SECURITY CONDITIONS IN URUGUAY

Created: 3/23/1967

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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;;George C. Denny,'I'v'and Research. DffWtnnrrni

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Manager,

Abstaining:

'. Dr. Charles H. Refctarrit, for*

": Atomic Energy Commission,'the"subiecl being outside of his jurisdiction.

CENTRAL

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SUBJECT: : SECURITY COHDTTIOilS IN URUGUAV

THU PR0BL5I4

To estimate the likelihood of incidents which might endanger President Johnson during his visit to Punta del 3ste or disrupt the Summit ConferencelU April).

CONCLUSION

We believe that the risk to President Johnson during the course of this trip will be slighthough greater than was the. case with his visit to Mexicoear ago. Uruguayan Cccoraunists, other leftists, andew exiles will probably succeed in carrying out demonstrationsonsiderable scale In Montevideo (someiles from Punta del Sita). One or another of these groups may also attempt terrorist acts, but we believe that they will be une.Dle toituation of general disorder or to disrupt the conference.

3ISCU5SI0T

Tfce political situation in Uruguay has in-proved In recent month a,esult of the constitutional reform atrerigthening the executive branch of the governraent, but economic and fiscal problems remain severe. tax, trade, and welfare policies have inhibited economic growth and contributederious rise la the cost of living (nearlyercent5 and aboutercent. Uruguayan Cocauclsts have used the general dissatisfaction with this state of affairs to solidify their Important, and often-timcs leading, role in the major labor and student organlrations.

The new Uruguayan Government Is well disposed toward the US and is anxious to prevent any untoward developments at the Summit Conference. President Oscaretired air force general, who took office on

1 Karch, laoeition to carry out executive responslbillf.es aore quickly and effactively than the predecessor government. His administration is still in its shakedown period, hovever; he haslim Congressional majority and some of the representatives of his own Colorado party are antagonistic to him and his above-party approach.

3- Uruguay's tradition of strict adherence to constitutional procedures and protection of the rights of the Individual also tends to complicate the government's task in setting up security arrangements. Uruguayan security officials would bo reluctant, for example, to use the kind of extra-constitutional methods which Mexican officials used in connection with

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President Johnson's visit to Mexico City inuch as the detention of potential troublemakers vho as yet had committed no overt act. Nor can the Uruguayan Government callisciplined official party, as did the Mexicans, to get its members out to line the streets and preempt positions from potentially hostile demonstrators.

h. Organizations of the extreme left enjoy greater freedom of action in Uruguay than in most latin American countries. The Communist Partyhich Is Soviet oriented end hasembers, has already undertaken an intensive propaganda campaign against the April Summitajor theme, aimed at exploiting traditional Uruguayan sentiment against military intervention, has been condemnation of the US role in Vietnam. The PCU has denounced other visiting Presidents, but has focused its considerable assets among labor unions, student organizations, and other groups inagainst President Johnson.

5. We doubt that the PCU leaders will risk their present favorable position in Uruguay by sanctioning overt acts of violence against President Johnson. In6 national elections the PCU made small but appreciable gains, heading an electoral coalition called FIDEL, which won some sixof the total vote and elected five members of the Chamber of Deputies and one Senator. This representation provides the party with bargaining power on closely contested issues in the Chamber of Deputies, where the administration's majority is thin indeed. The PCU is also maintaining a

predominant poaitlon ln organized labor by providing effective leadership and support for labor on bread and butter Issues.

anger, however, that demonstrations organized bycould either get out-of-hend or be exploited by smaller but noreof extreme leftists, such as pro-Chineae Ccrarunlsts,or Castroites. Tbe greatest danger In Punta del Eete la thatmembers of the PCU's youth organization (UJC) might attempt violenttheir own. Heither the PCU nor any other group is likely to bo ablelarge demonstrations there. The threat posed by the extreme left

is substantially greater ln Montevideo. Communist strength is concentrated in the capital and fairly large demonstrations probably- could be mounted there. If the President should visit Montevideo, students from the Rational University might attempt to raob his official car.

other elements of the Uruguayan population arein their attitudes towards the US. Furthermore, the usefor political purposes is not typical of Uruguay; as ademonstrations are not likely to stir up or drawthe general public. Uruguay ia host country, however, forfrom many Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, One or another of these exile groupings may undertakeorerrorist actisiting head ofwe cannot entirely exclude the possibility of onagainst President Johnson, for examplesychopath or extremist.

Military and police contingents designed to provide security for tbe Summit Conference are under the overall control of tbe regional nllltary ccesrender. General Alfonso Gooules. The police will have primaryfor controling civil disturbances aad demonstrations vith the military held in mobile reserve. Close coordination and liaisonn effect between tho security planning otaff and US security specialists. The National Police Force nurabera an0f whom are normally stationed In Montevideo. Of this number, the Metropolitan Guard (some kCC men) and the Republican Guard (sceneave riot control capabilities. In addition DM fctlonal Fire.i for controllng riots. The araed forces0 men In then the Navy,n the Air Force. In addition, the Maritime Police Forceen) also has some paramilitary potential for riot control. The Metropolitan Guard, tho Republican Guard, and the Maritime Police have received riot control training and eoulpment through US aid programs.

Uruguayan police and security officials are already working, in cooperation vith US specialists, to ensure adequate precautions ln the Punta del Bate area. Ihe Uruguftyaa security forces have had experience in handling numerous Ccancunist-led strikes during the past few years, and have shown themselves to be reasonably effective. Id Punta del Este, tbe government will probably be able to prevent demonstrations; elsewhere, particularly in Montevideo, the security forcea probably will try simply to keep them

orderly. Police officials aad the Uruguayan President himself, while showing confidence in the government's ability to take effective precautions for the area ln and around Punta del Este, have expressed concern about the risksisit by President Johnson to Montevideo.

10. All things considered, ve believe that the Uruguayan Government will carry out safeguards adequate to protect President Johnson at Punte del Este, at Carrasco airport (which is someiles outside Montevideo in the direction of Punta delnd in traveling from the airport to the conference site. We think that the risk to tho President will behough greater than was the case during his visit to Mexico City. Uruguayan Communists, other leftists, andev exiles vlll probably succeed ln carrying out demonstrationsonsiderable scale In Montevideo, but ve believe they vill be unable toituation of general disorder or to disrupt tht Sunlit Conference.

*

U. We havo also been asked to assess Cuban capabilities and intentions to Interfere with President Johnson's aircraft on tho vny to or from Uruguay. Cuba's surface-to-air missile system, vhlchange of aboutiles,apability to shoot down aircraft over parts of the Island and in

certain areas near its periphery. Cubanarrying extra fuel tanksaximum range of. (Tha similar range for the We believe, hovever, that Fidel Castro vould regardrovocation as suicidal.

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