CIA HlvT^'CAL REV'aaV PHOGRAM
TXTLB: Portraituban Refugee
AUTHOR: Andrew Wlxson
A collccllon ol articles on the historical, operational, doclrinal, and theoretical aspects ol intelligence.
All siaiements of fact, opinion or analysis expressed in Studies in Intelligence are those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency or any other US Govenunenl entity, past or present. Nothing in the conients should be construed as asserting or implying US Government endorsement of an article's factual siaiements and interpretations.
Composite character sketchategory of potential agent.
PORTRAITUBAN REFUGEE Andrew WIzson
A recent article on the personality of the Libyan pointed out that "any attempt to characterize all memberso-
composite personality of certain Cuban refugees Is fraught with even greater likelihood of error with respect to Individuals because the sample under study is much less homogeneous than the Libyan was. It ranges from Illiterate peasants to highly educated members of professional groups; the level of intelligence, which is comparable over-all with that found to the United States, runs from nearly deficient to superior. In addition, while the Libyan data were gathered through It; administrationsychological test designed for suchthe data analyzed ln the present study are theof assessments conductedariety of reasons, olten under much less than Idealwo characteristics were common to all members of the group: all had fled Cuba because of their opposition to the Castro regime, and at the time of their assessment all were either candidates for anti-Castro clandestine activity or actively engaged ln such
With such great variability ln the sample It Is notthat the personality descriptions which follow will be accurate for any given Individual.elineation of the psychological features common to the majority of the group will serve toomposite or representative Cuban agent who manifests certain critical areas of adjustment. These areas must be examined ln each agent by the case offl-
' studies, vu i. p. as f.
aaed on an analysis of test* administeredale andemalc Cubans between May IBM andbetncludea only those subjects for whom complete data are available.
r. but the general portrait presented below mayrame of reference from which to consider the individualassessment. Successful handling will of coursecareful study of the Individual agent, for how anyreacts to the psychological and environmental forces acting upon him at any given time depends upon his own life history and his current needs and motives.
The Idale: Social Relationships
During his early years the typical Cuban male is Inclined to be highly responsive to the world around him and to the people^ln^lt. Since he^lAjerr sensitive to others' needs and can respond appropriately lo'these needs, people tend to seek him outompanion and cater to him.esult he Is apt to be somewhat spoiled, relatively immature, and over-dependent upon those who take care of him. Be discovers It Is easy to And people who will do things for him and make allowances for his deficiencies. As he grows older, however, and Is expected to show more Independence and self-reliance, he may see, perhaps for the first time in his life, that histo play on others' feelings is not enough; rather than being able to gain support from others for what he Is, he only meets with criticism for what be cannot do. His solution for this problem Is to develop means to keep peopleistance, not only so they will be less demanding of him but also tohis own tendency to become Involved with them. At the same time he learns, unconsciously, to become more rational and leas emotional In his response to his environment
On the surface, then, this representative Cuban exhibits considerable defenslveness andind of detachment in dealing with others. He Is actively social, relating easily to othersuperficial basts, but the chip on bis shoulder Is readily apparent when he Is threatened with becominginvolved. Heery favorable first impression but deliberately holds peopleistance so that they will make no more demands on him than he think! he can If they do demand more, he may withdraw from the situation, thus gaining the reputation of being fickle andIf withdrawal is not possible, he can be actively cruel and hostile toward those with whom he is most intimate, turning on them unexpectedly and violentlyeans of forcing them to retreat. He has at all times tbe potential
for over-responding: he can be loo demonstrative toward and involved with people and activities which by his criteria be finds proper and worthy, and at the same time he can be equally demonstrative against and hostile toward objects which he considers bad or Improper. This sort of loss ofIs often followed by guilt reactions characterized byand apathy, and In this phase there may be rnany expressions of Inferiority or unworthiness
Thereonsiderable number of Cuban males whonatural social skills and interpersonal sensitivityabove. Most members of this second groupieae- *
ceptance. That Is, they try to achieve recognition for what tbey can do, not for what they are. Since they are very much aware of the need to maintain some sort of social adjustment, even though it be superficial, they tend to be much concerned with the impression they make on others. They are quite moody and unpredictable in their prolonged associations with others, reacting strongly to real or Imagined criticism of their behavior. An alternative solution for this group Isimited but reasonably comfortable social role which Is rigidly maintained even if It becomes Inappropriate. Tbe displaced person who does not change his way of behaving ln spite of loss of wealth, rank, position, or status probablyin this subgroup. An example would be the formerofficer who acts toward his civilian colleagues as If he were still In command of troops.
Attitudes tencara Work
At the same time he Is making this adjustment In hiswith other people, the typical Cuban tries to be less emotional and more rational In his view of the workL He tends to Immerse himself In his daily routine and toas if heelf-disciplined individual without need for external direction and control. He admires Intellectual achievement ln others and can himself learn facts andfairly rapidly, but these attributes only make himbetter Informed and intellectually oriented than he is In fact or he himself feels. Since he can retain Information with more ease than he can assimilate or understand it. be tends to be defensive when he meets with any form of testing or criticism. Unless heupervisor whom be respects
and admires, his work productivity tends lo fall off when he Is criticised. On the other hand, he can work quitewithout constant supervision If he knows exactly what he la supposed to do or If he is working alone. It Is stressful for him to be subjected to continual demands to relate to others. His initial reaction to such demands Is furtherand then if the demands persist either violentagainst those making them or flight from the situation.
Theremaller but still numerous group whose outward behavior under normal circumstances is quite similar to that just described but whose reaction to solitude la quite different, TriesWhoTigh alio1 active and'dedicated to' tbeirjjobs.ery tense and agitated when placed in situations which do not allow them to Interact with others. For them stress Is solitude; they require outside distraction and social demands In order to maintain their adjustment.
Another mental mechanism the Cuban male uses tohis tendency toward emotional Involvement withIs denial of his Inherent sensitivity. He avoids thefor expressing his feelings by relying on procedures, rules, and regulations of social Intercourse and work activity. His underlying sensitivity Is evident In his ability to temper this Impersonal behavior with judgment; at tbe same time,he does not have his emotions under complete control, so that he is apt to be somewhat Inconsistent andIn his behavior. He can be cruel or even sadistic when one least expects It or. on the other hand, almost overwhelmed by guilt and remorse at having been cold or cruel to others.
By virtue of the very sensitivity he Is trying to control, the Cubanretains the Imprint of the culture from which he springs: he is apt to be devoted to the traditions and mores of his early surroundings. He has so learned tha rules, regulations, customs, and procedures his society follows that helueprint to guide him In almost every situation he may meet.esult, he Is very cautious about adopting new ways to meet new situations; he does not readily accept new Ideas unless he has some assurance that bis peers understand and accept them. In this sense be lacksand adaptability. He may be prone to prejudgments and logic-tight mental compartmentattoo; that is, he may be
able to recognize that he Is behaving LncoruiLstently andfrom one situation to another.
In general, the composite Cuban female sampled parallels tbe male In hernitially sensitive, she, too, must learn to become more aloof and less involved with the people in her world But her solution for the problem Is considerably less efficient, psychologically, than that of her male partner.
The typical Cuban female tends to be oriented somewhat less to the Intellectual than the male. This doea not mean that sheds"less intelligent butaware of tbe demands made on her by the environment She tries to reduce these demands by losing herself ln the routine activities ot ber life,ertain lack of procedural skill with sheer conscientiousness and determination.more than the male, then, she can perform boring,and repetitive activities for long periods with littlefatigue or loss of efficiency. Since she Is deliberately not Interested In making herself socially acceptable to moreew persons, she can function quite adequately inwhich most people would consider unfriendly, cold, or unrewarding.
The obterTatlona which follow are tentaUve Indeed; they are buedery small sample, probably not at all representative of Cuban women in general.
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At the same time, however, since she Is fundamentallyupon someone In her world for support, guidance, and gratification of her needs, she tends to be loyal toew key Individuals. (The bond she has with them Isermanent ooe, for she can switch heralbeit with considerable initial difficulty, from one to another supportinghus on the one hand shemost approaches to social Involvement by anand fairly rigid adherence to conventional socialor. when particularly pressed, by being activelyor hostile, and on the other she Jealously guards the few more Ultimate relationships which she has cautiouslyand views any threat to these with considerable anxiety and susplciocL In the absence of threat, her long-term relationships are more predictable and less fickle than
jse of the male, but they are no more satisfying. In the lung run, than his disappointing superficiality.
Given these personalities as generic, what tendencies with respect to major strengths and weaknesses and potentialproblems can be anticipated? The male, especially, mayotential for being particularly adept atand describing the feelings and attitudes of othershimself becoming so involved as to lose his objectivity. To the extent that this ability were verified In the Individual
**Wm-or assess the relationships among membersroup. The female Is much less likely to be adept at such evaluative tasks; she has more often pushed the development of Impersonal work skills at the expense of her fundamental sensitivity.
The main psychological disadvantage of the adjustments we have discussed here Is that theyreat deal of energy to maintain. Both male and female are under considerable pressure to become more Involved with others than they wish to be. Keeping uninvolvcd leads to marked strain and tension which are often relieved by the use of alcohol and drugs,not usually to the point of alcoholism or addiction. Obviously, the case officer must check on his agent's tolerance for fatigue and stress and how he counters these strains.
anagement point of view the Cuban may seem disappointing in long-range performance and at the same time overly sensitive to criticism. The male, seeming morethan he himself feels and being verbally fluent and able to learn procedures quickly, may appear to understandwhen he really does not. Thus he may be overrated during training, and In operations the discrepancy between expected and actual results may be increased by his lack of versatility: once be hasay of doing things he does not readily shift to new patterns which may be demanded by the operational situation. On the contrary, he may persist In partially learned but inappropriate modes of behavior. The female, as we have seen, is somewhat less capable procedurally, but her dogged application covers her Inefficiencies.
Each thereforeotential for underlying feelings of Inferiority. Direction and control are necessary, butand testing, especially from someone who Is not respected
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and admired, may be extremelyupervisor must be careful to direct his criticism to the methods and procedures being used rather than lo the performance of the individual But any change of procedures must be preceded by long and careful training.
The biggest problem appears to be that of long-term loyalty and control. Essentially, the Cuban Is loyal only to himself.ew exceptions, he cannot tolerate close relationships for long periods of time; only temporary liaison Is possible. In his relationshipase officer he will tend to viewoUeague rather thanubordinate.
In the approach to theainstaking study of her emotional needs must be made In order toay to win her from those to whom she feels loyalty. The male, on tbe other hand, can often be subverted by appeals to hisorientation and devotion to objectivity. One consequence of these mental mechanisms Is that he usually has quiteJustifications, In his own mind at least, for all hisIt may then be possible to provide him with anrationale for engaging in activities Inconsistent with or contradictory to his usual pattern. If this is done the new action will no longer be perceived as beingand can be carried out with little or no anxiety.Original document.