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in by the
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The title of this estimate FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
I Director of NSA for the NaUonafSecurity Agency J. Assistant Director for Central^Reference, Agency
COMMUNIST INFLUENCE IN CUBA
To estimate present and probable future Communist control or influence over the leadership and policies of the Castro regime in Cuba.
The trend of events in Cubaource of deep satisfaction to the leaders ofcommunism. Fidel Castro Is embarkeditter and virulent anti-US campaignnot only at the Cuban population but also at public opinion throughout Latin America. In the domestic field, Castro isan increasingly radical programtechniques used by the Communistsin other countries. The government has expropriated without adequatefor compensation or has otherwisecontrolide range of business enterprises, ranging from sugar plantations and cattle ranches to mines, factories, airlines, and hotels, in many of which US investors haveonsiderableastro has declared that his goal is the elimination of private enterprise, foreign or domestic, from all major sectors of the economy He recently stated that private foreign capital willbe accepted for Investment in Cuba only if delivered to the government to be used as it sees At Economic power has becomein the recently established Central Planning Board, the National Bank, and the National Institute for Agrarian Reform
' Private US direct capital inveitmenl in Cuba amount* to about IJOO million, of which aproportion is already under wme form ofby the Cuban Government The entire L'Sn threatened.onsiderable amount of comakercUl debt due to US Oram
he Central Planning Board is headed by Fidel Castro himself. The Bank is directed by "Che"taunch pro-Communist, the INRA by Nuneznown Communist. The INRAirtual statetate and has sweeping powers over agriculture, industry, and commerce.
ocal Communists have been readUyby the regime as participants in the process of remaking Cuba At the same lime, the administration has been purged of ant:-Communlst elements, including not onlypersonnel who hid served under Batista, but also even those adherents ofh of July Movement who have sought to moderate the pace of change and to curbinfluence. Under the direction of Fidel Castro's brother Raul, and under the influence of "Che" Guevara, the armedpolice, and investigative agencies hifve been brought under unified control, purged of Batista professionals as well as otheranti-Communist elements, andto Communist-slantedivilian militia composed of students, workers, and peasants is being trained and armed. At least nine of the most prominent anti-Communist leaders of theof CubanTC) have been eliminated from the labor organization and others effectively silenced. Althoughprobablymall
of the ctc membership, at least avepro-communists have been elevated toman ctc executive committee, some in key positions. although ctc secretary general david salvador was "expelled" from the popular socialist (communist) party (psp)e has been active incommunist influence in the labor movement and hasrominent spokesman for the government's policies.
all the old-line, non-communist political parties have been disrupted or cowed. the psp now is the only effective political body in cuba except for castro'sh of julyoosely organized vehicle ofsupport for castro which lacks most of the characteristicsolitical party. re-legalized in effect by castro on his assumption of power, the psp occupies no official role in the government and has deliberately avoided the appearance of seeking power for itself. although the party has openly sought to develop its base in labor, education, and the entertainment industry, its overtpress, and front organizations haveconcentrated on drumming up support for castro and his policies, top psp leaders have generally remained in the background, and party strength has probably not risen significantly above its estimated9 totalo: however, the psp has had considerable success in penetrating theinra and other parts of theandh of julyin utilizing the government's tendency to equate anticommunism withand treason. fidel castro's chiefraul castro and "che" guevara, have long records of association with communistsarked affinity for communistand political concepts; they are strong pro-communists if not actual communists.
meanwhile, the castro regime has alsosignificant contacts with the bloc. although formal diplomatic relations have yet to be established with any of0 million soviet credit to cubaive-year trade agreement were
psp claim0 members probablythe communist youth organization.
concluded during soviet deputy premier mikoyan's visit to cuba to open the sovietinhe agreement calls for soviet purchases of one million tons of cuban sugar annually, at world prices, of whichercent is payable in hard currency and the rest in merchandise and services. early in march banking arrangements for the exchange of overillion in commodities with east germany were concluded.has also expressed interestrade deal. the joint cuban-soviet statement issued upon mikoyan's departure from cuba called for close collaboration by the twoin the un. cuba is currentlyeat in the security council and will probably receive considerable support from the soviet bloc as well as from the afro-asian countries. the cuban-sponsored latin american news agency, Prensa Latlna, whichajorof anti-us propaganda, has workingwith news agencies from the sinc-soviet bloc as well as from neutralistand is using bloc materials in its output. the chinese communist news agency hasranch in havana. in contrast to cuban fulminations against the us, official statements in the press have been generally favorable to the bloc.
these developments obviously raise serious questions as to the degree to which cuba may now be or may become subject tocommunist control. certainly the local communists have taken advantage of the opportunities afforded them to influence the course of government policy and totheir own position within the armed forces, inra, and other key elements of the cuban political structure. prolongation the present situation will result in even greater communist influence in cuba and will further encourage communists and other anti-us elements throughout latin america.
however, fidel castro remains theelement in the regime and we believe that he is not disposed to accept actualfrom any foreign source histo communist influence andand his willing adoption of communist patterns of action springs from the paral-
Icllsm or his revolutionary views with the current Communist line in Latin America, from his conviction that communism offers no threat to his regime, and from his need for external support. He almost certainly has no intention of sharing his power or of abandoning his announced objective ofa neutralist "third force" position for Cuba and other nations of Latin America in association with the Afro-Asian world. Moreover, his fanatic determination to direct the course of the revolution and thepopular support he commands would make it difficult at this time for the Cuban Communists or their Bloc supporters to force Fidel Castroirection contrary to that or his choice. We consider itunlikely that the PSP, which has little broad support among the Cuban people, could soon develop sufficient strength to make openly an effective bid for power on its own. Although development of pro-Communist strength in the armed forces and elsewhere may eventually give themapability, we believe that Fidel Castro's appeal to the Cuban masses, rather than the coercive power of the armed forces, represents the present mainstay of the regime. In the event of Fidel Castro's death. Raul Castro and "Che"would assume the leadership of theUnder these two. the Communists would be given an even greater opportunity to perfect their organization and to influence the policy of the government. Raul Castro and "Che" Guevara, however, would notthe popular support which Fidel Castro now Inspires.
e believe that for some tune Communist leaders will continue to concentrate onthe formulation andof policy and on covert Infiltration of the governmenU-and that they will avoid any challenge to Fidel Castro's authority or any claim to formal PSP participation in theParticularly in the light of Soviet experiences with Kassim and Nasser, theleaders are well aware of the need for caution in dealing with messianic nationalist leaders. They probably believe that thestate of affairs is weakening the USand advancing their interests, not only in Cuba, but throughout Latin America. The Communists probably also believe that the US will lose in influence and prestige so long as Castro's successful defiance of the UShis acceptance of Bloc assistance) continues, and that the US is faced with the dilemma of tolerating an increasingly Communist-oriented Cuba or of arousingLatin American opposition byAbove all. the Soviets probably wish toituation in which the US could secure broad Latin American support for action to curb Castro. While Castro's regime has lost prestige In Latin America, particularly among government officials and the upper and middle classes, few popular leaders In the area are prepared to dismiss Castro asro-Communist demagogue. For many Latin Americans, especially the masses, Castroan important symbolestroyer of the old order andhampion of socialand of anti-US and antlcapitalist feeling.
e believe that Fidel Castro and hisare not now demonstrably under the domination or control of the international Communist movement. Moreover, we believe that they will not soon come under suchdomination or control. We reach this conclusion in part because we feel that under present circumstances International Communism does not desire toituation arise in which it could be clearly demonstrated that the regime in Cuba was under itsYet. we believe that the Cuban regime is in practice following the line set for Latin American Communist parties at the time oft Party Congress in Moscow in9 and that it will continue to pursue policies advantageous to the Communists and toCommunist assistance and advice In carrying them out. Cuba may give increasing appearances ofommunist society. Although Castro may for tactical reasons seem at times to moderate his relations with the US, he appears intent on pressing ahead with his anti-US campaign, which might come toattempted expulsion of the US from its Guantanamo Base, abandonment of Cuba's privileged position in the US sugar market, a
complete diplomatic rupture, and danger to the lives of American citizens. The more he becomes embroiled with the US, the more he will look to the Bloc for support, includingof military equipment, although both the Bloc and the Cubans would probably seek to avoid any accusation that Cuba was being madeoviet base. Should the Castro regime be threatened, the USSK woulddo what it could to support It. However, the USSR would not hesitate to write off the Castro regime before involving Itselfirect military confrontation with the US over Cuba, or, at least during the present state of Soviet policy,ajor diplomatic crisis with the US.