KEY ISSUES AND PROSPECTS FOR CASTRO'S CUBA - NUMBER 85-67

Created: 3/2/1967

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NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

Supersedes)

Kcy Issues andastro's Cuba

INTELLIGENCE

Coneuireti in by thi

UNITED STATES INTEUIGENCE BOARDIndicated7

Authenticated;

The followingrganizations participated in the preparation of this estimate:

The Central Intelligence Agency ond the Intelligence orgoniiotions ot tho Deport-merm of Skite. Defense, and NSA.

Concurring;

Dr. Edward W. Proctor, for the Deputy Director of Centred Intelligence

Mr.he Director of Intelligence ond Research, Department of Stale

Lt. Gen. Joseph P. Corroll, Director. Defense Intelligence Agency Dr. Loub W. Tordello, for the Director, National Security Agency

Abstaining:

Dr.eichordt. for the Assistant General Manager. Atomic Energy Com-nmion and Mr. William O. Cregar, for the Assistoni Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the subject being outside oftiorv

CONTENTS

THE PROBLEM

CONCLUSIONS

DISCUSSION

I. THE "EXPORT OF REVOLUTION" II. THE CUBAN-SOVIET RELATIONSHIP

CASTRO'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE US

THE ECONOMY

Performance and Short-Runnd tin* Longer Run .

V. CASTRO'S HOLD ON POWER

KEY ISSUES AND PROSPECTS FOR CASTRO'S CUBA

THE PROBLEM

To estimate the outlook over the next two years.

CONCLUSIONS

Castro revolution has survived adversity, but it hasIncreasingly the regime is keying its hopes for majorprogress to the more distant future, when it expects thesocial impact of its large-scale education and long-termto be felt.

level of the economy6 was only slightlyhe last prerevolutionary year; per capitawas down nearlypercent, though favored groupspopulation were better off. Economic gains7 andprobably be minor, with little or no improvement in

will almost certainly persist in providingtraining support to "anti-imperialist" and insurgentand in extending material aidew of them. Poorsuccess in Latin America help to account for his increasedrevolutionary elements in Africa, where there are morefewer risks.

about Communist revolutionary tactics andof aid required by Cuba will continue to produce frictionsCuban-Soviet relationship. But Cuba remains important tothey have little practical choice except to keep backing Fidel

has continued the process of instituD'onalizing hisand has talked of sharing more responsibility with his inner circle

of colleagues. We believe that he will remain clearly preeminent, however, and bis hold on power will remain strong.

F. In the unlikely event of Fidel's death or incapacitation during the next twoollegium headed by his brother Raul andDorricds would probably take control. We doubt that thiscould long endure; at some point it would probabh wayower struggle of unpredictable outcome;.

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DISCUSSION

astro's regtmc has survived for eight years, but much of the original impetus and appeal of his revolution has worn away. Castro has been forced "to modify or stretchumber of plans and goals set in the early years, and to settle backore prosaic and longer range approach. Though Castro retains his personal magnetism for many people, his government also relies heavily on repressive measures and elaborate security machinery. Thesealong with Fidel's espousal of Marxism-Leninism and his dependence on the Soviet Union, have alienated many Latin Americans who once found the Cuban leader attractive.

I. THE "EXPORT OF REVOLUTION"

speaking then, there has been bttle ready receptivity forexhortations in his natural target area, Latin America.persistent failures of the revolutionary groups be has supported incountries, be is clearly determined to provide selective supportefforts. He has proclaimed that he would help "anlimovements anywhere in thee has sent teams of Cubanto several African countries; and he has pledged to send regularunits to North Vietnam if Hanoi requests them.

Castro's behavior in advocating and assisting revolution Is not always logical and realistic In the past few years, be has been canny enough to keep Im risks low. but the fact is that heompulsive revolutionary. The form and extent of his efforts, vocal and material, vary with changing circumstances but the central theme remains constant. He insists that revolutionary violence is necessary to bring ahout any meaningful political change. He claims that when boldly led guerrilla units can take to the field and sustain themselves there, they will pre-eipitaie the conditions which will assure their eventual success.

These views have brought Castro into disagreement with Soviet leader* and into conflict with leaders of most of the principal Communist parries in Latin America Inbe Soviets helped to workompromise which called for support to insurgency effortsew Latin American countries, but specified that in all cases the local Communist Party should determine whether violent or peaceful means were lo be pursued. Fidel soon began chipping at the edges of this agreement, and at the Trkcantinetital Conference in6 in Havana heore general call for insurgency in Latin America. This proved to be counterproductive: on tbe one hand, it failed to evokerevolutionary response; on the other hand, it helped to precipitateubversive moves by various Latin American governments.

Cuba's efforts to stimulate revolution elsewhere in the hemisphere havecontinued, they have included Castro's own verbal prciddings, tbein Havanaatin American Solidarity Organization (LASO) to provide encouragement, the regular propaganda outpourings of Havana radio, and some .'.

Cuban training and materialven so, insurgency movements in Latin America have lost, rather than gained, ground during the past year or two. The insurgency undertaken in Peru inas defeated and the organization largely destroyed. Guerrilla groups in Colombia remain small and fragmented and become active only sporadically. While tbe action of insurgents inpicked up int has not reached the menacing levelhe insurgency in Guatemala, which broadenedas now slackenedand ihe Guatemalan military have become more effective in their efforts to deal with it. In other Latin American countries, despite Castro's urging* -over the past year that revolutionists take up arms, none took up any.imself has increasingly complained lhat Latin Communist leaders spend all their time theorizing and debating instead of going out to fight

n Africa, Castro's government has considerably expanded its assistance to various "anti-Imperialist" regimes and organizations over the past twohis has ranged from support of the Massamba-Dcbat regime in Congoo helping movements directed against Portuguese African colonies. Castro has clearly felt that he could send teams of'Cuban personnelumber of African countries without running any particular risks.' These

The number of Africans coming to Cub*o sieaouy increasing, some for higher education sod technicalmall number uc receiving guerrillaloctcinatid aad braining in snsuigency tactics; this is under the auspices of the Directorate Ceoeral ofexternal operation* bianco of the Cuban Ministry of Interior.

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Cubans aie evidently selected, in part, for darkness of skin so that tbey may be less conspicuous and more assimilable during their sojourn in the host countries.

uban propaganda to Africa has also increased markedly, indeed, the primary change since5 in Radio Havana's mternahooal service has been to provide regular daily broadcasts to Africa in French, Portuguese. Spanish, and English. The Cuban Government has plans to begin broadcasts in Swahili. for up to eight hours daily,he Soviets, in contrast to their rtptable differences with Castro oo tactics in Latin America, seem reasonably "eentent to have him undertaking these engagements with mutual friends in Africa.

& We believe that during the next two yean Castro will continue bis activities ia support of Latin American revolutionaries, waxing hotter on some occasions and cooler oo others. In part because of the improving capabilities of "Latin American security forces, arid in part because of the waning appeal of Castroism, we do not think this will prove toerious threat. In several small countries of the Caribbean area, however, the political fabric is so fragile that turmoil brought on bv other sWre* J

Light leadvi ,- .

With respect to Africa, weradual further build-up of the Cuban presence. In certainmall Cuban force mightffect tbe outcomeolitical crisis in one African country orin Brazzavillenase, an increasing Cuban presence in Africa plus the return of Africans now training in Cuba are Likely to givearger role in the African liberation movement.

f all the revolutionary movements he would like to help, Castro seems to have the strongest sentiments toward the National Liberation Front (and tbe North Vietnamese forces) in Vietnam. He has been deeply perturbed that the US has been able to carry out its military build-up and operations on the present scale without major counteract)oo by tbe Soviets. For many months, bishas been pressing tbe Soviot Union and other Communist governments to nrovide more effective military support for North Vietnam. He has implied tbat the Soviels lack fortitude, and has made repeated public pledges tbat if Hanoi requested them, he would send Cuban volunteers of whatever sorteven including regular military units with their equipment. We believe that if Hanoi did ask, Castro would try in one way or another to fulfill this promise.*

II. THE CUBAN-SOVIET RELATIONSHIP

or the Soviets, having Fidel on their side is hardly an unmixed blessing. Certain of the hopes they once had must now bethat they could use Cuba to enhance their offensive postureis the US; tbat the island

"There ere already soose Cobea militaryead perhapsfew asoaoaasl or supportNorth Vietnam, but there almost certainly are no regular combat uniti present Evidence oo numbers is sncaochitlve.

could become an effective distribution point for tbe dissemination of theirin the hemisphere; that Cuban developmenl could advertise thoway for othet small countries. Castro's Cuba nevertheless remainsto Moscow: it represents one of the few victories for the Communist camp in recent years; it provides the only breakthrough in the Western Hemisphere. In terms of more immediate political considerations, the Soviets find it helpful to have the Cuban Government more or less withat least not againstiheir moves to isolate China within the Communist camp. Finally, the Soviets almost certainly realize that they could not abandon Cuba without sustaining great damage to their prestige, especiallyis the US, and to the credibility of their commitments, especially within the Communist world.

The divergencies that have developed between Havana and Moscow are, however, as apparent as their common interests. They relate not only to their differences over Vietnam and about revolutionary tactics toward Latin America; they also have to do with what economic programs are suitable to Cuba and with the related problem of continued economic aid. Despite the Cubanextraordinary dependence on Soviet assistance, Fidel has gone out of his way during the past year to stress thut Cuba is developing its own Communist approach In the light of its own special circumstances. He has criticized tbe Soviets for Impure Marxism-Leninism in their resort to "capitalist" material Incentives In their own economy. And he has accused them of helping the enemies of the Cuban Revolution through extending ecceaomic aid to Chile and other Latin American governments.

When the Soviets accepted Fidel's embracehey probably did not realize how expensive it would prove to bc. Cuba has become the largest single recipient of Soviet economic aid. Over the span2uba has used up nearly SLI billion In economic credits and grants from the USSR. {Tliis compares with Soviet disbursements of economic aid In the same period9 million fcr1 million for Afghanistan,1 million for the United Arabn addition to rarcviding credits and grants to Cuba, the USSR has been purchasing sugar from Cuba at prices considerably higher than world prices for most of the period* The cumulative value of the Soviet sugar subsidy has amounted to0 million. Soviet military aid provided to Cuba1 has amounted to an0 million.

We believe that the Soviets are resigned to continuing enough aid to keep the Cuban economy at least at lis present level, and to provide some opportunity for growth. During the past five years, Soviet exports to Cuba have rangedillion20 millionoviet credits to Cuba now seem to be keyed to making up the differenceeiling at about6

USSR4osed for Cube*1aaentspound sint* thru. Inhe Sovirt Covrmnem agreed to buy tbe following amounts of Cuban sugar ateotulbon tonslDJoootion

6

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figure and lhe level of Cuban erpcets to the USSR. These credits7Sesult of tbe expected increase in Cubanand consequently in exports to the USSR. The overallSoviet aid to the Cuban economy will be moderate, however, as lower aidform of credits will be offset in large part by what amounts to ansubsidy for Cuban sugar. It is bkely that the world market priceat leaslill remain less than one-half the price paid-

boutercent of Cuba's trade is now with Cornmunist countries. The USSH6 accounted for more thanercent of total Cuban imports and someercent of total Cuban exports. We believe that the Soviets wiDto encourage Castro to trade somewhat more with non-Communist countries, but, for reasons noted ine do not crpect morearginal change in the pattern during tbe next two years.

oviet provision of military equipment to Cuba is no longer large in volume, particularly in comparison with the high levels reached2ome step-up in deliverieshe last quarterowever, and continued ine believe thishaseontinuing Soviet replacement and resupply program, designed to replenish the stocks used up and worn out by the Cubans.ew cases, the new items are more advanced than those which were already tn Cuba, and the result will be to strengthen some Cuban units. For example, at leastig-2ID Jet fighters (limited all-weatherhave been delivered to Cuba sincelso new for Cuba,tandard ground-support weapon io the USSRsm multiple rocket launcher; there arcf these in Cuba. We have also noted certain additions to Cuban holdings of navalmore KOMAR cruise-missile boats, makingltogether, and two moreubchasers, giving Cuba eight of this class, as well as six older ones. Further replenishments and some other new items will probably be delivered over the next two years; indeed, the rate of resupply may pick up slightlyumber of items in the Cuban inventory have reached or areonoperational condition.*

e do not believe that the Soviets will again try to turn Cubatrategic base of their own. ase think it highly unlikely that the USSR will attempt to reintroduce strategic missiles into Cuba. We recognize tbat tbe Soviets have the technical capability dandestinely to reintroduce the componentstrategic weapon system. But the build-up of strategic forces in the USSR in recent years would make the installation of strategic weapons in Cuba of less sigTuficonce to the Soviet strategic posture thanany event, we believe that the risk of another grave confrontation with the US would be unacceptable to tbe Soviets.

' Example* of such items are, track* and puma moven for arCEeiy which simply wear5 andets which artracked up before they wear out. and eurfacc-to-air miiskte* which have definite, limited operaOODal Uvea.

the SovieU couldimited practical advantagease for logistical support to submarine: partob, we think that intoo they would see tbe risk of adverse US response as outweighing thebenefit. The Soviets Plight, oo tbe other band, consider makingof Cuba bytrategic warning facility on the island.at least, certain types of over-tbe-borizcm radar could cover mostoontioenul US irom Cuba, and possibly improve by someinutespresent warning time of missileof course, thatcould be reliably passed to tbe Soviet Union.acility mightannouncedpace-tracking station.

UI. CASTRO'S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE US

Castroeep and abiding animosity toward tbo US. To begin with, heull measure of the anti-Yaokee sentiment instinctive with io many revolutionary Latin Americans, Added to this are resentment over the Bay of Pigs, the missile crisis and the continuing US economic denial program,trong feeling against US policy in Vietnam. To Fidel, recent developments in Vietnam haveource of particular indignatioo: he views the war thereest of Jus doctrine of guerrilla revolution against "Imperialist" powers and "reactionary" governments, particularly the US andupports.lso doubtless aware that his stance on Vietnam attracts favorable attention to him to. many quarters of the world. And the Vietnam situation probably gives him some inner personal concern about bow far the USSR will go tomall Communist state if doing so risks conflict with tbe US

All things considered, we beheve the chances are remote for anyimprovement in Castro's attitude toward the US in the neat year orif the Vietnam war goes on. Even if it were settled, bisfear of, and brastility toward, thewell as his interest in fostering revolutionsremain strong obstacles to any major betterment of US-Cuban relations.

IV. THE ECONOMY

Performance and Short-Ron Prospects

Cuban economy has made little progress since Castro tookthe gross national product has moved slightly beyond the levelthe revolution,er capita basis it has declinediving conditions are generally lower. Total goods available forhave remained about the samend tbe increasehas meant that per capita private coosuniptioo haser capita private consumption was nearlyercentprCTcvolutsonary level. By no means all Cubans are worse off.in tbe party and military, among the students, and among those whoextremely poor now undoubtedly find their economic tot better

he6 was one of economic setback because of the poorillion metric tons compared to moreillion in the previous year. Tlie primary cause of the reduced cropevere droughtut the application of less fertilizer wasactor. No net gains were made in tbe industrial and construction sectors. In spite of lhe drought, thereignificant Improvement in nonsugar agriculture, reversing thetrend evidenthis improvement was not enough, however, to offset the fall in sugar production. The supply of goods and servicesto the economy6 was about the tame as5 because of increased assistance from abroad. While there was no evident decline in overallof foodstuffs in Cubaharp cut in supplies of rice (an Important Cuban staple) caused the rice ration to be reduced by half and produced irrttaboo among consumers. The rice problem resulted from the cut in Communist China's eiports of rice to Cubaetric tons5umber of other basic foodstuffs are also still being rationed.

Cuba's total Dade deficit6 was5 million, or someercent larger thanost of the foreign credits obtained by Cuba6 came from the USSB; drawings on credits from other Communist countries were negligible. Cuba's total debt to all Communist countries now runs to3 billion Cuba's drawing against credits provided by non-Communistamounted toillionts ISoldings of convertible currency at the end6 wereillion, and its total Indebtedness to non-Communist countries was close0 million, largely accumulated within the past three yean

The Castro government will continue todits from non-Com-munlst countries during the next several years. But it cannot long continue to build up its indebtedness to these countries at the paceherefore, Cuba will need to hold down Imports from non-Communist countries in lhe new two years, even though Cuban export earnings in the free world maysomewhat, particularly if the world price of sugar rises. In any case, there will be little shift in Cuba's trade paltcrn away from its strong orientation lo the Communistespecially the Soviet Union.

output of the Cuban economy will probably rise somewhatrimarilyesultise in sugar production- Theill be on tho order of six million metricmore.good weather and fairly effective operation of the new canecenters, the harvest will again increaseven so there willlittle improvement in the lotal supply of goods in Cuba. Cuba'simport from non-Communist countries is not likely to improve much,reasons noted inncreased Cuban sugar exports to8 will probably not mean an increase in tbe present levelexports to Cuba.

Cuba's limited ability to increase; importi will continue to restrict ita supply of industrial raw materials, semifinished goods, and building materials. Consequently, we expect littleither industrial production oractivity during the next two years. The outlook for nonsugaris not so clear; on the basis of past performance we think gains will be moderate7n sum. the general economic outlook is for only ounce gains'7nd little or no improvement in living cooditioris-

Despite this prospect, we do not expect the Castro administration to make major changes in economic policy during the next two years. Various Cuban officials have spokeneturn to greater emphasis on the development of industry, as opposed to the current emphasis on agriculture, but they also note that this is out of the questionidel has recently been criticizing material incentives as un-Coomunist as well as ineffective; for all his talk about these in earlier years, however, his government never relied much on them ia practice. Castro has long been pressing though without notable success, to remove employees from the swollen bureaucracy and make themfor more productive work. Tbe administration's hopes to correct theow productivity seem to center on the application of better teclmology. Increased uso of fertilizer, and some improvement In management and in the mobilization of labor; efforts in these fields arc unlikely to have significant effect for some years.

Education and the Longer Run

the Castro regime is having to key its hopes to thefuture, when it expects the economic and social impact of Itsof primary education to beajor tenet of Castro'sfrom the outset has been to stress the rote which tbe youngersome dayemphasis of special importanceountrypercent of the population is now underears old.part-time students are enrolled in Cuban educational institutions.them aro in the basic program to teach peasants and laborers to readBut the full-time enrollment of young people has also sharplywith prerevolutionary years; and the government presentlyto moref these.0 axe nowthe universities; this number is to expand substantially over the nextThe government has abo been putting increasing emphasis onthere are oow, for example,0 raking training in

Cuban programs have many weaknesses, one of the mostthe quality of the teaching. Nevertheless, because the beginningmuch of the population was so low and the scope of tbe effort haslarge, we think the effect on Cuba over the next decade or two Is boundsignificant. On the economic side, in particular, we believe thb willenough gain in technical competence lo improve productivity. Wcinclined to doubt tho long-run effectiveness of the ideological indoctrina-

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even though it permeates the whole educational system. We suspect there is much more parroting of Marxist phrases than there is absorption of doctrine; we doubt that the magnetism of communism would be strong to Cubans if it were not coupled with Fidelimo and its accompanying revolutionary mythology. The system is probably effective, however, in closing the minds of the younger generation to political systems other than tbe one they know.

V. CASTRO'S HOLD ON

he Cuban Government is soil veryne-man show^ Fidel'spersonality continues lo dominate the scene. Heuperb demagogue and an effective political tactician. He is capable of inspiring loyalty or feu in his chosen suboniinaies and of whipping up enthusiasm among the

Cuban masses. It is true that, over time, this mass appeal be*

he Castro regime's security organizations have become increasinglythere is no longer any significant organized orjporition within Cuba. Those Cubans who become thoroughly dissatisfied think it more prudent to find means, legal or illegal, to go into exile than to stay and try to work againstregime.* Tbe number of political prisoners in Cuba has steadily grown; It ls

' When to3 Castro announced bis "opeonsoor" policy for refugees,CO Cubans burned to put their namrs on tbe eligibility lull. Probably several hundred thousand more Cubans would like to depart aad would sign up were It aot for tbe regime's penaltiestbean. In its first year the VS refsce* airlift carried0 to tbe VS, and thereacklog which would take theyeanransport.

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8new system

Tmare nude

up of cc*scnptsnd over, who are considered "undesirable elements- bv the

vv.gedfor mduction into the regular armed services

Fidel has continued the process of in-snrubccauzing his revolution. He has setommunist Party framework along the classicthen put his own falrjiful Fidelistas In the controlling positions. The eight-man Politburo, which Fidel heads and which is composed entirely of men who were associated withh of July Revolutionaryis clearly the power-wielding group of the party. It was members of this group whom Fidel recently named, one by one, when he spoke of snaring addi-Ddnai responsibilities with othery contrast, the Oldthose who belonged to the party when Castro fought hisno representation In the Politburo, and have been gradually phased out of key cabinet jobs as well.

he Cuban Communist Party per ie, however, is far from being anceginization for the exercise of power. Neither it, dot any one entity among the militaiy' and security organizations,ingle, sure mechanism

of

'Members of tbehief, Rnt Secretary

the -

1 not omatary ot

Raul Castro

Osvaldo DurUcoi Joan

i VflloVl

Armando Hartuillermo Garcia Sergio del VaDe .

tbe Cinucuoiit Party, aod ProieWnl of tbe National Institute of Agrarian Reform

Vice Prune Minister, Second Secretary of the Communist Party,

and Minister of tbe Armed Forces.

President of the Repabllc and bead of tbe Ecoooeak CocanraSoo

of the Central. First Vice Minister of the Armed Forces.

MinUter of tbe. Secretary of OcganuatSoe for tbe Central Committee andof the Education Committee of the Central Committee.

A member of tbe Army Ceneral Staff and former Commander

tbe rank of major (coroandaate)

cc* the Western. Vice Minister of tbe Aimed Force*.

Except for Dorbcos aod Hart each of these men bold* the highest rank tn tbe Cuban military establishment

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th.

in the unlifcelv event , ,fie Soiw>

^ power,

ffnU^.Lorj. . .

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