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September 22, 1967
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Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Secret DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY SUMMARY Special Report The Latin American Solidarity Organization Conference Secret State Dept. review completed N2 45 22 September 1967 No. 0308/67B Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 SECRET THE LATIN AMERICAN SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION CONFERENCE The first conference of the Latin American Solidarity Organization (LASO) held in Havana from 31. July to 10 August, provided an ideal forum for the propagation of Fidel Castro's militant revolu- tionary theories. Whether Castro's doctrine can be translated into increased Communist "solidarity" and effective programs, however, remains to be seen. Disunity was evident during the many months of prep- arations for the meeting as well as at the conference itself. Indeed, the meeting took place at a time when quarreling among the Latin American Communists was at an all-time high. The conference apparently did nothing to ease relations between pro-Moscow and pro-Castro parties in the hemisphere. These groups remain at odds over whether to resort to armed struggle in the near future, and over Cuban attempts to control the Communist movements in Latin America. Neither did it do anything to improve Cuban-Soviet relations. Moreover, even if plans were discussed for major new guerrilla efforts in the hemis here, nothing is likel to ha en soon. In short, the LASO conference is not likely soon to lead to significant Communist advances in the hemisphere. Communist gains will depend a good deal more on the relative political and eco- nomic stability in each country than on Havana's efforts to export its brand of revolution. Background The Latin American Solidarity Organization was founded by 27 militant Latin American delega- tions in January 1966 immediately after the Tri-Continent Confer- ence in order to "coordinate the struggle against US imperialism." In August 1966, an organizing committee consisting of represen- tatives from Cuba, Brazil, Colom- bia, Guyana, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela met to plan for the 1967 conference. In October, this committee issued a draft agenda, inspired by Cas- tro's militant foreign policy, which called for discussion of a common strategy of armed SECRET Page 1 SPECIAL REPORT 22 Sep 67 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 SECRET DEVELOPMENT OF THE AFRO-ASIAN-LATIN AMERICAN SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION (AALAPSO) AND THE LATIN AMERICAN SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION (LASO) FIRST AFRO-ASIAN-LATIN AMERICAN PEOPLES SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE (FIRST TRICONTINENTAL CONFERENCE) HAVANA - JAN. 1966 ESTABLISHED: I AFRO-ASIAN-LATIN AMERICAN PEOPLES SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION EXECUTIVE SECRETARIAT TEMPORARY HEADQUARTERS IN HAVANA TO BE ESTABLISHED I N HAVANA COMMITTEE ON ZIMBABWE TO BE ESTABLISHED COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT VIETNAM AMERICAN DELEGATIONS THAT PARTICIPATED IN TRICONTI NENTAL CONFERENCE I ESTABLISHED: I LATIN AMERICAN SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE ON CONGO (KINSHASA) SECOND AFRO-ASIAN-LATI N AMERICAN v ~9 PEOPLES SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE (SECOND TRICONTINENTAL CONFERENCE) CAIRO - JAN. 1968 WILL DECIDE DEFINITIVE STRUCTURE AND PERMANENT HEADQUARTERS OF AALAPSO FIRST LATIN AMERICAN PEOPLES HAVANA 31 JULY - 10 AUGUST 1967 PERMANENT LATIN AMERICAN SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION SECRET Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 SECRET insurrection for all Latin Ameri- can revolutionary movements. It also issued a call for the crea- tion of national LASO committees in the various Latin American countries. The formation of these com- mittees, which sent delegates to the recent conference, caused great problems in several coun- tries. The obvious pro-Castro tone of the conference prepara- tions caused the pro-Soviet par- ties of Argentina, Brazil, Vene- zuela, and Ecuador to decide against sending a delegation, thus leaving the field clear to the local pro-Castro extremists. Other pro-Soviet parties--the Chilean and Colombian for ex- ample--debated the question but finally decided to attend. In any case, by conference time dele- gates from all 27 countries--rep- resenting either the orthodox parties, pro-Castro splinter groups, pro-Chinese organiza- tions, or just themselves--had arrived in Havana. The Conference' Cuban propaganda focused from the beginning on the con- ference slogan, "the duty of every revolutionary is to make revolution." This phrase was attributed to "Che" Guevara, who was made the spiritual leader of the gathering. This Argen- tine-born Cuban revolutionary, who dropped from sight in March 1965, was elected first citizen of Latin America, and his activi- ties, "wherever he is," were praised by all delegates. Page 3 In further propaganda moves, recently captured "North Ameri- can insurgents" were twice dis- played as "proof" of US activi- ties against Cuba. Because of this propaganda effort and the Cubans' argument that their ad- vocacy of "armed struggle" was based on the tenet that "reactionary oppression" must be met with "patriotic revolutionary violence," the Cubans were able to outmaneu- ver the pro-Moscow Communists. Even the most orthodox of the pro-Moscow Communists were forced to admit that "armed struggle" would probably have to be used ultimately in each country in order to achieve political power. Contrary to what had been expected in view of the obvious conflict in ideology between pro- Castro and pro-Moscow Communists, only two disputes over the pro- posed wording of resolutions came to the attention of the public. The first--which caused a brief furor--was over a committee reso- lution condemning the orthodox Communist Party of Venezuela for its policy of "via pacifica," or the peaceful way to power. This formulation which did not appear in the final declarations, rep- resented, of course, a direct attack on the position of all pro-Soviet parties. The most serious disagreement did not surface until the night of 8 August when Armando Hart, orga- nizational secretary of the Cuban Communist Party central committee and chairman of the Cuban LASO delegation, tabled a resolution SECRET SPECIAL REPORT 22 Sep 67 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 SECRET LATIN AMERICAN SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS Country Delegation Chairman Argentina John William Cooke Representatives Important organizations Represented (approx. total) Peronist Revolutionary Movement Communist Youth Federation Movement of National Liberation Argentine Movement for Vietnam Peronist Revolutionary Youth Cuba Dominican Republic Ecuador Guadeloupe Henri Delagua Guatemala Nestor Valle French Guiana Robo Jean Marie Guyana Lall Bahadur Haiti Andre Feray Honduras Hector Martinez Martinique Eduard Delepine Mexico Heberto Castillo Nicaragua Fernando Martinez Panama Floyd Britton Paraguay Francisco Mendez Puerto Rico Juan Mari Bras Surinam H. F. Herrenberg Trinidad.-Tobago Clive Phill Uruguay Rodney Arismendi Bolivian Communist Party Armed Forces of National Liberation Dissident Brazilian Communist Party National Revolutionary Movement Popular Action Communist Party of Chile Socialist Party Communist Party of Colombia Army of National Liberation Worker-Student-Peasant Movement Communist Youth of Colombia Popular Vanguard Party Authentic Revolutionary Party Socialist Action Party Dominican Popular Movement 14th of June Revolutionary Movement Communist Party of Ecuador Revolutionary Socialist Party Leftist Revolutionary Movement Communist Party of El Salvador Revolutionary Party of April & May General Association of Students Guatemalan Workers Party Rebel Armed Forces Guianese Progressive Party Peoples Progressive Party Party of Popular Accord Haitian United Democratic Party Honduran Communist Party Revolutionary Party of Honduras General Confederation of Workers Communist Party of Martinique Communist Party of Mexico Movement of National Liberation Sandinista National Liberation Front Nicaraguan Socialist Party People's Party Movement of Revolutionary Unity Communist Party of Paraguay Movement of Revolutionary Left Revolutionary Vanguard Peruvian Communist Party/China Puerto Rican Independence Movement Nationalist Republic Party Workers and Farmers Party Communist Party of Uruguay Leftist Liberation Front Uruguayan Revolutionary Movement Movement of Revolutionary Left Armed Forces of National Liberation SECRET Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 SECRET condemning the policy of certain "socialist" countries that give credits and technical aid to "dictatorships" and "oligarchies" in Latin America. This descrip- tion was an obvious swipe at the Soviet Union and several East European countries, which had accelerated their economic and diplomatic activity in Latin America in 1966 and have con- tinued their effort this year. The resolution expressed the Cuban conviction that LASO should "coordinate and give im- petus to the struggle against US imperialism and other oppres- sive factors in Latin America." It also restated a position ex- pounded by Castro during a speech on :L3 March in which he condemned the aid and trade poli- cies of the "socialist" countries toward Latin America. The al- leged Cuban retort to pro-Soviet Communists who threatened to walk out of the conference if the resolution passed was "the doors are wide open...the time for true revolutionary definitions has come." The resolution was passed by a 15 to 3 margin with 9 abstentions. The pro-Soviets did not walk out, however, and the text was never made public. The final conference dec- larations, approved on 9 Au- gust closely followed the Cas- tro line but paid lip service to the orthodox Communists. They stated in brief that the armed revolutionary struggle is the primary path of the revolu- tion in Latin America and that all other forms of the struggle must serve and not hinder this line. Furthermore, guerrilla action is the immediate and pri- mary task in the majority of Latin American countries and in- evitable in the others. Stokely Carmichael's appear- ance provided a much-needed pub- licity boost for the conference. The "black-power" advocate prob- ably measured up to Castro's ex- pectations by haranguing the delegates on everything from the dangers of "Yankee imperialism" to his views of Abraham Lincoln. "The next Vietnam will take place on the Latin American con- tinent," Carmichael said. "Guer- rilla warfare must begin in the US.... We will not fight in Vietnam, nor in Santo Domingo, nor anywhere else in the world. Our fight will be inside the US." Castro's Closing Speech After many delays, Castro finally addressed the gathering on 10 August. His speech was a major ideological statement of Cuba's foreign policy and a blueprint for solidarity with Latin American guerrillas. Al- though he grudgingly ac- knowledged the pro-Soviet Commu- nists, stating that "in some countries violent revolution may not be an immediate, but a fu- ture task," he left no doubt that Cuba views "armed struggle" as the only valid course to achieve "national liberation." He also indicated that Cuba is prepared to advance this doc- trine. Castro publicized the Cuban conflict with the Communist Party SECRET Page 5 SPECIAL REPORT 22 Sep 67 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 SECRET LATIN AMERICAN SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION CONFERENCE DECLARATIONS We, representatives of the peoples of our America, conscious of the conditions which exist on the Continent, knowing of the existence of a common counterrevolutionary strategy directed by Yankee imperialism, proclaim: 1. That it is the right and duty of the peoples of Latin America to make revolution; 2. That revolution in Latin America has its deepest historic roots in the liberation movement against European colonialism of the 19th century and against the imperialism of this century. The epic of the peoples of America and the great class battles against imperialism waged by our peoples in previous decades are the sources of historic inspiration for the Latin Ameri- can revolutionary movement; 3. That the essential meaning of the revolution in Latin America is given by its confrontation of imperialism, the oligarchies, and bourgeois landowners. Consequently, the character of the revolution is that of a struggle for national independence, emancipation from oligarchies, and the socialist path for complete economic and social development; 4. That the principles of Marxism-Leninism guide the revolutionary movement of Latin America; 5. That the armed revolutionary struggle is the primary path of the revolution in Latin America; 6. That all the other forms of struggle must serve and not hinder the progress of the primary line which is armed struggle; 7. That for the majority of the countries of the Continent the problem of organizing, initiating, developing, and culminating armed struggle is today the immediate and primary task of the revolutionary movement; 8. That those countries in which this task is not being considered as an immediate task should at any rate consider it as an inevitable prospect in the development of the revolutionary struggle in their country; 9. That the people of each country and their revolutionary vanguards will have the historic re- sponsibility for advancing the revolution in each of them; 10. That the guerrillas as the embryo of the armies of liberation is the most effective means for initiating and developing revolutionary struggle in the majority of our countries; 11. That the leadership of the revolution demands as an organizational principle the existence of a unified political and military command as a guarantee for its success; 12. That the most effective solidarity that revolutionary movements can give each other is the development and culmination of their own struggle in each country; 13. That solidarity with Cuba and collaboration and cooperation with the revolutionary movement in arms are an unavoidable duty of international type of all anti-imperialist organizations of the Continent; 14. That the Cuban revolution as a symbol of the victory of the armed revolutionary movement is the vanguard of the Latin American anti-imperialist movement. As the people who carry out armed struggle advance along that path, they also place themselves in the vanguard; 15. That. the people directly colonized by the European mother countries or subjected to direct colonial domination by the United States on their way to liberation, have as their immediate and primary objective the fight for independence and the maintenance of links to the general struggle of the Continent as the only manner of avoiding being absorbed by North American neocolonialism; 16. That the second declaration of Havana, which contains the beautiful and glorious revolutionary tradition of the last 150 years of American history, is a programatic document of the Latin American revolution which the peoples of this Continent have confirmed, deepened, enriched, and radicalized during the past five years; 17. That the peoples of Latin America have no antagonisms with any other people of the world and they extend a fraternal hand to the people of the United States themselves whom they urge to fight against the repressive policy of the imperialist monopolies; 18. That the struggle in Latin America strengthens its bonds of solidarity with the peoples of Asia and Africa, the socialist countries, and with the workers of the capitalist countries, particularly with the Negro population of the United States who simultaneously suffer class exp:oitation, poverty, unemployment, racial discrimination, and denial of the most elementary human rights and who are an important force to be considered in the context of revolutionary struggle; 19. That the heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people gives all the peoples who fight imperial- ism an inestimable help and is an inspiring example for the peoples of Latin America; 20. That we have approved the statutes and created the permanent committee with headquarters in Havana of the Latin American Solidarity organization which is the genuine representation of the peoples of America. We, revolutionaries of our America, the America south of the Rio Bravo, successors of the men who gave us our first independence, armed with unbreakable will to fight and with revolutionary and scientific orientation, and without anything to lose but the chains that oppress us, declare that our struggle is a decisive contribution to humanity's historic struggle to liberate itself from slavery and exploitation. The duty of every revolutionary is to make revolution. e.oiuca~ SECRET Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927A006000050004-9 SECRET of Venezuela (PCV) by excoriat- ing its leaders and making various veiled references to statements by other orthodox party leaders. In all, he left little doubt that his "solidar- ity" with these Communists is, at best, an illusion. He lashed out at the PCV as a cowardly gang of traitors and a "mafia" of "slanderers and defamers of the Cuban revolution." He then made a thinly dis- guised reference to Chilean Com- munist Party leader Luis Cor- valan's statement--stressing the role of the national bourgeoisie-- which had been published in the USSR on the eve of the LASO con- ference. Castro asked, "Is there anyone at this time who might be- lieve in the revolutionary role of any bourgeoisie on this con- tinent?" Castro went on to declare that-orthodox Communism "has acquired a method, a style, and, in certain things, not a few characteristics of a church. We sincerely believe that this character must be overcome." Answering the charge that he is nothing more than a bourgeois adventurer without revolution- ary maturity, he said, "For- tunately, the revolution came before maturity because, finally, those who are mature, the super- mature, have matured so little that they have decayed." Castro also alluded to the conference's resolution criticizing t e socialist coun- tries who give aid to "oligar- chical" Latin American govern- ments. Referring to Soviet aid offers to Colombia (which, inci- Page 7 dentally, apparently have not been made), Castro said, "it is ab- surd--loans in dollars to an oligarchical government which re- pressed the guerrillas, which is persecuting and murdering guer- rillas.... We think that this is absurd." He continued, "If inter- nationalism exists, if solidarity is a word worthy of being uttered, the.least we can expect from any state in the socialist camp is to deny financial or technical aid to any of these governments." Ideology of "Armed Struggle" The major emphasis of Castro's speech was on the ideology of the "armed struggle." This doctrine, which challenges the role of the orthodox national parties, is best described as the Castro- Guevara-Debray thesis. Briefly, it can be divided into three main revolutionary tenets, all cited in Castro's speech: The key to revolution in Latin America is guerrilla action, which should be initiated, developed, directed, and controlled from rural areas; there should be only one major guerrilla movement in each coun- try, directed by a united leader- ship and guided by one clear strategy; and the guerrilla unit precedes the urban-based party and, in fact, ultimately evolves into the "authentic" party. Castro proclaimed, "Let no one dream t]iat he will achieve power peacefully in any nation of this continent. Let no one dream or attempt to tell the masses such a'thing, he would be fooling them miserably.... There is a basic path /armed strug- glq and the rest of the means of struggle should be subordinated to it." SECRET SPECIAL REPORT 22 Sep 67 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927A006000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927A006000050004-9 SECRET On the correctness of rural- oriented guerrilla action, Castro said, "The experience acquired in guerrilla warfare on this con- tinent has taught us many things, among them the terrible mistake, the absurd conception, that a guerrilla movement can be directed from a city...,. It is our con- viction that it is not only stupid, but a crime to want to direct a guerrilla movement from the city." Castro concluded with a prediction for the future. "A revolution is seething within this continent. Its eruption might be delayed, but its out- burst is inevitable.... The vic- tory of the peoples against the injustices, exploitation, oli- garchy, and imperialism, regard- less of the wrong concepts which may try to change the course, is inevitable.... /Real7 Communists will not let the revolution down, just as our revolution will never let down the Latin American revo- lutionary movements." Soviet Reaction Publicly the Soviets under- standably have played down the LASO conference For_ the most part, Soviet commentators have preferred to argue the merits of the USSR's "united front" policy--combined political action by all "progres- sive" Latin American parties, in- cluding the Communists--in each country. Critics of this policy have been described as "ultra- left-wing" groups inspired by Peking. There has been no men- tion of the hard line taken by Castro and others at the confer- ence. The Soviet ambassador to Chile, Aleksandr Anikin, so far is the only Soviet official to belittle the conference publicly. He told reporters in Santiago that the LASO agreements "are of no great importance" and "probably would not be taken into considera- tion" by the USSR. In an ap- parently candid private conversa- tion, another Soviet diplomat commented to a US official in Washington that there were no real prospects for revolution in Latin America and that Castro had been inflating the idea for his own purposes. There is no evidence that Moscow and Havana are any less at odds since the conference, but no sign that either wants an open dispute. It appears that, as expected, each side will continue doing what it has been doing but may talk about it less. Thus, it is expected that the Soviets will continue to do what they can to maintain, and hopefully im- prove, their position within the Latin American revolutionary move- ment, but not by sacrificing the consolidation and expansion of their trade and diplomatic rela- tions with selected established governments. Latin American Reaction Implementation and further discussion of the resolutions adopted at the conference have been delayed for the past month because of a decision that delegates SECRET Page 8 SPECIAL REPORT 22 Sep 67 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927A006000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927A006000050004-9 SECRET could best avoid arrest by their own governments by taking circuitous routes home and de- laying their arrival. Some dele- gates may also have remained in Havana for post-conference dis- cussions. A preliminary assessment of available information indi- cates that the conference, as ex- pected, pleased pro-Castro groups and displeased supporters of the orthodox Moscow line. The or- thodox Communist Party of Colom- bia (PCC), for example, was re- ported to be in general agreement with the conference resolutions but opposed to the Cuban position on the primacy of "armed struggle," which it viewed as only one of several methods in carrying out the revolution. The Colombian Communists also disapproved the F- reso- lution condemning the USSR for aiding Latin American countries, believing that it will only serve to split the revolutionary move- ment. On the other hand, the PCC's militant guerrilla arm was pleased with the conference and is in the process of studying new guerrilla strategy and tactics with the hope that it can inten- sify guerrilla activity in the near future. In Chile, the Communist Party has scarcely even noted LASO, although its partner in the Popular Action Front, the pro-Castro Socialist Party, is strongly in favor of all confer- ence resolutions, including the attack on the Soviet Union. The Socialists themselves, are badly split, however, as the rebel wing led by Raul Ampuero is taking an increasingly contemptuous at- titude toward the advocates of f armed struggle. The Uruguayan Communist movement, led by Rodney Arismendi, is in basic disagreement over the conference results. SECRET Page 9 SPECIAL REPORT 22 Sep 67 25X1 25X1 25X1 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927A006000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 SECRET however, that a public polemic with the Cubans over the results of the conference would be disas- trous. Outlook The LASO conference, viewed in the context of Latin American Communism today, has clearly widened the policy rift between Cuba and the pro-Soviet parties. Although it may produce a short- term spate of propaganda that will give the impression of increased Communist activity, in the long run the conference will probably have a detrimental effect on the pro-Soviet parties. Already largely ineffectual except in ex- ploiting existing discontent, these parties now are torn be- tween Castro-style militants try- ing to organize armed insurrection and the official Moscow-supported apparatus favoring a "united front" policy. What is being witnessed to- day is an effort to make many of the orthodox Communist parties appear to be relatively conserva- tive in terms of the existing political pattern in the hemi- sphere. The real revolutionaries are those who are willing to "go to the hills." This is a problem of considerable concern to the urban-based orthodox parties, who fear that they may be sup- planted by so-called "authentic" Communist parties. In short, the trend is to- ward less emphasis on ideological considerations than on revolu- tionary action. Any immediate threat to political stability from the pro-Soviet parties in all but the most vulnerable coun- tries may well be diminished in- stead of enhanced, as each party becomes more intent on preserving its influence in left-wing circles than on en a in in urban agit SECRET Page 10 SPECIAL REPORT 22 Sep 67 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9 Secret Secret Approved For Release 2008/09/15: CIA-RDP79-00927AO06000050004-9