the crisis as opening the possibility of Argentina's lurnlng io lhe USSH lo recquip ils armed forces Moreover, il probably also views lhe crisis as weakening lhe US ability lo mobi'ire litm American rution* againsi Soviet. Cuban, and other leftist advances in Ihe area
hc Soviets have had ties with some Latin American Communist parties since, bul untilhey expended little effort lo eipand lhcir Influence in the hemisphere Soviet involvement was limited largely to providing some financialto the local Communist parties, which inandexpected mainly lo suppott Moscow's position al Communist internationalwhile seeking to broaden their influence over events in their own countries Moscow's expectalions in the area remained modest until the advent of Fidel Castro
6 Castro's alignment of Cuba with the USSR1 marked thc turning point in Soviet involvement in Latin America. Castro's move handed Moscow an opportunity to establish an Ideological, political, and military foothold in the hemisphere,otential to gain in the strategic competition with the United Slates The outcome of the Cuban missile crisis and the containment of Castroism to Cuba in thejevertheless punctured Moscow's hopes ol Quickly altering lhe strategic balance and forcing thc pace of change in the region.
nn Latin America and thc Caribbean the USSB didthe exception offionlallv challenge US dominance. The Soviets did vigorously undertake "activentended lo undercut USut Moscow provided no
' the Sovieu use the term "actlv* meaiura" to reinreadof orttX and covert operation! Intended la pnivulr policy efloctiiBcanwo, which rrixricitl an unon- kiwi nadlunrt lo tradiltuna] dtpaamacv. am deiianod to influence thr cVcUlnna nf for dendisrupt rcliuona bctsvi- other oatMaa.eaoladnce in Ionian load-its andndoeponeau They laetvd* suchaiof ihr rardu dibnloanutlHi and fceieu. at lorcsm Cocamutale partial andt. ma mnnmic acUrriSce, and varSmi polmcil infliiri"
Opr-rationi Operational iMelltirnce Melunandum CIAO0-
HZ. Trtndi end Dtwtoomtnli In Somci Arrlor Unuvin (AprilnnH Soviel "active mnaauiM" more broadly ind In uralrr detail
mililarv or any significant economic assistance to any non Communist Central Ainerlcan or Caribbean country It emphasired in its policy the moreconcerns of building diplomatic, commercial, and even military relations wiih lhc costingas in Peru Moscow apparently hoped that stronger bilateral lies would place itetter position to profit from growing rationalism and its accompanyingmericanism. Correspondingly, lhe Soviets also discouraged lhe small orthodoxparties fiom engaging in violence and were reluctant to support leftist groups advocatingAlthough the Soviets did try from time lo time to cultivate some local leftistas Jamaica's Michael Manley, who was quite eager to curry favor withefforts were limited and they were content to let the Cubans' take the lead. In fact, they encouraged Manley lo maintain correct relations with lhe Uniied States In order to qualify for economic assistance which thev were unwilling to extend
In the case of Chile's Salvador Atlende.reluctance wholly to embrace his regime re*ide range of considerations beyond its concern with thc US reaction hu politicalconflict with members of hit own Socialist party as well as the Communist Patty, inability to co-opt groups of the extreme left, and lackoyal military force lo defend his regime In iheir reflections on tbe Chilean experience, Soviet leaders have noted the possibilitypeaceful road tohile warning revolutionaries of the needroad left-wing coalition and their ownr mi lion
Thil measured approach by the Soviels yielded both political and economic bcnelils. The number of regional states with which Moscow establishedexpanded (secnd themports wereimes those of the previous decade, largely because of grain purchase! from Argentina.
Role ol Cuba
entral role in SovietLatin America bothependent clientinterests and as an independent actorSoviet policies and tactics. Cuba'sthe USSR for economic and military assistancea tender point (or Castro, who vehementlylinkage between Soviet largess and Cubansupport of the USSR's foreign policy objectives
And. in lad. he ha* enjoyed greater freedom In his policies in Latin America than he has elsewhere in the Third World Nevertheless. Castro pays close heed to Soviet interests and to the limits of Moscow's tolerance on tactical matters
Soviet and Cuban approaches to the region have not always been harmonious Initially Moscow was convinced lhat"march toward socialism" in Latin America would he slow and disapproved of Castro's indiscriminate aid to hemispheric revolutionaries asowever. Soviel politicaland eeonomie incentives, combined wiih Cuban foreign policy reverses, began to bring Ihe twogoals and interests back into convergence and culminated in their Joint intervention in Angola and Ethiopia in the.9 lhe two had expanded their collaboration to include support of violent revolutionary parlies and groups, particularly in Central America
Castro's vigorous support of Nicaraguanbeginning8 wasuban initiative, and il hasarked Impact on Soviet attitudes and policy toward the region Moscow was impressed by Havana's success In exploiting tlsesituation in Nicaragua. Not only did the Cubans supplant US influence Ihere. but.ouniry in which Moscow had previously had no official representation, it soon enjoyed diplomatic, military, eeonomie. and even formal party links wiih the Sandinista National Liberation Fronl (FSLN) Soviet leaders appatently came to share Castro's revised assessment that thc prospects for lhe success offorces in Central America were brighter lhan ihey had earlier calculated, and felt lhal the United States was irresolute in countering leftist gains
he Soviets hive been working closely with tbe Cubans to consolidate the Sandinista regime; both share lhe view thai Nicaragua is central to promoting leftist gains elsewhere in Central America. Thehave also served as intermediaries with insurgent groups elsewhere In Central America and with the radical Bishop regime in Crenada Moscow prefers that Havana take the lead in advancing regional revolutionary causesin deference to Castro'sof local political dynamics and longstanding involvement with revolution in Lalin America;Cubaemispheric. Spanish-speaking power; and to shield lhe USSH against any backlash from the
Uniled States and from the larger Latin American countries where ililateral slake
IC Despite lhc efficacy ol Havana's role so far. Moscow is no doubt alert to the potential for damage lo its broader inleresls arising from its CubanPotential for friction between Moscow ind Havana exists in their conflicting preferences for diffeient factions within some Latin Americanmovements Partly to monitor Cuba's activities ami check those they iudge too provocative to the United States, the Soviets will continue their efforts to expand their own influence andin Nicaragua
Soviel Policies ond loctics
employs diverse means lo exploitlocal conditions and lo serve mullipleIt is helping to consolidate lhein Nicaragua and is supporting lhc regimeIn some Latin American countriesEI Salvador. Guatemala, andand supporting violent revolutionit isix of diplomacy andThis pattern is likely to persist for attwo-year period of the Estimate.
Consolidation of Revolutionary Regimes
igh value onensuring the survival of revolutionary regimeshemisphere The new radical regimeesser extent, that in Crenada atesymbolically significant for tlse USSB,its experience with Allende's Chile. Thclhat the leftist. pro-Soviet. anti-Americanin Managua and Saint George* will contributeemergence of other similarly oriented regimesAmerica and the Caribbean and serve asfor revolution elsewhere In the hemisphere
Vieorogue Moscow, whose Involvement in Central America was low before the Sandinistais assiduously cultivating thc new revolutionary recline in Nicaragua It has subordinated its tics to lhe minuscule local Communist parly and established formal party links with theoviet diplomatic mission was established In. and ihe total number of Soviets now in Nicaragua,
including military advisers and technicians,.
he trend toward closet relations haso*ci tbe last year or so Recent high-level Ntcara-fpian visitors to Moscow have included DefenseHumberio Ortega. Sandinista Political Commission Chairman Aree. and Foreign Minister D'Escoto Junta leader Daniel Ortega's visit to Moscow and meeting with Piesident Brezhnev In2 have put Soviet lies wiih Nicaragua on tlie same level as those with many Important Soviet clients elsewhere in thc Third World
venime in which the Soviets arc being Hghtfisted with economic assistance, Moscow and lis allies are meeting some of Nicaragua's economic needs Moscow's economic assistance program0 "framework"form usually reserved for major aid recipients such as Afghanistan andcalb for assistance to all majoi economic sectors. To date. Moscow, Its East European allies, and Cuba claim to have committed about MM million in nonconvertible currency credits lo finance agricultural, road build ing. andequipment and other machinery The ciairns may involve some double counting and couldbe inflated; nevertheless, some of the equipment financed by these credits has already been delivered. In addition. Libya has0 million cash loan, and may have promised nrtsaderably more than that (although the Libyans are notorious for notsuch commitments)
Moscow has also tried to blunt US economic pressure on Managua Tlie counlries of the Soviet Bloc's Council for Mulual Economic Assistance (CEMA) gave0 metric Ions of grain to offset Ihe cancellation ofS grain deliveries. Nevertheless, lhe Soviets appear reluctant lo commit the substantial hard currency assistance most needed by Managua and have privately advised lhc regime to be cautious in disrupting economic ties withmost important Western economic partners
In tbe area of miliiary relations. Moscowto work largely through Cuba, and other third parlies lo help build up the Sandinista militarybut its own direct role is increasing as It gaugestin American and US reaction As evi-
denced bv the vislls of Defense Minister Ortega to Moscow in the last year or so. military consullationi are becoming more frequent and direct, Moscow oc doubt hopes that its military assistance will forestall efforts lo topple lhe regime and strengthen pro-Soviet elemenls in the Sandinista establishment
he bulk of Nicaragua's military equipment and assistance has come from the USSR and iu Communist allies, with other third parties providing modest leveb of assistance (see tableoviet military agreements are estimated to be worth al0 millionome equipment has been sent from the USSR to Cuba and Algeria and transshipped to the Sandinistas Crowing East European military cooperation with Nicaragua is almost certainlyat Soviet behest The Soviets also appear to be encouraging such parties as Libya and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to provide military assistance and training to the Ntcaraguans The PLO apparently views its role in Nicaragua and Its aid to revolutionaries elsewhere in the region at least partlyuaranlee of continued Soviet military andsupport.
Military Equipment and Assistance Supplied by Communist Countries to Nicaragua
heavy irnphiUow lento, ar-
ell personnel earners, artillery.
aircraft, helicopters, patrol
and miliury equipment
artfJUry. morurs. imall
ammunition, arid Iraining
Among marc* ilerru In iMi Inventory are aboulS ranki. about W0 trvcU IIrmored penonnd carriers. Hi CSP lieavy amphibious lent or. ho MIS Htp helicopters. iUirerali. one Zbuk-tJis patrol craftmm gun-howit-ten,T-mm antilul guru, IS BM-ZI multiple roeari launchers, ind mire than 1C0 intuircraft guru
n contrast lo aluban military and security personnel, llie number ol Soviet military personnel in Nicaragua isndhe Soviet contingent thus appears to be roughly equal in size to lhal from Eastern Europe (mainly Easthe Middle East (the PLO andr Asia (Vietnam and Northowever, many of the Soviets, along with their Cubanseem to be acting as advisers to bey members of the armed forces. Soviet military advisers are attached to thc Nicaraguan General Staff, are assisting in the preparation of defensive contingency plans, and arc probably providing intelligence support. Sovietaides are also closely involved in plans loand improve various Nicaraguan militaryparticularly lhe Airtbey have largely displaced lhe Cubans Moreover. Soviet pilots and technicians who accompanied deliveries of severalir transport planes and twoelicopters last summer apparently are still there and have used this equipment to transport Nicaraguan military personnel.
Thc Soviets also plan to provide severalransport aircraft soon,roup of Nicaraguan pilots reportedly are scheduled to go to tbe USSR for appropriate training In addition, efforts to expand and upgrade some Nicaraguan airfields, coupled wiih reported training of Nicaraguan Air Force personnel in Cuba, Bulgaria, and probably elsewhere In Eastern Europe to fly MIGs, suggest that Moscow may have been planning future deliveries of fighter aircraft, including some already in Cuba. Thc recent US warning of thc consequences ofove, however, may have prompted deferral of such deliveries Nevertheless, preparations for their arrival are continuing.
Moscow's apparent interest in avoiding high-visibility involvement in Nicaragua is derived partly from its desire not to provoke US countermeasures against either Nicaragua or Ihe USSR. In working through inlermediarics. especially in military matters. Moscow has sought to ensure that Its prestige Is not tied direclly to thc fate of thc current regime inore conspicuous Soviet role would also riskMexico, Panama, and other regional countries that are showing some signs of unease over (he Nicaraguan military buildup. For these reasons, the Sovieis prob-
ably will be content to continue to rely on allies and nonregronal intermediaries to provide Ihe bulk of miliiary assistance to Nicaragua However. Moscow wdl continue to build more direct channeb ofand make occasional direct deliveries of military equipment lo lest US reactions lo expanding Soviet involvement
renads. Moscow has appeared less certain about the long-term prospects of the leftistIn the small island state of Crenada and has lieen somewhat more circumspect in supporting. It.thc Soviets welcomed the leftist coup and have come to regard it as an authentic "anti-imperialislhey have been reluctant thus far to open an embassy on the island. Their economic assistance to the Bishop government so far has also been nsodest. amountingittle more than SI million inand construction aid and some limited technical assistance for lhe island's new television facility and two new radio transmitters far more powerful than the island requires for local broadcast needs
In lhc area of military assistance, tlse Soviets have provided aboul three dozen military tiucLs and reportedly have offered military training in tlie USSR toozen Crenadians Moscow presumably also plays an indirect role through Cuban militaryefforts, and has encouraged its Easi European allies lo provide aid. Of particular Importance isOO meter runway being built, principally by lhc Cubans, lhal will be capable of accommodating all known types of Cuban and Soviet aircrafl.
There are signs that the USSR and Crenada mav be moving lo upgrade their relations Thr Bishop governmcni hasiplomatic mission infirst Cienadlan embassy in thewhich couldeciprocal move by Moscow. In recent months, key Crenadlan military and political aides have also visited Moscow, presumably to seek additional Soviet economic and military aid
ecent developments In Sun name have givenew opportunity to develop relations with another regime with revolutionary/ socialist pretensions In the Caribbean. The abortive March roup attempt against the government domi-nalcd by aimy commander Bouterse hasajor factor In thc regime's decision to look for support from
Cub* Havana has respondedmall shipment of arms, and promises of full military and economic support Although the Sonets will probably let Cuba take thc lead, thev have already signaled their interest in exploiting the new situation by announcing that they willesident embassy in the near future
ui/ana. Soviet efforts to cultivate the leftist-leaning government of Forbes Burnham and hisNational Congress (PNC) in Guyana have been constrained by Moscow's longstanding relationship with thc pro-Soviet People's Progressive Partyed by Cheddt lagan. Although in the last year or two Moscow has moved somewhat away from the PPP. relations between Moscow and Burnham continue to be characterized by mistrust. Although thc Soviets seem reluctant to extend economic aid lo thehard-jsressed government, they have sought to lake advantage of lhe regime's economic problems by continuing toPP-PNC coalition.
Support for Insurgencies ond Revolution
uch of Moscow's support for insurgent and rcvolutlonaiy movements In Ihe hemisphere Is covert, opportunistic, and flexible Accordingly, the Soviets are expanding their links within El Salvador, Cuatemala, andrevolutionary activity promises opportunities to install anti-US and potentially pro-Soviet regimes. Elsewhere, ihey have encouraged thc several small orthodox Communist parties in the Caribbean to prepare for violent revolution and have called on lhe Chilean left to initiate aimed struggle against thc Pinochet refime
oviel support and guidance for Latinrevolutionary movements now focus upon:
Encouragement of broad revolutionaryuniting pro-Soviet Communist parties with their traditional left-in* rivals.
Creation of military components loyal to thecoahlions.
Use of hemispheric and eitrahemisphcric
Training of revolutionary cadres
n El Salvador. Moscow has continued loCommunist participation in the Unified Revolu-
tionary Directorate, the umbrella organizationthe irourgency. and has endorsed armedas the left's best alternative Moscow has facdilaled tbe flow of arms and miliiary equipment to the Salvadoran Insurgents from Cuba and other third partica and has contributed logistic support to Ihe operation While generally supporting the entirefront, Moscow hu strengthened thc posilion of tlie Communist Party of El Salvador (PCES) within it by (unnehng some of its assistance to the insurgents through the PCES This has endowed the Salvadoran Communistsegree of influence much greater than their numerical strength would warrant Inthe position of the PCES. Moscow hopes lo ensure lhat thethrough il thebe well positioned to exett Influence on events In El Salvador, especially if the leftist insurgency should succeed
espite this involvement, Moscow has tried to sofl-pedal its role in El Salvador, partly lo avoid provoking strong US counter measures there that could spdl over into Nicaragua and lead to furtherin relations with Washington. Moscow seemed to have been impressed by lhc Reagan administration'! reaction lo the situation in El Salvador and appears concerned that tbe outcome of the election in2 may have significantly lessened the immediate prospect* of the revolutionary left. However, llie Soviets have taken comfort in thc West European reluctance to ersdorse lhe elections. The Soviets abo hope that actions by tbe poliiical right in El Salvador will further complicate the US adminislration's efforts to mobilize Congressional support for additionaland economic support lot that country, and. over the long term, assist the left Although the Soviets appear less sanguine about tlie insurgents' short-term military rsrospects. they probably still believe thai the insurgents can seize powerrolonged armed struggle.
n Guatemala and Honduras. Moscow and its allies have also been pressuring the local Communists to loin broad revolutionary fronts and participate in armed struggle Cuba, probxbly supported by Moscow, hat promised arms to Communists and other radical leftists if they unify. The Soviets have providedassistance and training and have encouraged various third parties to do the same. In Ihe last few
years, (or ihe firsi lime since Ihe, the Sovieis have even resumed giving paramilitary training in lhe USSR to Honduran Communists. Moreover, in lhe last year or so. Soviel personnel in Cuba reportedly have participated In politicalof Guatemalan Communists and have been more directly involved in giving lactical advice toGuatemalan insurgents.
The Sovieis and the Cubans have alsothe Dominican Communist Parlyrudging agreement to prepare for eventual armed struggle in the Dominican Republic. Recently,ihey urged the party lonited front with lhe leftist Dominican Liberation Party for the2 nationalcoalition that the local Communists nevertheless avoided. Moscow is also using the Dominican Communists to channel funds to the United Party of Haitian Communists, which reportedly is trying toovement of Haitian cities for the eventual ouster of President Duvalier. In addition, the USSR sponsorsactivities lo enlist support for hemispheric revolutionaries through Soviel front organizations such as the World Federation of Democratic Youth and the World Peace Council.
In the case of Chile, the Sovieis have adopted an openly militant line aimed alnited armed struggle against the Pinochet regime.provided the chief of the Chilean Communist Partvorum ath CPSU Congress lo call for armed revolution, and subsequently has broadcast similar messages to Chile by otherand even Salvadoran Communists. Despitecalls lo overthrow Pinochet, Moscow does not believe his demise is Imminent and has not committed significant material resources to assist the Chilean Communists.
Moscow undoubtedly sees potentialfor the Ml In the political and social flux in Colombia, bui has abo beep seeking good relations svith the government in power. Its involvement wiih Colombian revolutionary groups, therefore, is more ambivalent Tlse Soviets have longstanding dose ties with the Colombian Communist Party (PCQ but
thc eitent of their dealings svith. and influence on. the party's paramilitary arm. the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARO, which Is one of the country's most effective guerrilla groups, it uncertain. Since the. FARC hasa more independent ami radical line than the PCC. which has publicly renounced violenceeans to gain power. Some top FARC leaders reportedly have received training in the USSR, and Moscow maintains some contact with thc group through lhe PCC
evertheless, the Soviets are not known to have opposed active Cuban support for insurgency in Colombia. Following the seizure of theEmbassy jn Bogota0 by9 guerrillas, the Cubans assumed responsibility for their training and subsequent Infiltration intoThese Cuban-directed efforts base caused some diplomatic embarrassment to thefor example, lbc cancellationisit by the President of Colombia that had long been sought by Moscow.
ne of Moscow's newest and most effective tactics for lhe support of Latin Americanmovements involves iho use of proxies and other third parlies Within the region, Cuba has recently been Joined by Nicaragua in playing this instrumental role Nicaragua maintains training camps for Latin American insurgents and actsunnel foi liansporling externally supplied arms Into El Salvador.esserSome Nicaraguan personnel reportedly have been functioning as advisers to the Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas, andservesase tor the Salvadoran guerrilla command structure. Extrahcmlipheric actonmost prominently the PLO. but Libya, Vietnam, and several East European countries have also participated. Latin Americans are sent for paramilitary and political trainingites in Cuba. Eastern Europe. Libya, and elsewhere In thc Middle East, as well as the USSR itself. Arms and other support ar* shipped from orumber of countrieseans of distancing the USSR from what would be seen as especially provocative acts.
it In Argentina. Brazil. Mexico, and Peru.policy has aimed largely al cultivating positive state-to-Hale relations This approach has emphasized trade expansion and -in somelo sell military hardware Although these Soviet efforts have not usually been translated into increased Sovietthey have given some Lalin American counlries additional opportunities to assert their independence of the United States. By building on bilateral lies, lhe USSR also seeks to achieve specific economicand hopes to gain broader political support for its policy initiatives in the hemisphere and elsewhere in the world
conomic. The US-sponsored partial grainfollowing the invasion of Afghanistan, combined with Soviet agricultural problems, has intensifiedeconomic interest and activity In Latin America. It hai ledignificant growth In grain purchases from Argentina as well as Brazil0 the USSR has become Argentina's largest grain buyer,for aboutercent of that1 train exports. Despite the Falklands crisis, thb year's sales are still expected toillion motrlc ions, or about one-fourth of the USSR's tolal grainalthough the ultimate volume will depend upon the results ol the Soviet grain harvest. The USSR and Argentina also haveive-year agreement which ealb for annual Soviet purchase0etric tons of Argentine1 purchases0 metric tons
uch economic dealings wllh the USSR so (ar have paid handsome dividends (or Latin American countries. Moscow has importedash basis and has run massive trade deficits (See chart) According to the latest Soviet figures. Moscow's trade deficit with Argentina reachedillionrazilian export! to the USSR have0 by moreercent4 million inimports totaled onlyillion Such highly favorable trade arrangements are of great benefit to Argentina, and of more modest benefit to Brazil, In helping to offset their balance-of-payments deficits with other regions Before the outbreak of the Falklands conflict. Ihe Sovietsresponse to their own luid currencyshort-term credils from Argentina to cover grain purchases, but they did not appear to use the conflict to press thb
demand. Argentina, badly in need of hard currency from grain sales to finance its military activities, has been unwilling and unable to offer any short-term credits and. in fact, has requested advance hard currency payments Irom the USSR for impending grain deliveries. In tlie absence of an agreement on the issue, the USSR has obtained West European financing for Its purchases
espite these deficits, the Soviets have derived certain benefits of their own from ihis trade In addition to meeting uigent economic needs, the USSR was able to undercut0 US grain embargo and blunt its potential for future use- The Soviets are pressing to develop the bigger Latin AmericanArgentina ondmarkets fot Soviet finished goods, especially equipment for hydropower protects. There are nowoviet and East Euiopcan civilianin the tegion (See
he nuclear field is another important area in the growing relationship between the USSR andIn an attempt to diversify its sources of supply, Buenos Aires has turned lo Moscow for zitca-loy production equipment Earlier thb year, the two
Soviel Bloc Civilian Technician* in Latin America and ihe1
uclear supply contract thai calU lor the Soviels lo provide enrkhrnent serviceson of heavy water. Conmtent with Moscow*to nuclear weapons proliferation, this contract require! safeguard measures By expanding awith Ihe most advanced nuclear development program in Latin America. Moscow probably hopes toelcomed supplier of highly lucrativemateriab to othertates, such as Brazil
he Soviets are alto making an economic push in Biazl) Moscow's decision last year to sell oil ihere when il was reducing deliveries to ils allies and other Third World countriesesire to court the Brazilian Government as wellressing need for hard currency. Soviet oil eiports to Brazil2 will00 barrels per day. orercent of Brazil's rril requirements. Long-term trade agreements initiated by lhe two countries last yearrade turnovei ofillion over the next five years. According to the terms of the agreements. Brazil will supply agricultural products under long-term contracts while the Soviets wiU continue sales of crude and abo provide turbines fo* Brazilianprojects.
oscow has also expanded technical exchanges with Brazil. Altracted by Moscow's willingness to
provide advanced technology on attractive flnincial terms. Brasilia hasechnical service and financing acfeemcnt for the installation of Soviet ethanol manufacturing plants. The protocol calls for the construction ofacilities, with the USSRequipment and ncocoovertible commercial credits of up toercent of total costs.ao Paulo oil exploration company has agreed to Soviet assistance in evaluating the oil potential of the Parana basin Moreover. Brasilia has abo agreed lo expanded Soviet participation in hydroelectric developmenl. and has contracted for assistance in evaluating cualand assessing the feasibility of advanced coal gasification techniques
he Soviets are also Increasing their economic and commercial activity In Mexico, albeit not rapidly For the last seven years. Mexico has had observer status with CEMA.radual expansion during this period. Mexican trade with tlse USSR still accounts for lessercent of Mexico's foreign commerce. Discussions with the USSRuadrilateral oil swap underscore Mexico's openness to dealings with lhe Soviet Union, but Mexico's Insistence on commercially viable arrangements may continue lo restrict trade cxpirtsion Moscow wants Mexico to ship oil to Cuba. In turn, lhc USSR would supply Mexican customers
Europe In addition to gaining substantial transpur-lation savings. Moscow may- tKink that the United States would be less likely to interrupt Mexican than Soviet shipments ol od ll Washington rrsoited lo an oil blockade of Cuba. The Soviets may also seek to obtain advanced US technology in Mexico, but Mexican efforts to avoid violating US eiport controls could limit Soviet opportunities
ilitary Safei and Training. The Soviets'to enter into military sales relationships have not kept pace with the growth of their economicOver the last decade, the USSR has secured onlyit is now tbe primary supplier of air and grounda major arms client. In the wake of the US refusal since thco tell Peru sophisticatedewly installed leftist military regime turned to lhc USSR8 for military equipment. To date. Soviet military sales to Peru have amounted to more lhanillion. While some of this equipment is dated, it more than meets Peruvian requirements and has included sophisticated let aircraft, helicopters, surface-to-air and air-to-sur-face missile systems, and tanks. The Soviets have alao been able to introduce their own mUilaiy advisers for the first lime into South America, and there areo ISO Soviel military advisers and technicians in Peru. Ineruvi-arts, including military and inteUigence personnel, have been trained in the USSR, andiaison relationship with the KCB.
eru has sometimes taken pro-Soviet or at least anti-US positions, but lama's military relationship has given the Soviets Utile leverage over Peruvian policies While the Peruvian Army and Air Force continue to seek new and rnore advanced miliiary equipment from the USSR, key civilian members of tlie current Belaundcthcesire to reduce the degree of Peru's military dependence on Moscow, although lhe likelihood of this Is low Not only do lhe Peruvian Army and Air Force appear lo value the Soviel tie. bui the Falklands crisis hu made the USSR moreas an arms supplier The local Communist partv remains an insignificant political force and Moscow has shied away from supporting more radicalThe Soviets are conscious lhat promotion of violent struggle could cause tho military to sever lhe
arms reUtiooship and thereby severely set back Soviet inleresls Moscow seems satisfied, al least for now. (hat tlse arms relalionship represents in best entree, and hopes lhat over the longer term leftist and pro-Soviel elements will become stronger
Soviet arms sales lo Peru, most ofArnerican military establishments,in Argentina. Brazil, and Mexico, havearms, been suspicious of lhcrepeatedly declined Moscow's offer ofand joint training programs. Theseofficers corps arc by and large staunchlyand their increasing concern overin Centra) America will complicate Sovielmake inroads in the military sales area.
Moscow hopes lhal itsfor Argentina in the Falklands dispulein the supply of arms fiom somesources will make at least the Argentinereceptive to Soviet offersove woulddifficult one for thc Western- and US-trainedmilitary leadership, which has beenin its anti-Communism. Nevertheless,restrictions on arms continue. Buenosseriously consider purchasing selectedfrom the USSR lo replace its lossesdisenchantmen' with the West, llthai Argentina might be more open loof Soviet arms If thev werean intermediary such as Peru Moscowlhat its chances of establishing armswith some other governments inwill be enhanced.
oliiical. On the poliiical front, the Soviets have consistently sought lo discredit US policy. They are prepared at every turn to capita lire on the Latin perception of decades of US pobtical and economic pressure Moscow has applauded demonstrations of independence from (he United States, such as the refusal of Argentina. Brazil, and Peru to foln in the US-sporisored trade sand sons against the USSR follow ing the Afghanistan invasion. Tlse Soviets have sought to exploit Mexico's opposition lo US initiatives in El Salvador and to play on the ddferences hdween Mexico and lhe United Stales over how best lo restore stability In Ccnlial America Moscow is especially pleased lo see ddferences between Ihe Uniled States
ind Latin American countries retarding policy loward the USSR, and probably views such disagreements as Signsurther weakening of US influence and increase in its own
he Soviet* have tried to use the Falkland Islands dispute between Argentina and Great Britain to further ingratiate themselves with the government in Buenos Abes and elsewhere in thc region. After initial hesitation. Moscow publicly supportedand apparently passed limited intelligenceion to Buenos Aires Nevertheless. Moscow did not approve the invasion, nor has it formally endorsed Argentina's claim to sovereignty over the Falklands. although it has depicted Argentine policy in positive termsontinuation ol tlic process ol decoloni ration.
oscow has intensified its diplomatic andefforts to improve its capabilities andthe importance it attaches to bilateral ties with tlie states in the area In lhe last year or to. the Latin American section ol thc Soviet Foreign Ministry has been expandedew department cieated to emphasize mote narrow regional expertise in handling the growing volume of contacts. During this period, the Soviets also have begun to send higher level visitors to Latin America In the springor example. Politburo candidate member Rasbidov visited Brazil More recently, Inolitburo candidate member Allvev. accompanied by Brezhnev's personal senior foreign policy aide,isit lo Mexico Gly. Moscow, for Ils part, has played host lo visits by Mexican PresidentPontile8 andhis foreign and defense ministers While these visits have not resulted in any sign if tea nt agreements between Mexico and the USSR, the publicity accorded to them by the two countries reflects the symbolic Importance lhat both attach to Ibeir bilateral tics.
ven in countries where the USSR's policy is keyed to developing bilateral state-to-state tics.continues toariety of covert activities and other "active measures" lo improve its position and play upon domestic vulnerabilities over the longer term. These activities include
Funding local Communist parties and front organizations
Oissemlnattng disinformation and forgeries aimed at the United States
Drumming up support lor hemisphericlies
Indurating military and securily services as well as other important sectors of governmental
- Manipulating the media and masa organizations.
Cultivating pro-Soviet sentiments amongand students
Developing and using agents of influence, mainly through thc Cubans
o Moscow, the local orthodox Communist parties arc essentially inslrumenlW Soviet policy (lor sires of parlies, tee tablehe USSR provides funds lo most Latin American Communist parties and is encouraging Ihem to become more active, particulitly in organizing broad coalitions of the left. In Mexico, for example, in keeping with Moscow's longstanding desire lo forge greater unity among thc local leftists, top level Soviet party officials look part in negotiations preceding last year's fusion of tbe Mexican Communist Paily with foul smaller leftist parties The Soviets also tried io pressure other Mexican leftistIwo parties that have been co-opted by theioining the new leftistheif subsequent decision to ease such pressurereflects theit awareness of lhe limits of Soviel influence with some local leftistsesire not lo antagonize the Mexican Government Nevertheless, lhe Soviets probably calculate tbat such low-keyin strengthening Communist parties in the cutting polilical systems poses little immediate risk to their stite-to-slate relations The Soviets and Cubans employ their state-to-state and covert leftist contacts In Mexico to undermine US influence within the region. They arc using Mexicoase from which to conduct "active measures" againsi other countries
he Soviets have abo stepped up iheiractivities in the atea over the lasl several years These efforts aim both to discredit US policy In live hemisphere and to strengthen leftist elementsfor example, has directed Ils representativestm America to spread false accusations about the
Pro-Soviet Communist Parties in Latin America and lhe Caribbean
Thuhe total membershiparty ol Mexico (PSUMlhe uble.
coalition called lhe Unified
(or Washington's till toward Britain on the Falklands dispute. The Soviets have also used front organisations such as the World Peace Council, the World Federation of Democratic Youth, and the World Federation of Trade Unions to mobilizefor Central American and Caribbeangroups Moreover, through its greatly expanded English-language, medium-wave coverage (relayed fromad'o Moscow now blinketi the Caribbean
n keeping with thc pattern elsewhere in the Third World, Ihe Soviets try to infiltrate Iheof lhe host government In the case of Jamaica under Michael Manley, for example, llie KCBcontactside range of Jamaican politicalManley and governmenthelped Manley topecialunit lo monitor hit political opponents end US
activities. The KCB was also in close contact with some of Manley'i radical supporters who employed violence against the opposition Yet. at the same lime, the Soviets regarded the regime as unstable and proved unwilling to provide significant economic assistance, which might have helped to ensure ils survival Moscow is now apparently seeking to pursue correct and businesslike relations with the current government of Edward Seaga. if only tooviet presence in Jamaica, while continuing to maintain contacts with local leftist groups
hc Soviets are also educating numerous Latin American and Caribbean students in the USSR lo impiove Moscow's image,adre of local sympathizers, and spot and evaluate potential agents for the Soviet intelligence services- Moscow reportedly offers hundreds of scholarships per year to students from countries such as Brazil, Colombia. Cosla Rica.
Academic Students Fiom Lalin America and lhe Caribbean in lhe USSR and EasternI
Dfinnmn lo lhcnd EaUnnTia-*edr4
1 -bean Luia Amman awleMi ilun all other Gia-gwi eowuim combined fcvdeab Iran vuiaal,
(DdiiiT in the rrCJOBm ruled al waneiaba since FaSrl Can ro now toia> tl inertrnr."4
Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic.Mexico, and Verieruelatudy in thc USSR al Lumumba University (see tablelie Soviet inteiesl in cultivating organized labor in lhe area has also increased For example, llie USSR now has formal lies wiih the Nicaraguan trade union organization and maintains an educational exchange program with trade unionists from Colombia
he Soviets have profited from the growth of pro-Marxist sentiments among "religious activists They have been especially impiesied with the direct support such activists have provided the Sandinista regime and other revolutionary causes elsewhere in Central Amer-
ica Crowing resistance among church leaders lo this dc lacto partnership bclween religion and revolution notwithstanding. Moscow and Havana probably will seel: to benefil fiom the sympathies of many church activists for leftist resolution in tbe region
CM Despite its inereascd optimum aboul trends in Latin America. Moscow recognizes lhat there are major constraints on its abilily to influence develop ments ihere Foremost is tha altitude and role of the United States Moscow lielieves that US political, economic, and military strength still gave* Washington potential for considerable leverage in the hemisphere.
oscow hasmoved In way* designed toirectly provoking the Uniied Slates In contrast to lhevert and direct bilateral dealings with the larger slates, (ts support formovements has been low-Ley. oflen employing intermedialand surrogates This pattern of indirect support also reflects Soviel unccrlainty aboul the long-term proepects of revolutionary movements andto commit Ihe USSR irrHrievably tolo possible US actions against them.Moscow has been careful to play down its direct commitment to the Sandinista regime and has appai-enily notfriendship" treaty with Nicaragua ai It has with some Third World clients outside Ihe Western Hemisphere
ore important, the Soviets have displayed coneern about the application of US polilical and military leverage in response to the crisis in Central America. The Reagan administration's frank warnings have emphasized thai Washington is indeed sensilive to Moscow's efforts lo eiploil political instabiUty in its own backyard and thai such activities their might welltrong US reaction. The level of armsto Cuba insecond-highest annual tolal onthe Soviet efforts lo build upmilitary forces areegree indicative of Ibis aniietv At lhe same time these measures provide Cuban and Nicaraguan armed forces with increased offensive capabilities and with further means toneighbors and provide safehaven for leftist insurgents.
ntipathy to lhe Soviets Is another constraint on Moscow. Even those governments that have developed important bilateral tics with the USSR, such as Argen Una and Brazil, remain strongly antiand distrustful of Soviet motives wiih respect to tlielr domestic politics Brazil, for eiample, oul of fear of Soviet intelligence penetration, has even refined to accept Soviet military attaches Tlie Brazilian* have also kept llie USSR out of areas that thev consider of strategic importance, such as the nuclear ptogram and uranium eiproration eflorts In addition, lhe Brazilian Communist Parly remains outlawed and Is closely monitored bv the security authorities Thus, in the near term Moscow recognizes lhat more citensive and open backing lor leftist insurgencies In Centralwouldacklash against the USSR by regional
guvernmenls and reinforce their suspicions of Soviet -inspiied interference in thetr internal politics Such backing would also stimulate anti-Communist ele merits among important social groups, especially the various churches
oreover, economic considerations abo impose some constraints on Soviet activism in the region Foremost are the poor quality, technologicaland narrow range of Soviet Industrial goods, which are compounded by the area's historical prefer enee lor Western goods Taken together, these factors severely limit Sovicl eiporl prospects In case* where Moscow might hope lo make political inroads through import* from Latin American or Caribbean countries, ils severe shortage of hard currencyajorFinally, lhe USSR's record of tighlftslcdncss with regaid lo eeorsofnic assistance dcpiive* il of funher opportunities to assist pro-Soviet regimes or otherwise gain influence in the region
nother constraint on Moscow is the unstable nature of new leftist regimes and its recognition thai ils influence Is dependent on local political trends thai II mav be unable to control The electoral ouster of Manley in Jamaicaey case in point, and the Bishop regime in Crenadi faces economic problems that could generate political discontent The Soviets piobably are still uncertain whether lhe newregimes in Nicaragua and Grenada canThe Soviets see Nicaragua's Sandinistas under considerable pressure fiom the United State* and formerly sympathetic Eutopeanhey also see Nicaragua increasingly besetide variety of political opponents, aimed counteirevolutionaries, and mounting economic problems.
Prospects and Implications for lhe United States
oscow's long-term objectives of eroding and supplanting US influencetin America are unlike ly to be affected by its recognition of tbe obstacles to Its ambitions under present power realities and the political climate in the hemisphere In fact, over the next few vcais, Soviet effoils to gain influence in the legion are likely to increase and will probably piesent more serious problem* for the United States Wa*hing-ton's response to this growing Soviet challenge wdl bc complicated by lhe fact lhat its own deep concern about Soviet Iroublcntaking in Ibe area I* not shared
by manyovernment* Sympathy withcause* will persist in countriesnd Panama Even countries lest sympathetic to leftist causes such as Branl and Veneiuela would be opswsed to US military intervention lo checkgams in Central Ainrriea and the Caiibbcan
he Soviets will coniinue to use bolh slate-to-stale and revolutionary approaches, depending on the situation Moscow probably will continue to judge that io lhe long lerm itreat deal lo gain by continuing to develop positions of influence in the more politically significant counlries such asBranl, Mexico, and Peru It will couple ihis interest with its exploitation of ferment In countries embroiled in insurgencies or ruled by unstable regime*
Uncertainly about US intentions is tlieconsideration in Sovicl thinking aboul risks and gains in exploiting regional opportunilies Without abandoning its support for revolution. Moscow is likely at present to minimize ilsk by recommending tactical prudence to its regional clients Cuba and Nicaragua Moscow's recent cndoisemcnl of calls foi talksNicaragua and the United States, foi example, probably reflects it* interest in easing US pressure and buying lime for the beleaguered Sandinista regime, as well a* in culling its own costs
So far, the Soviets have been reluctant loNicaragua with massive economic aid.il lhe Sandinista regime falter* for economic reasons. Moscow and its allies probably would be somewhat more forthcoming with economic tuppori Because Nicaragua's population is much smaller than Cuba's, and because Managua seems al tint time to enjoy broader international economic backing than did Havana in. In the near term at least the Soviets would almost certainly not have to auume the kind of economic burden thai they have been carrying in Cuba for two decade*
Intensified pressure on Managua hy Nlcaraguan dissident armed element* may be seen by Moscow asotential long-term threat to the Sandinista regime, yet as alto offering an opportunity to draw Nicaragua still closer to lhe Soviet Bloc Moscow will prohabiy counsel Managua lo avoid countermeasures ptovocaltve to the Unitedas armed
forays deep intomayore active role in planning Nicaragua's counter insurgency measures, and might expand Hi military assistance
n lhc evenl Nicaragua were subiect to diied conventional attack, il would haveely primarily ran Havana rather ihan Moscow for immediale assistance The Cubansecrel detente agreement with Managua In9 and almost certainly would commit Ihrit personnel stationed in Nicaragua, as well as additional Cuban forces, to lesist any such altack shortirect invasion by US forces The Soviets have not. so far as we know, promised direct Soviei support in this eventuality, but presumably they would step up military aid to the Cubans Moscow's other allies and clients could not be expected to provide much more ihan political support
he large and growing leveb of militaiy hard-waie in the hands of Soviet clients have melorfor the legion In addition lo defrnding both Cuba and Nicaragua against attack, such militaryintuppori to thensurgents and provides shelter for ihc gucrrilla inftastiuctuir Within the term of thisother objectives behind arms supply from the USSR and tattovs intermediaries probabb include
Intimidating Nicaragua's neighbors, (busthem toward acquiescence in lhe Soviet-Cuban foothold In Central America
Supporting iflsuigent* in Guatemala
Laying lhe groundwork for support of possible futuie insurgencies in Honduras. Costa Rica, and elsewhere in the hemispheic
ver Ihe longer term, there isossibility lhat the Soviets may seek access to naval and air facilities In Nicaragua and Cienada. Such access wouldignificant impact on US security interspecially with icgard to the Panama Canal and othei lines ol communication The principal constiainl on the Soviets in expanding their military presence In Central America and the Caribbean is their oncer tainly as to thc US response Nevertheless, thev ate very likely lo continue lo probe US resolve during this decade
he persistent strain of anti-US sentiment in tbe legion, which has been accentualed by tbo Falklands
crisis, offers lhe Soviets some new opportunities lo eipand their influence. However. Soviet initiatives are of less intrinsic significance than US policies and actions The Soviets probably have no firm eipectation of any dramatic new political payoffs in the near term.Ithough they probably do hope that llseir support will inoderale local suspicions of Moscow and enable them lo project an image of the USSBistant but powerful supporterim American and anti-colonial interests They may also calculate that the outcome of the crisis could ushereriod of political instability and open prospects for those In Buenos Aires who might be more inclined toward closer relations with the USSR. The Soviets are already seeling to profit Irom any general deterioration in US influence in the hemisphere arising out of thecrisis, but ihey realize lhat Washington's losses cannot be immediately chalked up as Moscow's gains.
S efforts to build hemispheric solidarity wiih Ihe current Salvadoran Government and to gain Latin American support for countering Soviel-supported leftist insurgency elsewheie in Central America have been damaged The Soviets are certain to attempt lo exploit what they perceiveS setback. They will
continue to conduct many of their activities in the region either covertly or through niter media ritagenerally successful to datp. this tactic is vulnerable to public exposure of Soviet support lor subversion and revolutionary violence Furthermore, some Soviet intermediaries (such as Cuba. Algeria, or themight possibly bc led to moderate their policiesombination of eiletnat pressure and internal problems.
he SovieU have by and large successfullyolicy of encouraging unrest in various Central American states,oothold inand improving their relations with theof lhe more important South AmericanThey probably expect their general progress lo continue, especially if lhe United Stales appears lo be inconsistenl. or discredits Itself thiough its reactions to events in tbe region From the Soviet perspective,olicy has potential for dun acting Americanfrom othet region i. is relatively cheap interms, has not tequired maior commitments to local allies, and has not raised confronlalion with tlie United States to an unmanageable level. The Sov rets ate thus likely lo persist with this strategy.
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