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USSR Embassy in Cuba, “Informa- influential group of individuals in his close the readiness of Cuba in principle to improve tional Letter on Contemporary Cuban- circle ([U.S. Ambassador to the United Na- relations with the United States, and as a American Relations,” 26 April 1979 tions) A. Young, [Democratic Senator from mandatory condition has put forward the
South Dakota) G. McGovern and others), demand for an end to the economic blockEMBASSY OF THE USSR
who believe that the normalization of rela- ade. TO THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA
tions represents greater opportunities for the In early 1977, both countries undertook TOP SECRET United States to neutralize the policies of practical steps toward the goal of improv
Copy No. 4 Cuba toward Africa and Latin America. ing relations. In March, at the initiative of Ser. No. 223 As part of the new approach, the the Americans, the first direct negotiations 26 April 1979 Americans have come out with official pro- at the level of deputy foreign ministers since
nouncements about their readiness to com- the interruption of diplomatic relations took
Carter administration has also taken practi- preliminary agreements on delimitation of
cal steps to reduce tensions in relations. the maritime economic zone. At the initia-
Flights over Cuban territory by reconnais- tive of the Americans, interest sections have
sance aircraft have been terminated; several been opened in the embassy of Switzerland The process of relaxation in Cuban- measures have been undertaken to bring a in Havana and the Republic of CzechosloAmerican relations, which was abruptly in- halt to terrorist activity of Cuban revolution- vakia in Washington. American citizens terrupted in 1976, commenced anew with aries on USA territory; and the prohibition with families living in Cuba have been the election of Jimmy Carter as president of of travel to Cuba has been relaxed. USA granted the right for their families to visit the USA. The new American administration, authorities have begun to warn the Cubans the United States. by all appearances, is counting on the re- about hostile activities being planned by In late 1977, the policy of Cuba in Afsults of normalization in relations and ex- Cuban emigres, and a number of their par- rica, in particular its international assistance pansion of trade with Cuba to restore cer- ticipants have been arrested and prosecuted to Ethiopia, put the brakes on the process of tain positions in the economy and turn the in the American courts.
normalizing relations with the USA. Howcountry's difficulties to its own advantage. The Cuban government has adopted a ever, in spite of threatening pronouncements In this regard the question continues to sur- wait-and-see attitude, although in general it in the press and from an array of congressface regarding the possibilities inhering in has reacted positively to these USA gestures. men concerning the Cuban military presence a prospective “break” between Cuba and the In a series of public statements, and also in in Ethiopia, the USA administration reUSSR.
the course of meetings with American sena- frained from exerting serious pressure on A large influence in the change of tors and congressmen arriving in Havana Havana and attempted to preserve the conCarter's policies has been contributed by an during this period, Fidel Castro has indicated ditions for dialogue. In December 1977, at
the behest of Carter, Representatives F. was struck that conclusively strengthened question of lifting the ban on the sale of Richmond and R. Nolan visited Cuba and the maritime boundaries between the two medicine and certain types of equipment for expressed to Castro the president's concern countries. In January 1978, an agreement the nickel industry. They pointed out that in connection with the “growing Cuban in- was reached between the coast guards of the the presence of Cuban forces in Africa and tervention" in Ethiopia. In February 1978, two countries calling for the rendering of the possibility of their intervention in Zimthe Mexican Minister of Foreign Affairs assistance to vessels in distress in the Straits babwe and Namibia was causing anxiety in S[antiago). Roel Garcia, secretly visited here of Florida, common efforts against the traf- the USA and preventing the president from at the instructions of President L[opez]. ficking of narcotics, and a halt to terrorist reaching a decision in respect to the ecoPortillo and conveyed to Castro an oral activity by Cuban counterrevolutionaries on nomic blockade. The Americans attempted message from (U.S.) Vice President (Walter] USA territory
to attain assurances that Cuba would not Mondale expressing the concern of the The Cubans were permitted to open intervene militarily in Zimbabwe and American government about the presence accounts in American banks, which was Namibia, and exhorted Cuba to support of Cuban troops in Ethiopia. Through the necessary, in part, for normal operation of Western plans for a “peaceful settlement” intercession of Portillo, the position of prin- the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, of those problems. ciple held by Cuba on this question was which was also granted the right to transmit In response to the Americans it was communicated to Carter. It was represented consular payments to Havana. Cuban emi- firmly declared that Cuba would not impose that, in the case of necessity, the Cuban mili- gres, living on USA territory, were permit- any preliminary conditions on the normaltary specialists located in Ethiopia would ted to send their relatives in Cuba up to 500 ization of relations with the USA but would take part in military operations only on the dollars every three months. American tour- not back down on questions of principle reterritory of that country.
ists visiting Cuba received the right to bring lating to its foreign policy. It was further In May 1978, during the course of the back into the United States goods having a emphasized that the solidarity of Cuba with well-known events in the Zairian province value of up to $100 per person.
African and other countries, and the interof Shaba, which the Americans attributed In response to these “gestures” from nationalist assistance rendered by it to to the Cuban presence in Africa, Fidel Castro the Carter administration, the Cuban gov- Angola and Ethiopia, could not be the submet with the head of the American Interests ernment freed three Americans who were ject for negotiations with the USA. “We will Section in Havana, L[yle). Lane, and serving sentences for espionage activity (out withdraw our forces from there,” Castro through him transmitted to Carter an oral of eight). Readiness was declared to favor- stated in discussions with the Americans, message in which he emphasized that Cuba ably examine the question concerning the “when conditions of peace and security are “has no ties whatsoever” to the events in remaining Americans being detained under achieved there. And this will be done on Shaba.
the condition that the USA, for its part, the basis of agreement with the governments The USA government attempted to di- would release the Puerto Rican freedom of those countries, and not as the result of minish the tensions arising in relations be- fighters Lolita Lebron and her three com- pressure exerted by the USA." tween the two countries during late 1978 in rades (imprisoned for involvement in a No- It was indicated further that Cuba did connection with the propaganda campaign vember 1950 assassination attempt against not oppose a peaceful political settlement in the USA centering around the issue over President Harry Truman). American citizens to the problems of Zimbabwe and Namibia, the supply of Soviet MiG-23 fighters to with families located here were returning to but that it refused to bind itself in connecCuba. In Havana, during a closed meeting the United States (in all about 250 individu- tion with its future policy in that region, between Fide! Castro and representatives of als); and persons having dual citizenship considering that the racist regimes might the Carter administration, the latter at- were permitted to leave.
undertake such provocations and aggressive tempted to justify the resumption of flights A policy of dialogue continued be- actions against Angola as would "demand a over Cuba by USA reconnaissance aircraft tween the parties. Exchanges of opinions response.” At the same time it was emphaon the grounds that the appearance of the on a wide variety of issues concerning bi- sized that Cuba adhered to a constructive MiG-23's had provoked significant anxiety lateral relations took place among contacts position and consistently therewith was in in the United States and that the president at various levels, including those during favor of a peaceful settlement to conflicts, had been forced to adopt a “position which closed meetings in Atlanta (USA) in August including those arising among African counwould permit him to assure the American and in Cuernavaca (Mexico) in October tries. As an example, they pointed to the people that everything was being done to 1978. In this connection the Americans em- efforts previously undertaken by the Cubans ensure the security of the country.” The phasized that the principal impediment to to attain a peaceful resolution to the conAmericans also declared that the training of full normalization of relations was the Cu- flict between Somalia and Ethiopia, and the naval forces taking place off the Cuban ban military presence in Africa. From their assistance rendered by them in support of coast was being carried out in the traditional part they undertook efforts to exert pressure an improvement in relations between region and was not being directed against on Cuba in this regard, and to obtain at least Angola and Zaire. Cuba. The Cuban side took this explana- a partial withdrawal of Cuban forces from In the course of meetings with official tion under advisement.
Angola and Ethiopia. In this connection, representatives of the Carter administration, Notwithstanding the developments official representatives of the American ad- Castro emphasized that the principal impedioutlined above, a certain amount of progress ministration declared in closed meetings that ment to the normalization of relations was continued in connection with several spe- if Cuba sincerely desired an improvement the economic blockade and the presence of cific questions regarding bilateral relations. in relations, then it must make “positive the American base at Guantanamo. He In late 1977, in connection with the expira- steps” in the areas of “vital interest” to the stressed that Cuba regarded as highly imtion of the temporary agreement on the de- USA located in Africa and Puerto Rico. For moral the policy of utilizing a blockade as limitation of the maritime economic zone, example, to begin with, the withdrawal of an “instrument of pressure and imposition the Americans proposed to conduct new forces from Angola and Ethiopia would lead of demands.” It was stated to the Americans negotiations. In December an agreement to a readiness by the USA to examine the that the problems of Africa and Puerto Rico were not related to the economic blockade ade continues to be maintained essentially not be granted most favored nation trading and that Cuba would not conduct negotia- in its entirety. The prohibition on exports status, nor will it be eligible for credits from tions on those questions in exchange for its of American goods, imports of Cuban prod- the Export-Import Bank or the USA Comlifting. “Cuba,” Castro emphasized, “is not ucts, issuance of commercial and financial mercial Credit Corporation. Without such China and is not Egypt. It has nothing in credits to Cuba by governments and private status, products for Cuban export will be common with those countries which can be financial institutions, and activity by banks subject to high customs tariffs (for example, pressured or bought.”
of the USA and other countries containing cigars at $4.50 per pound plus 25% of their All the same, in the course of these American capital, accounts and dollars, con- value). contacts with the Cuban side an obvious tinues in force.
The USA has attempted to apply the degree of flexibility was demonstrated. A At the same time, the USA has been provisions of the embargo to imports of readiness was declared to include, in the forced to implement modifications in those Cuban nickel by Japan, Italy, and France. general discussion of normalizing relations, aspects of its policy which had related to These governments have been informed that as a condition to the lifting of the economic trade with Cuba by foreign countries. The the USA will not permit the import of speblockade, the issue of compensation for the ministries of finance, trade and state depart- cial steels using Cuban nickel. At the same nationalized property of Americans, claims ment have been permitted to issue licenses time, in the course of Cuban-American confor which were calculated at 1.8 billion dol- for transactions concluded with Cuba by tacts in 1977-78, according to data provided lars (considering interest at 6% for 18 years, companies of those countries which are con- by “Business International Cooperation,” that sum will almost double). The Ameri- trolled by American monopolies. They are five leading USA nickel companies ancans were apprised that Cuba, in turn, has able to export nonstrategic materials and nounced their interest in cooperation with counterclaims for losses resulting from the import Cuban products. Exports to Cuba Cuba after the lifting of the economic blockeconomic blockade, and that only on this of goods from third countries containing up ade in the sphere of nickel production and basis could negotiations on that theme be to 20% in components of American manu- trade. conducted. facture are also permitted.
A new and recent significant step in The Cuban leadership has stimulated On the other hand, subsidiaries of Cuban-American relations is the decision of interest on the part of certain business circles American monopolies located in third coun- the Cuban government to release more than in the USA in studying the possibilities of tries are not permitted to maintain accounts three thousand political detainees (not less future trade and economic ties. The organi- with Cuba in American dollars, to issue it than 400 persons per month) on the condization “Business International" conducted credit for a period of more than one year, or tion that they go to the United States; and to a seminar in Havana with the participation to transfer technology.
permit the departure of Cubans wishing to of leaders of major corporations from the In sum, according to data of the USA reunite with their families abroad and visits USA, Japan, and several West European Interests Section in Havana, from October by Cuban emigres to their relatives. This countries. It was made particularly appar- 1975 through January 1979 the USA Com- decision, adopted on the basis of a compreent that the participants wielded broad in- merce Department has issued licenses to hensive analysis of the domestic situation fluence in USA political circles and were in subsidiaries of American firms in third coun- regarding emigration, marks a fundamental a position to exert pressure on Congress tries for the export of nonstrategic materi- reexamination of the previous policy on that necessary from Cuba's perspective. als in the amount of 450 million dollars, al- question. At the negotiations which took
In late 1977, Cuban Minister of For- though not all applications for export li- place in Havana in November and Decemeign Trade M[anuel]. Fernandez visited the censes have been realized, and the share of ber of 1978 with representatives of the CuUSA at the invitation of the Council on East- goods directly produced in the USA is not ban emigre community, Castro confirmed West Trade. He attended a conference in greater than 5-6%.
this decision and emphasized that up to 500 Washington in which the leaders of more Licenses have been granted for such political detainees will be released each than 80 USA trade and industrial firms and products as electric motors, industrial scales, month. However, implementation will derepresentatives of the Commerce Depart- tractors, light and heavy automotive equip- pend in the final analysis on a decision by ment and State Department participated. ment, equipment for the paper industry, the USA to admit them into the country. The minister announced that in the event the pharmaceuticals, florescent lamps, herbi- In a closed meeting with representaeconomic blockade were lifted, Cuban- cides, locomotives, textile machines, boil- tives of the American administration in late American trade could reach several hundred ers, etc. Exports of navigational systems, 1978, Castro stated that the “primary facmillion dollars per year. Cuba would be computers, communications, electrical dis- tor" making possible the adoption of these interested in acquiring USA grain, feedstock tribution equipment, construction machin- decisions was the policy of the Carter adresources, medicines, chemical products, ery, electronic experimental equipment and ministration, which had “ceased to encourlight and heavy metals, construction mate- so forth, are prohibited. Up to 50% of ap- age terrorist and subversive activity and inrials, turnkey factories, miscellaneous plications for the issuance of licenses have tervention in the internal affairs of Cuba." equipment and other goods.
been granted to subsidiaries of American This, in his words, had created a new enviGroups of American business leaders companies located in Canada and Argentina. ronment, making possible a new approach and businessmen from the states of New It should be bome in mind that a lift- to the emigration issue. York, California, and elsewhere, have vis- ing of the economic blockade would not The United States turned out to be toited Havana. The Cubans believe that there automatically result in the development of tally unprepared for Cuba's proposal, which are American companies who are seriously trade between the two countries. Cuba scored a serious moral and political victory interested in the conduct of business in would first of all have to comply with the - the American administration was deprived Cuba. These companies are even prepared provisions of the USA Trade Act of 1974 of its trump card consisting of the supposed to waive their claims for compen on of requiring it to guarantee the right to emi- violation of human rights. The USA was their nationalized property.
grate from the country and to conclude bi- confronted by the need for a response to the Notwithstanding, the economic block- lateral trade agreements. Failing this it will Cuban initiative. Moreover, the American administration was subjected to strong pres- composer-performers A. Brouver, S. in studying the application of solar energy sure from representatives of the Cuban emi- Rodriguez, P. Milyanez, and the singers T. for the cooling of industrial and residential gre community. Under the circumstances, Martinez, E. Burke and others.
buildings. the USA officially announced that it would American artists and choreographers Last March, at the invitation of the accept all of the political detainees (up to participated in the Sixth International Bal- Minister of Public Health H. G. Mundis, the 3,500 individuals), to be released at the rate let Festival in Havana. Last March, in the USA Assistant Secretary of Health, Educaof 400 persons per month, together with their large concert hall here named after Karl tion and Welfare, USA Surgeon General H. families. In order to examine this problem, Marx, three joint concerts by American and Richmond, was here. At a press conference special commissions from the USA Justice Cuban musicians and singers were held. he announced that he was favorably imDepartment came to Havana. In October They were attended by members of the Po- pressed by the development of public health 1978, the first group of political detainees litburo of the Central Committee of the in Cuba, especially the low rate of infant and their families departed for the USA. This Communist Party of Cuba C. R. Rodriguez mortality and the degree of attention directed March, the Americans introduced a new and A. Hart, and by member of the Secre- to health care among the adolescent popusimplified procedure for the issuance of vi- tariat of the Central Committee of the party lation. During the course of negotiations, sas to political detainees in order to facili- A. Peres Effera.
the Cuban side sounded out the possibility tate the conditions for the admission into the Cuban Minister of Culture A. Hart had of purchasing pharmaceutical supplies in the USA of up to 400 persons every month. discussions in Havana with the vice presi- USA. H. Richmond was received by Fidel
In the beginning of this year, Cuban dent of the firm “Columbia Broadcasting Castro. Under the auspices of UNESCO, emigres began to arrive on visits to their Systems” about the possibility of releasing several Cuban medics are receiving on-therelatives. According to accounts of friends, a recording of Cuban music in the USA. job training in the USA. the number of such persons in 1979 will In 1978, 35 film critics were invited An exchange of literature is taking exceed 100,000 individuals. During the first from the USA. Based on their examination place between Casa de las Americas in Hathree months of this year around 20,000 of Cuban films and meetings with col- vana and New York, nongovernmental orCuban emigres have arrived.
leagues, they published a series of positive ganizations involved in cultural ties with The Cuban leadership understands the materials in the American press about Cu- Latin American countries. This year, the need to intensify its ideological work in the ban cinematography. This ensured the suc- Vice President of the Cuban Institute of country relating to the new policy in con- cess of the Cuban Film Week, organized in People's Friendship (ICAP) J. Gayardo visnection with emigration. This question oc- Washington, New York, San Francisco, ited the USA for negotiations with Casa de cupied an important role in presentations by Chicago, and Los Angeles, which was at- las Americas in New York over the organiCastro at the recent Seventh Plenum of the tended by a delegation of cinematographers zation of informational work at the local Central Committee of the party and at a na- under the leadership of the director S. community level relating to real life circumtional conference of party leaders last Feb- Alvarez. It met with leading representatives stances in Cuba. ruary. In accordance with conclusions of the American cinema, as well as univer- In April of this year, at the invitation reached by the Division of Revolutionary sity students and professors.
of ICAP, for the eleventh time, 130 progresOrientation of the Central Committee of the An American rental company is now sive young Americans visited Cuba as memparty, measures have been worked out to acquiring Cuban films for display in cinema bers of the “Venceremos” brigade, to beneutralize the negative influence from a houses and on television. The journal “Cu- come acquainted with the country and to massive arrival of emigres for meetings with ban Cinema” will be re-published in English participate in the sugar harvest. their relatives. Party organizations at all in the United States. In 1978, 16 American Traditional annual Cuban-American levels have been authorized to explain to the films were purchased through an interme- boxing matches have been started up. This workers the basis for the present policy in diary firm in Italy.
year American athletes participated in inrelation to the Cuban emigre community. The first high school contacts have ternational meets in Havana in classical and
Cuban-American contacts have been established. Late last year, a delega- free form competitions. It is expected that achieved a definite development in the tion headed by Minister of Higher Educa- they will participate in the Brothers spheres of culture, science, and sport. The tion F. Vecino visited the United States. It Barientos international light athletic tournaimprovement of these contacts is serving as visited eight universities and met with their ment. one of the methods for achieving a mutual deans, the Assistant Secretary of Health, An examination of the development in understanding between the two countries, Education and Welfare, and a number of Cuban-American contacts permits the conas well as an additional source for the re- senators. At the invitation of F. Vecino, clusion that the Cuban leadership is mainceipt of hard currency. Thus, on the com- teachers from the Universities of Pittsburgh, taining a firm position on the issue of normercial front, the National Ballet of Cuba Massachusetts and Minnesota this year vis- malizing relations with the USA, decisively con pleted an extended tour of the USA in ited Havana University and Central Univer- rejecting attempts by the Americans to ex1978. Its performances in Washington and sity, as well as polytechnic and agricultural ert pressure on Cuba, and that Cuba will not New York were attended by around 100,000 institutes. An exchange of small groups of yield on matters of principle relating to its spectators. The director of the ballet, A. students for training in agricultural special- domestic and foreign policy as a form of Alonso, was elected as an honorary foreign ties has been proposed. The son of Senator "payment” for the normalization of relamember of the John F. Kennedy Center for McGovern is currently enrolled at the Uni- tions. the Performing Arts. Her essay on Cuban versity of Havana.
The Cuban leadership understands as ballet was published in the USA.
Several contacts between scientific in- well the negative consequences in the doLast year and again this year, the mu- stitutions are being worked out. Thus, the mestic ideological realm and the internasical groups "Iraqueres," "Moncada," National Center for Scientific Studies is now tional arena that would be brought about by “Manguardi,” “Los Papines,” and “Aragon” receiving informational materials. The a full normalization of relations with the toured in the United States, along with the American side is offering Cuba assistance United States.