COMMUNIST CONTROL OF PANAMANIAN STUDENT GROUPS
DIRECTORATE OK INTELLIGENCE Office of Current Intelligence
APPROVED FOR PEIEASE DATE:0
THIS MATRSJAL CONTAINS INFORMATIONTHE NATIOTftttfcPEFENSE OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANlSO^QF THE ESPIONAGE LAWS.SC. SECTIONSTHEOR REVELATION OF WHlCHl>AyYM ANKER TO AN UNAUTHORIZED PERSON IS PROHIlilTWi^BV LAW.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Current Intelligence4
Communist Control of Panamanian Student Groups
Panamanian educational systemboth the target and the instrument ofsinces. The formationof student groups has beenajor tactic of the Communists. amgma^
]Panama City has consistently and fully
locumented Communist success in these endeavors over the past several years,
three most important studentPanama at present are the Unionhe Union of Secondaryand the Federation of Panamanian The UEU and the UES are themembers of the parent FEP. Theof the FEP Is Victor Avlla, Communistmilitant for some years who returnedNovember from his most recent trip tohe spent about three weeks. Avilamajor student leader during the Januaryand continues to dominate studentin Panama. He is almost certainas head of the FBP in December,his leadership of the student movementbeing challengedhardline"by Floyd Britton. Brltton is aadvocate of violent revolution whoousted from the PdP. He too wasagitator in January. President ofis Rolando Arauelles,dP militantCeferino Torres, president of the UES.
NO FOREIGN DISSEM
The FRU's triumph in the UEU was followed in2 by the election of Avila to head the FBP and the selection of other Communists for keythe Communistanuel Sollaormer FBP president. As education minister for mostoils Palma also counseled and assisted the Communist student leaders in the key role they played informer President Chiari totiff anti-US posture.
The pattern of Communist activity among Panamanian student groups shows good planning, selectivity, realism, and adaptability to The very involved and Interdependent nature of the student groups and their Influence in the administrative structure of the entire educational system make control of certaintho key to domination and to the exclusion of other influence. For example, in the4 elections the Communist directed FRD capturedf thetudent seats on Universitybodies, ensuring FRU domination of both the Directorate and the Central Executivers of the entire
Communists' concentration on placing theirjeople in these key jobs enables them to Ignore orany opposition. To be effective any student must cooperate with the Communist top leadership, so moderates have lost influence in even minor posts.
8. With student affairs the mostof Communist influence, leaders atbecame the key figures in theof Communist forces which started InCommunists such as Floyd Brltton,to prodding: from Cuba to adoptmothods, broke with theleaders such as Avila, who preferaction. This division weakenedon student groups Withfrom the then Minister ofMarco Robles, moderate studentsforces and seemed tooodwin the UEU elections scheduled forthat
Communists delayedhen they felt sure of Subsequently, the leading role playedBrltton, and numerous otherpro-Soviet leaders in the riots and Inthe Chiarl government'sentrenched them as spokesmen fornationalism.
struggle between the "hardline"group and the "softllne" pro-Sovietremains focused at the University andmore bitter. But Communist control is
effective that moderates have not even been able to take advantage of this split. ForInon-Communists starched outommunist-called national youth congress at the University and attacked the meetingoorly-attended failure. However, bothelements remained and, claiming to represent numerous organizations throughout Panama, Issued extreme declarations as the sense of the entire congress. Neither could the moderates usenternecine Communist struggle to'nl-isi verslty rector although Jt he-two Comaunis^camps sere split over their own preference. Withoverf thetudents on theCouncil which governs the University, the Communist-directed FRU postponed the election of the rector for six months by intimidating moderate faculty and student members until tbe candidate of the "softllnera"ure majority. The new rectoran the Avlla faction believes it can influence, while the candidate of the "hardliners" was the new Foreign Ministryof Canal talks, Ernesto Castillero Pimental.
11. The Communists evidently count on three Important assets In retaining their control of student groups. The first is the apathy orof many students which inhibits any effective challenge to the present leadership. Another is the support and connivance of politicians from far left to far right who either count on student
political support or dara aot risk student esult, former student leaders have become established and influential throughout the fabric of Panamanian economic and political life. Present student leaders can count on the support of tbese men. The other principal Communist asset is the evident Cuban and Soviet Interest intheir collaborators in control of Panamanian student groups. Much of the substantial increase in travel to and from the bloc and Cuba this yearOriginal document.