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December 12, 2016
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July 9, 2001
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September 24, 1975
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Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865AO01800200002-0 Secret No Foreign Dissem 9 ^ 0 Latin American Trends SOURCED Secret September 24, 1-075 No. 0528/75 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865AO01800200002-0 Approved For Releasei@('j4)t8/O11 s CWPOP9$T 8t;M0OMB2BA002-0 Warning Notice Sensitive Intelligence Sources and Methods Involved NATIONAL SECURITY INFORMATION Unauthorized Disclosure Subject to Criminal Sanctions Classified by 010725 Exempt from general declassification schedule of E.O. 11652, exemption category: 456(1). (2), and (3) Automatically declassified on: Date Impossible to Determine Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865AO01800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001108/c 79T00865A001800200002-0 LATIN AMERICAN TRENDS This publication is prepared for regional specialists in the Washington com- munity by the Western Hemisphere Division, Office of Current Intelligence, with occasional contributions from other offices within the Directorate of Intelligence. Comments and queries are welcome. They should be directed to the authors of the individual articles. CONTENTS September 24, 1975 Venezuela: Setting the Goals . . . . . . . 1 Venezuela: "Brotherhood of the Sword" . . . 4 Guyana: Dissent From the Pulpit . . . . . . 6 Latin America: NAMUCAR in Trouble . . . . . 8 Cuba: Penetrating the News Media in Latin America . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Cuba's Ties to Angolan Rebels . . . . . . . 13 Argentina: Minister With Two Portfolios . . Paraguay's Opposition Parties: The Weak Get Weaker . . . . . . . . . .. . 17 Approved For Release 2001/&DP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2005`-RDP79T00865A001800200002-0 Venezuela: Setting the Goals A recently appointed director of Petroven, the holding company that will administer the 19 foreign r~ petroleum companies after January 1, 1976, has given y~' Y some insight: into the philosophy that will guide the new organization. Alirio Parra, who is closely connected with key officials of the Perez administration, told an embassy officer on September 9 that there would be "no polit- ical invasion" of Petroven and "not one single direc- torship of the operating companies will go to a politi- cian." He said every effort will be made to mold Petroven into an efficient oil company that can com- pete for markets. Parra stressed that local expertise will be used, and the staff will be kept small--probably no more than. 100 persons. A major effort will be made to see that it does not become an overgrown twin of the national oil company, CVP, which has been widely crit- icized for its politicization and inefficiency since its founding over a decade ago. He said that Petroven intends to transform CVP into an efficient organization by completely overhauling its management and upgrading the staff. In the months ahead several of the small marginal companies--both foreign and locally owned---will be absorbed into larger operating units, according to Parra. Among the more immediate candidates for this treatment are Mito Juan, Talon, and Las Mercedes oil companies--owned by prominent Venezuelans--and US firms such as El Paso/Venezuela Oil, Continental, Amoco, and Charter Oil. Later--perhaps in two to four years--the remaining firms will probably be regrouped into five large com- panies. The holdings of Shell, Exxon, Mobil and Gulf September 24, 1975 -1- Approved For Release 20 ;9 q1A-RDP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865A001800200002-0 VENEZUELAN OIL INDUSTRY PRESIDENT Carlos Andres Perez Advise president on oil policy r---- PRESIDENT Gen. Rafael Alfonzo Ravard Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865A001800200002-0 SECRET Q-) would remain intact, though under new names and Venezuelan management; the fifth company would con- sist of the holdings of the smaller firms including the CVP. (See September 17, 1975 TRENDS). High government officials including President Perez are increasingly concerned that Venezuela will not be able to manage the oil industry efficiently after nationalization. The government fears that labor and marketing problems will develop and efforts to encourage the search for new petroleum reserves and to obtain new technology will fail. The demon- strated inept management in such state-owned indus- tries as the scandal-ridden petrochemical industry have added to the general apprehension. For this reason, the government believes it will need the assistance and the participation of the foreign oil companies in the nationalized industry for some time to come. Parra and other government of- ficials have attempted to give the impression that the Perez government was not rushing headlong into nation- alization but was acting at a measured pace. While this may be the strategy, there is little evidence that the government has yet formulated a national petroleum policy. With little more than three months remaining before the official turnover of company assets to the state, only the general outlines of the future industry have been determined and Venezuelan officials concerned with setting policy seem to have little conception of what: will be needed to transform they into specific guidelines.(CONFIDENTIAL) September 24, 1975 Approved For Release 2001 MVI RDP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865AO01800200002-0 SECRET Venezuela: "Brotherhood of the Sword" General Felipe Parraga Nunez has been relieved as director of plans and operations for the army general staff as a result of an apparently offhand remark he made in Uruguay. Parraga reportedly com- mented that "irrespective of their various political tendencies, all the soldiers of the hemisphere are joined by a basic brotherhood of the sword." Coming in the wake of well-publicized events in Peru and Ecuador, the statement immediately touched off a wave of speculation in the Caracas press about the Venezuelan military's role in society and its attitude toward the Perez government. Congress president and Accion Democratica leader Gonzalo Barrios promptly cautioned the press against speculating about Parraga's remark, and other government leaders voiced their be- lief in the strength of the country's democratic tradi- tions. Defense Minister Homero Leal Torres, reported- ly embarrassed by the episode, maintained a discreet silence. This episode can generally be regarded as a tem- pest in a teapot but it does reflect the acute sensi- tivity of Venezuelan politicians to reports of mili- tary discontent and to indications that the armed happy with the present government and might like to alter it, their interventionist designs are frustrated by Perez' wide popular support--even in the military-- and the fact that, for the most part, things are going well for Venezuela. Furthermore, President Perez closely monitors military attitudes and has several times acted promptly to remove some of the causes of military discontent. ~.1 Although there are undoubtedly officers who are un- September 24, 1975 -4- Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : .F "7TT00865AO01800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/0NeftkF7P79T00865A001800200002-0 For example, a proposal to establish a national police force including the National Guard has been shelved. The military had expressed concern that such a force could be used as a counter-balance to the r present monopoly of power enjoyed by the armed forces. More recently, Perez finessed the problem of selecting a new defense minister and controlling inter-service jockeying for that position by keeping the incumbent in the job at least until the end of the year. Given Perez' strong position generally, there is no foreseeable prospect of the military's becoming un- happy enough with the administration to consider inter- vening in the present government. Should the politicians make some grievous error, however, such as mishandling the nationalization of the petroleum industry, then the military's attitude toward the government could become a critical factor. (CONFIDENTIAL/NO FOREIGN DISSEM) September 24, 1975 .-5- Approved For Release 2001/0 R1vrP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 SECRE P T00865AO01800200002-0 Guyana: Dissent From The Pulpit The Roman Catholic and Anglican Bishops in Guyana have publicly joined critics of Prime Minister Burnham's drive to transform the country into an authoritarian socialist state. In a Pastoral letter in the church-controlled Catholic Standard, Bishop Benedict Singh zeroed in on "socialists who restrict freedom so much by government control that the people are no better off than under capitalism." He went on to criticize the suppression of "worthwhile ex- pressions of opinion" in the government-controlled media, the credibility gap between the people and the country's leaders, and the lack of representative local government. Singh concluded with an admonition to Guyanese "to speak up and denounce injustice." Singh has expressed his misgivings about developments in Guyana privately and has avoided an open quarrel with the government until now. He apparently perceived Burnham's recent announcement that all church-owned schools would be taken over next year as a direct and serious threat to the future of the church in Guyana. Singh's colleague, Anglican Bishop Knight did not directly criticize the government's actions, but, he warned of the possible evils of socialism. Although the bishops' remarks were given relatively little coverage in the press, they obviously nettled Prime Minister Burnham, who attacked right-wing critics in a still unpublished speech to party leaders in late August. Although criticism from two of the country's major reli- gious leaders is disquieting to the government, their statements are obviously insufficient to detract Burnham from pursuing his socialist goal. Involvement of the still quiescent and dispirited leaders of the East Indian com- munity and of additional middle class blacks will be September 24, 1975 -6- Approved For Release 2001/08/08 9kR,Q.Pk100865AO01800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/8RP79T00865A001800200002-0 necessary before such criticism gives Burnham pause. At present, there is little likelihood that those disparate groups will join forces or that a leader can be found to marshal opposition to the Burnham government. (CONFIDENTIAL) September 24, 1975 -7- Approved For Release 2001/08/bE{C&79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/01~ t W79T00865A001800200002-0 'i Latin America: NAMUCAR in Trouble The recently formed eight-nation Caribbean Multi- national Merchant Fleet (NAMUCAR) is already encounter- ing problems. A Venezuelan official claims that only Cuba and Venezuela have thus far paid their share of an assessment due on June 30 to finance initial admin- istrative operating expenses. He referred to "serious disagreement" among the charter members and said many of them obviously expected Venezuela to foot the bill. At the time of its organization last May, support- ers believed that the fleet would foster regional co- operation and provide additional, and possibly cheaper, freight service. Not all Latin American nations shared that concept, however, and several openly opposed the fleet on the grounds it would compete with existing or planned national fleets; others objected to Cuba's par- ticipation. Trinidad and Tobago's Premier Eric Williams took the strongest stand when he charged that the project was a vehicle for "recolonization" of the Caribbean by Mexico, Venezuela, and Colombia. Although present financial difficulties may still be overcome, it will be many years before trained mari- time personnel are available and the fleet becomes ef- fective enough to challenge foreign ship operators in the region. Further, the Venezuelan government is un- doubtedly irritated by the attitude of some Latin states that its massive oil wealth obliges it to fund regional ventures. Unless the financial problems are resolved, the Perez government may begin to reassess its support for the fleet. (CONFIDENTIAL) September 24, 1975 -8- Approved For Release 2001/08/085 ]igy'9T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08IPDPQ E ?P79T00865A001800200002-0 Cuba: Penetrating the News Media in Latin America Havana is making a concerted effort to expand its / influence in the Latin American news media at the ex- pense of the US. In the past year, the Castro regime has: --opened new field offices in three countries for 44s its news and propaganda agency, PRENSA LATINA; --inaugurated the world's only press service in the Quechua language; --launched MERIDIANO 80, a fortnightly journal of news and features tailored for Latin American audiences; --pressed vigorously for the formation of an organ- ization of Latin American journalists that would exclude any US news agency personnel or "pro-imperialist" journalists; --campaigned broadly against the so-called ideologi- cal penetration of Latin America by US news and cultural media. The Cuban goal is clearly political--to discredit the US and minimize US influence. MERIDIANO 80, for example, apparently has the primary purpose of portraying the US in the worst light. In a typical issue, eleven of the twelve articles were devoted either entirely or in part to disparaging the US. The one remaining article, com- prising one page, was a laudatory account of the state of public health in Cuba. The journal also included full- page advertisements for Cubana Airlines, tourist trips to Cuba, and a PRENSA LATINA children's publication aimed at countering the "insidious" influence of Sesame Street, Popeye, and other US productions that are popular in Latin September 24, 1975 -9- ~^-99~-FF Approved For Release 2001 /08 CgA-TTP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865AO01800200002-0 UL_I 1 DE 1975 AND I No.4 iL, A, it Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865AO01800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/&CC1 1'P79T00865A001800200002-0 America. So far, the distribution of MERIDIANO 80 is 1 limited to Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, and Peru with a total circulation of about 20,000. PRENSA LATINA, which functions as an intelligence collection agency as well as a propaganda dissemination organization, has added offices in Ecuador, Colombia, and Jamaica to its branches in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Panama, and Venezuela, and has stringers in many other Latin America capitals. Moreover, following the announce- ment in Lima that Quechua would also be recognized as a national language, PRENSA LATINA in June began to inter- sperse news items in Quechua in its press transmissions to Lima. The half dozen items per day so far are trans- lations of items also transmitted in Spanish and do not contain original material. Discredited in the early and mid 1960s as a biased and amateurish press agency, PRENSA LATINA has acquired considerable professional polish in intervening years and has improved the quality of its reporting markedly. Although still obviously biased, it is being accepted as a legitimate news source by an in- creasing number of newspapers and broadcasting stations in much of Latin America. PRENSA LATINA's deputy director, Carlos Mora Hernan, together with Baldomero Alvarez Rios of the Cuban Jour- nalists Union, represented Cuba at a meeting held in Lima in August to make preparations for the First Congress of Latin American Journalists scheduled for October 9 to 12. At the Congress, a new journalists' organization will be formed to compete with the Inter-American Press Associ- ation, which Havana views as a tool of the CIA because it includes newsmen and women from the US press. The new professional group--to be called the Latin American Journalists' Federation--will, according to the Cuban Communist Party newspaper, be "inspired by the criteria of national liberation, sovereignty, and economic redemp- tion for the people of Latin America." September 24, 1975 _11- Approved For Release 2001/0?/~~^0'S:yClp(-fi~DP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/OriEfIE'-'79T00865A001800200002-0 Delegations from 23 countries are expected to at- tend the Congress; although it ostensibly is to be a meeting of Latin American journalists, representatives from at least four English-speaking Caribbean nations will be included, and a delegation from the Prague- based International Organization of Journalists will be on hand. The Congress' organization committee is headed by Venezuelan Senator Eleazar Diaz Rangel, who, like Chile's exiled Hernan Uribe, Mexico's Luis Jorda, Peru's Genaro Carnero Checa, and others at the August meeting, has close ties with Havana. The Cubans have been working to form the new press group since last October and will exert strong behind-the-scenes in- fluence when it is finally formed. (SECRET) September 24, 1975 12- Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : 9 ` MT00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/gWCjtf 1 79T00865A001800200002-0 Cuba's Ties to Angolan Rebels The Castro regime's support for revolutionary groups in Latin America is at an all-time low, but Havana continues to demonstrate its revolutionary commitment elsewhere. One example is its support to the pro-Soviet Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). In this enterprise Havana cooper- ates closely with Moscow. The Castro government first demonstrated its support for the MPLA by providing guerrilla training and political orientation in Cuba as early as 1961. Since then, the flow of trainees has varied depending 7 on the degree of warmth in Havana's relations with the MPLA at a given time. The 40 who received in- struction in 1962 may have been a representative group. This training is likely to continue, but on a very small scale. In Enid-1965 Cubans apparently began to work with the MPLA in Congo (Brazzaville). Of the several hun- dred Cuban military advisers who trained the local j militia and staffed the president's security guard, some also provided training for the paramilitary forces of the MPLA. In Cabinda and Angola, a few Cubans par- ticipated in MPLA guerrilla operations, and one was reportedly killed in Cabinda in April 1966. Havana also supplied material support in the form of food, clothing, and even Soviet small arms. Reports of Cuban involvement with the MPLA now in- clude the following activities: --Some 50 Cubans cooperate with Soviets in training MPLA cadres in Congo at Dolisie and in Angola at Massango and Massangano. September 24, 1975 -13- Approved For Release 2001/08/gt-ERIP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/08?ffA '9T00865A001800200002-0 --Cuban doctors and medical technicians serve with the MPLA and probably staff medical facilities along the Cabinda- Congo border. --A handful of Cuban advisers serve in com- bat with MPLA units. --Cuban technicians run the former Portuguese airbase at Saurimo in Angola. (SECRET/NO FOREIGN DISSEM/CONTROLLED DISSEM) September 24, 1975 -14- Approved For Release 2001/08/08: ?Fk7T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/0~~~K~, fP79T00865AO01800200002-0 Argentina: Minister With Two Portfolios Angel Robledo, who currently is both foreign minister and minister of interior, has become one of the key political figures in Argentina. Robledo is a moderate Peronist who first attain- ed national prominence as minister of defense, a post he handled with distinction from may 1973 to August 1974, when he resigned following a dispute with the then powerful secretary of the president and social welfare minister, Jose Lopez Rega. During his term Robledo quickly earned the respect of the military high command, although he had no. previous experience in national security affairs. He then served as ambas- sador in Mexico and briefly in Brazil before he was named foreign minister on August 11, 1975. Since his return to the cabinet, Robledo has sought to strengthen relations with other members of the polit- ical coalition that returned the Peronists to power, and with major opposition groups in Congress. His background as proven opponent of Lopez Rega and his close ties to provisional Senate President Italo Luder--according to one embassy source they have been friends since student days---have undoubtedly served him well. Following President Peron's departure for a month's vacation on September 14, Acting President Luder peremp- torily named Robledo to replace Vicente Damasco as min- ister of interior when the retired army colonel resigned after an argument with Luder on September 15. Robledo will eventually have to give up the Foreign Ministry to devote full attention to his duties as interior minister. which include conducting national elections and suppress- ing terrorism. September 24, 1975 -15- Approved For Release 2001/0g/ a;* rf DP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865A001800200002-0 SECRET At this point Robledo appears to be an astute tactician content to cooperate with Acting President Luder; he has not indicated that he has presidential aspirations. His position, however, could make him de facto "prime minister" if President Peron returns to office. (CONFIDENTIAL) September 24, 1975 -16- Approved For Release 2001/08/08 S "VT00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08i I P79T00865A001800200002-0 Paraguay's Opposition Parties: The Weak Get Weaker In recent months Paraguay's already anemic op- position political parties have been further weakened I by government harassment, their own dearth of ef- l~~r fective leadership and their inability to decide on a strategy for next month's municipal elections. Their continuing decline practically guarantees that Presi- dent Stroessner's eventual successor will come from the military or the ruling Colorado Party. The chief target of the government's harassment has been the Radical Liberal Party, the largest legal opposition group. Within the last five months one of its congressional leaders was forced to withdraw from politics because of criminal charges brought against him, the party president was accused of being a Marxist, and the party vice president was briefly jailed for publishing an allegedly libelous article. These develop- ments have put the Radical Liberals on the defensive and fostered some reluctance on their part about partic- ipating in the municipal elections. In the 1973 presi- dential elections the Radical Liberals received only 13 percent of the vote and it is doubtful that they can match that performance next month. The government's objective in repressing the party is to see it eventually displaced by the smaller and less organized Levi Liberal Party. In pursuit of this goal, the government is planning to provide some convert funding to the Levi Liberals for the October elections. The most pathetic case among the opposition parties is the minuscule Revolutionary Febrerista Party, which is composed of middle and upper-class businessmen and intellectuals in Asuncion. This mildly socialist group is undecided about participating in the elections. The September 24, 1975 -17- Approved For Release 2001/08/0?-~&A--RDP79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/OSEQRIM79T00865A001800200002-0 Febreristas received 2.6 percent of the vote in the 1968 national elections, the most recent in which they participated. The party's sorry state was under- scored at its annual convention in early August, when it was forced to select a reluctant 77-year-old party stalwart as president because most of its younger, more attractive leaders were either in prison or in exile. (CONFIDENTIAL/NO FOREIGN DISSEM) -18- Approved For Release 2001/08/0&Fb''79T00865A001800200002-0 Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865AO01800200002-0 Secret Secret Approved For Release 2001/08/08 : CIA-RDP79T00865AO01800200002-0