DCI BRIEFING FOR 14 MAY NSC MEETING

Created: 5/12/1975

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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On the possible results of negotiations, our estimate focusses on three major possible courses of events. First Scenario

II. The first scenario assuir.esreaty is signed, and both Panama and the US begin the ratification process.

A. The Panamanian Government will be able toprompt ratification of any treaty that. General Torrijos endorses and energetically supports.

1. Torrijos fully dominates the political

scenea unique position for aleader dealing with the US. D. The principal uncertainty is the timing. 1. Torrijos probably would act fairly

quickly, before tfca vs Senate. Heamong other motives, toSenate and place the onus forsquarely on the Under this scenario, we do not believefuture Panamanian Government woulda treaty, although it is always

The advantages accruing to Panama wouldand, perhaps more

would increase as time passes. Second Scenario

E a

III. Under the secondreaty is signed but the US Senate fails to act for an extended period,

f

or rejects it entirely.

A. In the case of extended delay, Panama'swould depend on Torrijos* perception -of the reasons for the delay and of the chances for eventual ratification and on how much

9

confidence ho retained in the US executive branch's intentions.

We believe that Torrijos would haveliving with an extended delay.

ear, he would bow topressure and openly criticize the We could expectemonstrations andarassment of US psraonnel.

But as long as Torrijos believed the door still open for US ratification, he would control the level of the Panamanian.

The consequences would be much more serious if the Senatereaty. Nationalistic feelings would be ignited, and give rise to violence and rioting against US installations. 1. After initial disorders, we believe that Panama would begin more calculated hostileesigned to impede operation of the canal, such as closure of Canal Zone borderTerrorists would move against USand US personnel would be in sorau physical danger.

Torrijos woi^ld probably break relations With tho US and denounce3 treaty. 2. International support for Panama would bo extensive, especially elsewhere in Latin America. This wouldevere blow to prospectsultilateral dialogue and damage the climato for bilateral relations. Regional organisations would be moreto exclude the US.

Third Scenario) IV. In the third scenario, the negotiators cannot agree

and talksdown.happens would depend on Torrijos' perceptions.

A. If he believed talks might be resumed on his

terms, he wouldesponsible imagehile.

If in fact talks were not resumed fairly soon.

however, we could expect Panama to followlike those described in the case of Senate rejectionharassmentreak in relations. C. Torrijos would adopt such tactics quickly if he concluded at the outsetreak-

ctov.'nhuL'v* was noor rcsuaiing tho talkc. Ho might well feelr.so oE betrayal, and react emotionally and

1. If so, his government would thenreater role in directing the popular response, and there wouldreater

chance that members of the National Guard

would join in the harassment.

would bs less prospact for any

AbnBMSYn ISI

communication between the

US and Panama.

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IS)

VII. Finally, on the two main unresolved substantive

issuesi

the question of the duration ofhoc.aafcingthat it canyear period.

1. To most Panamanians this sounds likea key factor of3 treaty they insist must be changed.

for the issue of land and water, theare insisting that the US retain forthe land and water essential for themaintenance nnd defense of the canal.

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