CASTRO'S SUBVERSIVE CAPABILITIES IN LATIN AMERICA

Created: 11/9/1962

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SPECIAL NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

CASTRO'S SUBVERSIVEN LATIN Ai^MCA ^ "

Submitted bys.

DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL

The following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of this estimate: The Central InteUigence Agency and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State. Defense, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and NSA.

Concurred in by the

UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD

oncurring were the Director ot Intelligence and Research. Department of State; TheDefense InteUigence Agency; the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Deportment of the Army; the Assistant Chief of Naval Operationsepartment of the Navy: the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, USAF; the Director for Intelligence. Joint Staff; tke Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Director of the National Security Agency. The Atomic Energy Commissionjo the USIB. abstained, the subject being outside of his jurisdiction.

INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

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SUBJECT: UBVERSIVE CAPABILITIES

IN LATINRICA

TIE PROBLEM

To describe and evaluate Castro's capebillties, with Soviet help, for carrying out subversion and sabotage la Latin Anerlca

SUMMARY

A. The dangerously unstable situation that prevails throu^-out much of Latin Araerico ls the product of fundamental inequities

historic circumstance; it is not tho creation of Cootro end

the Soviets. Castro's efforts, with Soviet help, to exploit this

situation hy neons of subvorclon and cabotage have not produced

significant results. Propaganda exploitation of Castro and Cuba

os symbols of revolution has probably been more effective to date

than other subversive activities. Castro's Influence Id Latin

America had waned by the tine of the missile base crisis and was

further reduced by the revelation that he bad accepteJ Soviet

strategic mlaalle bases on Cuban soil and by the manner of the

Soviet decision to

realized will depend upon tho situetion In Cuba, Soviet policy toward Cuba, and the policies and performance of tbe other Latin American government* ond of tbe US with respect to the Castro threat. Therecany targets in the hemisphere vulnerable to Castro-Cccmnlst subversion and sabotage, and the Soviets are libely to assist Castro In reaching them by contributing both to his security at home and to

C. We have examined how Castro's subversive potential would be affected by alternative courses of Soviet policy regardingirtual withdrawal ofontinuation of ecsncralc and military support ranging from present up to substantially in-created levels. U# believe thatould considerablyCastro's subversive potential, and that the Soviets ereto elect It. We conclude that Sovietould nain-tain Cestro's potential for subversive action at leoat at present level* or actually raise it to the point where be could undertake amphibious acd/or airborne subversive operations against close-ia terceta.

THE estimate

I. CASTRO'S SUBVERSIVE ACTIVTTIE3 BEFORE THE MISSILE BASE CRISIS*

the tine of hl3 accession to power Fidel Castroto gain acceptance of the Cuban revolutionodelend of hlnself aa the leader of revolutionary forcesLatin Azerice. He has constantly sought to fooentother Latin American States. Moreover, Castro has generallysupport of the Sino-Soviet Bloc in thc pursuit of these alms.

Means

began his career of sponsorship for revolutionsAmerica9 with landings of small rebel forcesFanaea, tbe Docinlcan Republic, and Haiti. Hone-ere successful and he turned to other means.

3- Free the beginning, propaganda has been one of the principal instrumentsich Caatro has relied. In addition to tho mainof Radio Havana for external listeners, which hove had a

See Annex A.

greet deal of revolutionary content, he has beamed special programs devised to stliziiata revolutionary action to each ofozen selected countries.* ajor effort has been aide through Prensa La tics, the Cuban news service, to disseeioato Castro-Ccassuslst propaganda. Printed propaganda has also been sent froo Cuba into most other Latin American States, and Cuban dlplccatic cissions and personnel have actively disseminated it. Students ro turning from iodoctrination ia Cube have helped establish Cuban Institutes for Friendship among Peoples which have functioned as propaganda

J*. Thousands of Latin Americana have been brought to Cuba;rainees are believed to be there now. Many hundreds have been trained in revolutionary techniques and guerrilla warfare. Cuba has beenoin transit point for travelLatin America and the Bloc.

5- Floanciel support has been provided by Cuba to revolutionary groupsumber of countries, although the cases on which we have reports involved relatively seaums of money. Arms shipments have also been reported, but the evidence la unclear as to quantities

Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Honduras, and thc Dominican flepublic.

shipped and the extent of Cuba's rolo In those transactions. Ue believe that thero Is on extensive agent net in Latin America directed free Havana.

6. Castro has associated himself with revolutionary activist groups throughout Latin America. In most cases these have been Comounlst, but where the regular Communist Partyegal or parliacectary line he has not besltated to support dissident Communistn Brazil, and non-Communistn Guatemala and El Salvador. In some cases hc has sponsored new revolutionaryn Panama, Colombia, ind Peru. In Chile he hasopular front coalition cade up of Cceniunlst and moderate leftists.

Evaluation

7- Instances of financial and materiel support sect by Cuba to revolutioneries in other countries which have come to curare probablyart of tho total effort. Even so, the effort seems to have been relatively small and Ineffective. Xet clone with the poUtical and psychological stlnuios which Castro'shas provided, Cuban subversive activities have perceptibly strengthened activist revolutionary groups. Dangerous situations

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free political and socio! tensions which existed long before

Castro came to power. They might lie dormant for scoe time; but

with Castrootential detonator, they are more likely to blow up. The detooative compound will exist as long as Castroismwhatever may happen to Castro personally.

8. The most dangerous aspect of Castroism has been its broad

appealymbol of revolutionary change and nationalist osser-

tage of this fact and has elmost certainlyore important American

influence in tho Letln/aituatlon than Castro's otber subversive 01 Castroismorce to be reckoned with politicallyumber of Latin American countries. Certain governments felt obliged to move in the direction ofand leftist positions. This influence waned, however, after Cestro identified himself with the Bloc in Nevertheless, the appeal of Castro's movement continued toource of major concern to alax>st all governments and seriously restricted their willingness to associate themselves,at least publicly, with the US.

9- Castro's subversive capabilitiesand his disposition to use themwill be enhonced by the sense of security provided

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by such sophisticated weapons oo are retained in Cuba after the ' withdrawal of Soviet strategic missiles. Theombers, if and other modem equipment noted ln Annex B, would beln this regard.

Respect* of Castrojrters to Missile Snse Crisis

10. Castro's supporters throughout Lstin America, with fit* though Important exceptionsabotage of oil facilities Inailed to respond to the missile base crisis with effective acts of sabotage or with impressive public deror^tr-tions. Two important limiting factors should be taken into account in judging this response, houovor. US action to olert Latin American governments led them to make extensive advance preparation,deployment of security forces and the roundup ofondition of rcediness which ls unlikely to be maintained indefinitely.

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There also =cy have beca sea; uncertainty among the activist followers of Caatro whether they should make their big effort in response to the announcement of the US blockade, or wait for tbe anticipated US Invasion. Moscow's apparent failure to provide guidance may have contributed to the confusion. It is ourhowever, that tho responoe to Castro's appeal for attacka on the US and Its friends indicates that hla power to cononndaction, at least in tha circumstances of the minoile cose crisis, is United.

Support Which Cor.tro Can Expect in the Future

11- The range of Castro'a support has been, we beUeve,-arrowed by events since Castro declaredccsunist. Revelation of the fact that he had allowed the Soviets to estoblish offensive bases under exclusive Soviet control has alienated many non-Ceeeunlst oatiooaUata, genuine neutralists, aid even revolutionaries seeking social and economic betterment. San Tiego Dantas, formerly Foreign Minister under President Goulart and an author of Brazil's nooalignmont policy, and leading Mexicanhave pubUcly expressed their disenchantment.

12. The activist revolutionaries are probably tbe onlyforce on which Caatro can now count, but even their support

has apparently been rendered Icbb effective by differences on the question of Soviet relations uith Castro and with Latineramist parties.

Castro's Resources forslve Activity

13. Anns. (See Cootro has substantial stocks of ones. In addition to Soviet Bloc materiel there are stores of arcs inherited frco the Batista regis* QQt being used by Castro forces and available for distribution outside Cube. In the past he has apparently been hoirpered in his efforts to use arms for subversive purposes by problems of transport and delivery. He has at his disposal, hovever,L-lU transports belonging to Cubonewhich could be usod to deliver arms underres. Thes now in Cuba ore inappropriate for subversive purposes. However, they couldd for air drops. Cuba has cany smell craft suitable for infiltration of men and arms. hronshtcdt subchasers,otor torpedo boats, ondemar missile boats obtained fromc could also be used for arcs deliveries. If the projected trawler base is built up, trawlersoth Cuban ond Sovietcould be used for arms deliveries. If Soviet submarines call at the trawler base or at other Cuban ports, they, too, could be used in support of subversive activities. We

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see no evidence that Cuba has or Isophisticated ocphlblous warfare capability, and aU the aeons of delivery of anna hy sea noted above would be vulnerable to precautionary rcee-aures by Latin American military and naval forces.

i1*' Provaponda apparatus. Castro's propaganda machine re-ooins intact. Por the tine being, however, his diplomatic missions are likely to find lt border to disseminate propaganda than In the past, both because of new precautions by local governmentseduction in the uumbera of cooperative volunteerstho organized Ccmmualat groups.

15- Money and equlon*st. Despite differences between Castro and tbe USSH concerning dismantling of the missile bases, wethat the Soviets will continue to supply Castro with money, supplies, and equipment for subversive activity. The Soviets have certainly supplied Castro with sophisticated Instruments ofcollection, sabotage, end clandestine communications.

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Organization. The organ!zotIon of Castro's subversive assets throughout Latin America was shown by the recent crisis to be loose and otherwise faulty. Us estimate that Castro willtrong effort to strengthen and Improve it, and that be willto receive aupport In this effort from tha Soviet apparatus.

In Cuba itself,

andther import lty such as Mexico City and Montevideo.

most of the arms and equipment which were delivered in the post-July buildup, as well es enhanced copebilities provided bytraining. Presumably hla enemies will have about the some, or less, freedom to engage in propaganda, sabotage, aupport for resistance activities, and other actions designed to overthrow Caatro than they bad before the crisislmost certainly not more. Unless Castro Is gravely endangered bv internal polltlcol andproblems, there is no reason to believe that anti-Castro activities are any more likely to Jeopardize hie position then they did before the crisis.

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18. Situation In Cuba. Castro's ability to engage Inactivities will be influenced significantly by tbe strength and stability of his position at hone. Heightened political and economic difficulties in Cuba would restrict Castro's subversive effort, while the core secure be ls at home, the core freedom and strength he is likely to have for subverting other governments and re-establishing his prestige and influence. Castro's position in Cuba will depend ln part on his own policies, but ls likely toeven more upon those of tha Soviets.

19- Alternative "Soviet policies. There are several courses

of action with respect to Cuba which the Soviets are likely to

consider. Some leaders cay argue that the whole policy of economic

and military support for Castro should be abandoned along with the

plan for the deployment of strategic missiles in Cuba. V'e believe,

however, that the Soviet stake in Cuba as an ally andoviet

cantor in Latin America is still too hich to abandon. The stake in

Castroerson, however, ls questionable. If the Soviets did

ecision to withdraw support either frcm Castro or from Cuba,

ue believe that Cuban capability for subversion in Latin America

would be greatly reduced, et leastime. This capability

would be reduced more ln the case of the Soviets' withdrawingfrom Cuba than ln the case of their abandonment of Castro alone.

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20. Ad alternative course would be for tbe Soviets to continue to extend economic and military assistance. Such assistance could range ell tbe woy from the amounts necessary to maintain Cuba Id Its present condition, including aupport of the expanded militaryto substantial Increases. olicy uould probobly reduce considerably Castro's internal problems and thus give him additional freedom to engage in external subversion ond sabotage. Additions to Castro's stocks of small arm* would not in themselves change his capability for subversive activity, as he already hes euppllea of surplus arms. However, if the Soviets were to provide substantial additional air and seal! ft capability, the Cubans would be able to mount large scale subversive interventions Id ncighboriDg couotrles. Furthermore, whatever degree of success is achieved ia improving Cuba's position and In expanding Its physical resources, Cuba's met capability for subversion end sabotage will In the last analysis largely be determined by the overall situation In Latin America.

21. We do not believe that Castro or the Soviets can yetwhat the effects of tbe receut crisis will be over the long term on their relationship. Tbe crisis has probably created difficultiesolitical and psychological nature that neither of them can readily solve, however determined they may be to do so. Castro may

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hove been coved by tbobe has received et the hands of the Soviets to consider codifying his relationship with then end seeking to improve his relations with tho OAS and possibly even tha US. This would be cost likely if tbe Soviets chose to pursue course ono or two above. We believe, however, that be is unlikely to find feasible ways of reducing his dependence upon them. Tbe Soviets certainly must consider that they have effective means of exercising control over Castro. Furthermore, bis repeated assertions ofloyalty to Herxlsm-Leolnlsm make it unlikoly that he la seriouslyestoration of relations with the OAS, or that he could succeed if ha tried.

22* Policy ofaorlcen notions. Castro's subversivewill be greatly influenced by the policies and actions of otber Latin American nations, as by those of the US. We believe that tbe high state of security alert that has prevailed sincectober and the show of unity that marked the recent crisis ore unlikely to lest. There is sure toevival of nationalist seo-tlawnts. On balance, however, we believe that the prospects for

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counter-subversive action by Latin African S'-ates, on their ovaconjunction withrs iojrcvcd. Many respcasihlewill have interpreted recent events to nean thatunited action can be effective against the Soviet threat

23. Tho extent of Castro's capabilities for sabotage and other clandectioc activity in Latin America will depend upon the cocplicoted factors noted coove. hatevar his capabilities are, he will not beoss for targets against which to usea of the cere obvious targets ere:

a. USsd_oersonnel. U3 missions and personnel all over Latin America were designated as targets for attack, io tho various calls for action which went out during the recant crisis. Action egaisst such targetsrimarily political and propi^andato Castro la that It tends to show public opposition to US policy. It ts also relatively eesr for Castro to prsmcte attacks against official US installationsrisis situation and to gat help from all tht various elements which are opposed to Acer icon

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Influence Ic the area. Future attacks any be anticipated inin which Castro feels that public reautaasjrt of US policy exists or can be stirred up.

b. Physical targets vulnerablenited sabotage effort. Prise targets for sabotage will be mining, industrial, and business installations ln which therearge proportion of US capital, which sre otherwise associated with the US, or which are so inpertant to the local economy that darjoge to then would create

attacked.

c. Port end communications facilities are generallyto sabotage and are appealing targets to Cubcns and other Latin American Communists particularly in countries which arewith the CS and whose ccrauni cat loos cMia are taking an anti-Castro line. Telephone, telegraph, radio and televisionand most public utilities, particularly electric power and

stations, era potential targets. Selection of targets for sabotage will depend on tbe importance of particular facilities but even more on the varying access of Castroltes and Coaimunlsto to them.

litical instability throughout latin America, in almost every case characterized by pressures from below upon relatively conservative end generally anti-Communist government, provide Castro withfor subversive political activity. Particularlysituations include the following:

(l) Venezuela, where Communist-inspired disorders hove been kept ln check by the government, but where continued Communist ond leftist violence may lead the military to take control.ountry such as Venezuela, where the stability of an anti-Castro and anti-Ccomunlst government

depends heavily upon one can, assassination is

another donger.

(2) Nicaragua, where Cceamunlst-led groups, in antici-

pation of coming elections, cay seek to incite or

exploit violence against the Somoza regime.

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(3) Guatemala, where President Ydlgorss' position is 'isa'd and uncertain.

(M The Dominican Republic, where the problems of political reconstructioneneration of dictatorship hove proved almost more than the ceretaker government can handle, and where acme political groupiogs amenable to Castro'sare seeking toooting.

(5) Bolivia, where the struggle for deminence within the ruling KNR Party between the moderates and

AEKEX A

HlGaUCSTS OF CUBAN SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES IN OTVZS LATIN AMERICA COC.TRIES TO DATE

1. Cubac subversive activities of or* sort or another novo been directed toward virtually every other Latin Anericen State. Cuban Embassies have been without exception centers for propaganda and efforts to cultivate receptive local groups, whether thoy be Castroite, regular Ccosunlst, leftist, or sinply disgruntled with the existing The Cuban Embassy lsisburser of funds for subversivo purposes. Radio propaganda from Havana has been and is beamed at each of the Latin American States,tailored to have particular local Impact. Sympathetic nationals from the other Latin American States have been encouraged and given financial support to coma to Cuba for voryiofl lengths of tlse for train tne, goodwill visits, or for purposes of instruction andof subversive prograxs.

?. The aboveeneral pattern. There are, of course, significant variations and different dogrees of effort.

Only five countries still have Cuban Embassies: Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay.

ANKEX A

depending on hew Castro's regice views tte inpovtacca ond vulner-abtlities of the target country. Tbe fallowing-uamory, country by country, of the nost typical reports of Cuban subversive activity available to us.

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