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September 26, 1984
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Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 EXECUTIVE SECRETARIAT ROUTING SLIP c cu ive ecre ary 15 Oct 84 ACTION INFO DATE INITIAL X 7 NOV 1984 2 DDCI 3 EXDIR 4 D/ICS 5 DDI 6 DDA 7 DDO 8 DDS&T 9 Chm/NIC 10 GC 11 IG 12 Compt 13 D/Pers 14 D/OLL 15 D/PAO 16 SA/IA 17 AO/DCI 18 C/IPD/OIS 19 NIO 20 N I 21 22 Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 United States Department of State United States Permanent Mission to the Organization of American States Washington, D. C. 20520 September 26, 1984 Dear Bill: Executive Registry g4. 9187 When speaking of Latin America these days, one hears most often about its awesome debt problems and revolutions. One of the unrecognized revolutions taking place, how- ever, is the dramatic move toward democracy in our hemisphere, a reversal of a worldwide trend where it has been on a steep decline elsewhere. Secretary Shultz said recently that 90 per- cent of all the countries in Latin America now have, or are in the process of moving to, democracy. This compares with only 33 percent when President Reagan took office. He has been a leader in the support of this democratic revolution and this support, like the CBI, is in our hemisphere one of his key foreign policy accomplishments. The critics who say that democracy is only a parenthesis in the long march of totalitarianism or, that the benevolent turning over of power is an aberration in the long sweep of history, are being proved wrong in our hemisphere. In the final analysis, however, these democracies will only survive if there is a viable middle class and economic and security stability. I enclose a first-hand article on the subject recently prepared by the Department based on testimony by Ambassador Motley before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs. I wanted you to have a copy as a friend of the OAS. If you need additional copies, please contact me. With every best wish, I am J. William Middendorf, II Ambassador Permanent Representative The Honorable William Casey, Director of CIA. C ,3 Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean August 1984 United States Department of State Bureau of Public Affairs Washington, D.C. Support for democracy is one of the car- dinal points of U.S. foreign policy in the Caribbean and in Latin America as a whole. This publication-based on oral and written testimony by Ambassador Langhorne A. Motley, Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, before the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 31, 1984- discusses the status of democratic politics in the region. It concludes that democracy is proving to be a practical path to stability as well as to freedom. This conclusion, with the data that sup- port it, parallels the finding of the Na- tional Bipartisan Commission on Cen- tral America that recent events have "destroyed the argument of the old dic- tators that a strong hand is essential to avoid anarchy and communism, and that order and progress can only be achieved through authoritarianism." THE BEST MEASURE OF FREEDOM Since November 1980, when the United States last went to the polls to elect a president, our southern neighbors have cast some 150 million votes in 33 elec- tions in 24 countries. That is more votes in more elections in more countries than in any previous 4 years in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean. In Latin America, voter participa- tion has increased, sometimes dramatically. In fact, recent turnouts, in Selected Latin American Elections in a20-Year Perspective Country Year Type` Total Vote (thousands) Argentina 1983 P, L 15,180 1963 P, L 9,326 Brazil 1982 L 48,440 1962 L 14,747 Colombia 1982 P 6,816 1962 P 2,634 Costa Rica 1982 P, L 992 1962 P, L 391 Ecuador 1984 L 2,024 1962 L 709 El Salvador 1984 P 1,524 1962 P, L 400 Guatemala 1984 CA 1,856 1964 CA 337 Honduras 1981 P, L 1,171 1965 L 551 Mexico 1982 P, L 22,523 1964 P, L 9,422 Peru 1980 P 4,030 1962 P 1,693 Venezuela 1983 P, L 6,741 1963 P, L 3,126 Current Policy No. 605 Adult 11* lotion Votn{1"' (%) _ 89 71 81 45 68 35 87 76 53 34 69 35 57 18 79 70 75 59 49 42 90 91 *P= Presidential, L= Legislative, CA= Constituent Assembly. '"Estimates based on votes cast as a percentage of total population age 20 or over as reported in the United Nations Demographic Yearbook for the year in question. Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 some cases, have doubled those of 20 years ago in relative as well as absolute terms. ? More than 15 million Argentine voters went to the polls last fall. In the hotly contested election that ended near- ly a decade of military rule, 9 out of every 10 adults voted. Raul Alfonsin became president with the largest vote in Argentine history, exceeding even Juan Peron's highest tally. ? In Brazil's 1982 congressional and municipal elections, 48.4 million Brazilians voted. This was more than three times the 14.8 million who voted in the 1962 legislative elections; the percentage of adults voting rose from 45% in 1962 to 81% in 1982. ? In May of this year, an absolute majority of all adult Salvadorans, some 1.5 million men and women, defied guer- rilla violence to choose between Napoleon Duarte and Roberto D'Aubuisson. In the 1962 presidential elections, only 400,000 voters, roughly one-third of adult Salvadorans, had par- ticipated in an election dominated by an official military candidate. ? Two Constituent Assembly elec- tions in Guatemala 20 years apart reveal a similar evolution: in May 1964, 337,000 votes were cast, 40% of those registered; in July 1984, the voters numbered 1,856,000, or 73% of those registered. What lies behind this region-wide upsurge in democratic politics? Long- term development-including the revolu- tions in communications and expecta- tions-is clearly, if slowly, making itself felt. A more immediate factor-one that has impressed many observers at recent elections-is voter desire to repudiate both dictators and guerrillas. To most Latin Americans, the uncertainties of democracy are preferable to the violence and abuse of leftist and rightist ex- tremes. The force of the democratic tide and the rejection of extremism can also be seen in what has not happened. Not a single country that was democractic 4 years ago has lost its freedom. The military coups predicted for El Salvador and Honduras did not take place. Boliv- ian democracy has not fallen. Not one guerrilla movement has taken power since 1979, when the Sandinistas re- placed Somoza and abandoned their promises to hold free elections. And to Growth of Voter Participation in Selected Countries (Estimate of Percent of Total Adult Population Voting) Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86MOO886ROO1200330024-0 Castro's frustration and surprise, Grenada's Marxist-Leninist dictators did not prove immune to their own abuses of power and were replaced by constitu- tional authorities committed to holding free elections by the end of 1984. Elections by themselves cannot remake society or solve every problem. But competitive elections are, as Secretary Shultz has noted, "a practical yardstick of democracy. They are an in- escapable test of public accountability." It is, therefore, U.S. policy to support free elections without reservation, see- ing in them assurances that human rights will be protected, that reconcilia- tion will reflect the work of people and not of guns, and that U.S. aid and cooperation will have firm local founda- tions. The English-speaking Caribbean, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Venezuela are solidly based democracies of long standing. Over the last 5 years, elected civilian presidents have replaced military rulers in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, and Peru. Additional countries as different as Brazil and Uruguay, Guatemala and Grenada are now also moving toward greater democracy. The result is that more than 90% of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean are now living in countries with governments that are either democractic or heading there. For a part of the world often identified with dicta- torship, this is something to cheer about. As recently as 1979, two-thirds of our neighbors lived under military or military-dominated governments of both left and right. Any shift so striking in- vites skepticism. But measured in voter participation and in competition at the polling booth, today's democractic resurgence is astonishingly deep. Our neighbors deserve the credit for the progress they are making. We can, in turn, be proud that we are cooper- ating with them. Freedom is not a zero- sum game. Everyone wins when democ- racy is strengthened. Despite this extraordinary pattern of progress, democracy in Latin America still faces many problems. Competitive elections can help measure success or failure in dealing with particular problems; the problems themselves do not automatically disap- pear at the ballot box, regardless of who The Military and Democracy Essential to the survival of dermoc- racy is an apolitical military, establish- ment-one which seeks not to dfend one partisan interest or :another but . rather one committed to institutional democratic goverent..JOificantly, the recent history of hedpherics democratic advance has been that of a transformation in which the military itself has tat en an, active part. An example of this djlcult proc- ess is today's El Salvador, which owes its agrarian reform to military support. After decades as defenders of the status quo, 4inoe 1979 El Salvador's security ford have made considerable progress toward im- proved field performance, greater respect for human rights, and air apolitical role in society. wins. Democracy requires elections; but elections alone are not enough. Democracies must establish a track record as problem-solving mechanisms. If democratic institutions cannot solve problems, they cannot survive. If we are interested in the survival of democracy, we must help democratic governments deal with their problems-even though it is they, not we, who must solve them. Internal problems include unequal access to education, justice, and employ- ment; the clash of indigenous and im- migrant cultures; great disparities in wealth; government inefficiency and cor- ruption; civilian caudillismo and military intervention. These problems do not, of course, all exist in every country. But they do persist in varying degrees in the region as a whole. External problems include increased costs for imported oil; the decline in the global economy accompanied by reduc- tions in export earnings and forced reliance on increasingly expensive bor- rowed capital; and active efforts by hostile powers outside the hemisphere to exploit local grievances and economic hardship. Again, the mix can vary great- ly from country to country, but these ex- ternal pressures are felt throughout the hemisphere. 'rai?ir- d of xi atiorial rar ea g t mom baen i sh d= , ` es dent Dnar't am 1ntf d Vice h . for" c "three l au ;:' OMcer ad c red t r r .u abuses } lea eta a u pec 41 rootei ro t was nT c n 'IM arm tl#s r the, residel l ;"e setio*. a ttnr, 'use 1?d _ ? ,` once con ided ara d e r i s a es~ tablishment 4p, .fie xoc Is today ro. teaer than;the to These problems combine to create two immediate threats to democracy in Latin America today: political ex- tremism and economic recession. To them must be added the growing inter- national trade in illicit drugs, which degrades the rule of law as well as human dignity. Political Extremism. The enemies of democracy often point to under- development and economic hardship to justify violence and dictatorship. The problem with their argument is that neither left nor right extremes are stable or productive. Marxist-Leninist regimes have tended to perpetuate both the political and the economic backwardness out of which they grew. When feuding Marxist- Leninists plunged Grenada into murderous disorder, the United States, Barbados, Jamaica, and Grenada's eastern Caribbean neighbors came to the rescue. The result was restoration of legal order. This was a major defeat for the extremists and their Cuban and Soviet supporters, who nonetheless still support totalitarianism in Nicaragua and oppose the consolidation of democracy in El Salvador. Like leftwing extremism, extremism of the right is weakened by economic development. Unlike leftwing ex- tremism, it has few reliable external Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86MOO886ROO1200330024-0 Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 sources of support. But the consolidation of democratic politics and reform has, nonetheless, been hindered by such phenomena as death squads and denials of elemental equity. Economic Recession. During the last 8-10 years, economic mismanage- ment and pressures for reform con- tributed to the decline of several unrep- resentative regimes. Yet if democratic governments cannot produce economic recovery, then they, too, can lose their mandate. Today, many democracies need to restructure their economies at a time when living standards have already declined. The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean constitute the developing world's most indebted region. External debt exceeded $330 billion at the end of 1983. In 1982 and 1983, interest payments alone added up to more than $40 billion per year. These payments were equivalent to more than 35% of the value of the region's exports of goods and services-the world's highest debt service ratio. In some individual coun- tries the ratio exceeded 100% before debt rescheduling. The region's real per capita gross domestic product (GDP) has dropped by over 10% from its 1980 level (by far more in some countries), and there is lit- tle doubt that per capita real economic growth will again be negative in 1984. In nearly all countries, unemployment and underemployment are at levels not seen since the Great Depression. It hardly needs to be pointed out how dangerous such conditions are to any government that has to face elec- tions. The Drug Trade. Illicit narcotics trafficking and consumption also threaten democratic development by fostering disregard for the law and cor- rupting institutions as well as in- dividuals. In some remote valleys, the lure of extraordinary profits and the absence of productive alternatives have broken down social and political order; lawlessness prevails and drug kings hold sway, sometimes in symbiosis with guer- rillas. In the past, many Latin Americans considered illicit drugs a "U.S. problem." Some even welcomed the increased employment and foreign exchange earn- ings brought by the drug trade. Today, they are increasingly aware of the enor- mous threat narcotics pose to the moral fiber of their own societies and to the legitimacy of their own political institu- tions. Democracy requires a collective victory over the traffickers and their allies. U.S. POLICY IS TO SUPPORT DEMOCRACY It is U.S. Government policy to support democracy and democratic institutions. This approach is neither interventionist nor a mindless export of ideology. It is legitimate, it is in our enlightened self- interest, and it works-not overnight or in 6-month increments but over time. ? Democracy is the best guarantor of human rights. A government respon- sible to its people cannot abuse them with impunity. ? Democracy is also the best long- term guarantor of stability. Democratic governments do not drive their people into armed opposition nor do they threaten or attack their neighbors. American officials from the Presi- dent on down have made clear our un- equivocal support for democratic proc- esses. During his trip to Latin America in 1982, President Reagan insisted that: The future challenges our imagination, but the roots of law and democracy and our inter-American system provide the answers.... Together, we will work toward the economic growth and opportunity that can only be achieved by free men and women. We will promote the democracy that is the foundation of our freedom and stand together to assure the security of our peoples, their governments, and our way of life. Support for democracy can mean everything from a public embrace for a new president of Argentina to sending qualified election observers requested by a government in Central America. It can mean encouragement of political dialogue and communication, technical exchange programs, specialized con- ferences, and even analytical publica- tions. It can mean support for a strengthened administration of justice. During the last 4 years, it has meant all of these things-and more. We en- couraged the open and competitive elec- tions that took place in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. We urged the Sandinistas to honor the democratic promises they have abandoned and betrayed. We welcomed the return to democratic rule in Argentina. We made clear that we would favor a restoration of democracy in Chile and Uruguay. We showed our support for democratic legitimacy when President Siles was kid- naped in Bolivia. We let the Government of Paraguay know we were unhappy with the closing of the independent newspaper ABC Color. We let the Government of Haiti know of our con- cern at the arrest and mistreatment of opposition leaders. In country after country in Latin America and the Caribbean, U.S. Em- bassies are today correctly perceived as supporting democracy. Local officials and citizens recognize in growing numbers that our representatives are patiently fostering democratic dialogue, constitutional procedures, and respect for political diversity. We also have recognized that government officials are not alone in having a role to play in promoting Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 Approved For Release 2008/11/07: CIA-RDP86M00886R001200330024-0 Latin America and the Caribbean Guadalajara Mer,da Meaito* r North Pacific Ocean Garrpa s/a w, o (Exam"') South Pacific Ocean Faster hl w (C1nl.) Arrh'p,eiay, J