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Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Castro's Reach Into the Third World: The Cuban Economic Assistance Program Secret C/ 85-10134/S July 1985 Copy ~ 4 9 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Castro's Reach Into the Third World: The Cuban Economic Assistance Program Secret G/ 85-10134/5 July 1985 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Summary Information available as of 30 March ! 985 was used in this report. Assistance Program Castro's Reach Into the Third World: The Cuban Economic Western government programs. Over the last decade Fidel Castro has made Cuba's economic assistance program an important vehicle for exercising influence in the Third World. Some 20,000 Cuban technicians operate within 32 non-Communist LDCs, and Cuba hosts more than 26,000 students from about 75 Third World countries. In terms of technicians abroad, this program is larger than most Cuba's rapid success in building this major program is because of several factors: ? The Castro regime has been able to respond quickly to politically favorable developments in Third World countries. For example, within a month of the Sandinista's victory, Cuban personnel were arriving in Nicaragua. ? Havana gets its foot in the door by playing on its Third World credentials and starting with minimal, low-key forms of assistance-for example, scholarships to attend Cuban schools. Cuba has successfully exploited its cultural heritage by placing approximately two-thirds of its overseas civilian technicians in 10 Spanish- or Portuguese-speaking countries. in terms of generosity. ? The Cuban program is designed to meet the needs of many Third World countries. Cuba concentrates on providing the services of personnel often in short supply in most LDCs-teachers, doctors, and construction workers. The Cubans generally require that recipient countries pick up only the local costs of Cuban personnel, plus transportation expenses. Among Communist aid donors, only the Chinese program is comparable Because Cuba's assistance program relies heavily on the provision of expertise that it has in abundance and incurs almost no hard currency expenditures, it presents only a minimal drain on the Cuban economy and is acost-effective vehicle for establishing a substantial Cuban presence in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. Important payoffs of this presence include: Ideological influence in several Third World planning ministries. The Cubans have placed 1,000 to 1,500 technicians in the ministries and planning agencies of more than 20 Third World countries. In Angola, Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Sao Tome and iii Secret GI 85-10!34/S July 1985 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Principe, South Yemen, and Tanzania, Havana has been able to place substantial numbers of these experts in decisionmaking positions for extended periods of time. ? A long-term investment in Third World influence through the education in Cuba of thousands of LDC students. Most of these individuals are beginning to return home, many after almost a decade in Cuban schools. As they advance in their careers, the possibilities for Cuban access and influence will increase significantly. ? The development and consolidation of a number of leftist regimes. Activities in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Nicaragua account for most Cuban assistance. In Nicaragua, Cuba's economic assistance has made significant contributions to that country's military preparedness, and in recent years has provided 60 percent of its rural teaching force and 10 percent of its entire educational corps. ? Political footholds in many Third World countries-particularly in Africa. Modest programs in such countries as Burkina, Ghana, and Guyana probably will expand in the next few years. ? Hard currency earnings. From countries that have substantial oil reve- nues-Angola, Algeria, Iraq, and Libya-Cuba charges for the provision of technical personnel; such fees totaled $100 million last year. The Cuban program is an important complement to those of the other Communist Bloc countries. By concentrating on the provision of technical personnel at the grassroots, Cuban aid adds an extra dimension to the efforts of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Although the Soviet Union does not bankroll the Cuban program and formal high-level coordination with other assistance efforts is the exception rather than the rule, Cuba oc- casionally supplies technicians for Bloc-sponsored projects and is involved in the limited coordination of activities in the field. Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Despite the program's successes, translating economic assistance into durable Cuban influence in the Third World has been difficult. Many Cuban economic technicians-construction and medical workers-are neither well positioned nor well prepared to act as political emissaries, and LDC dissatisfaction with Cuban personnel surfaces frequently. Further, many Third World governments approach their dealings with a "buyer's market" mentality and seek to maximize Cuban aid while resisting Cuban political leverage. Finally, internal political developments and external factors beyond Cuba's control have in recent years forced Cuban pullouts from Chile, Grenada, Iraq, Jamaica, and Somalia. Nonetheless, Castro seems satisfied with the results of his economic assistance program, and we expect that he will continue to search actively for new opportunities to use aid for political benefit. Significant expansion of the economic assistance program depends largely upon the prospects for new Cuban-supported revolutions. Excluding such developments, we see only modest opportunities for expansion of the Cuban program-with Havana taking advantage of new opportunities-primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa, as the future of some currently large contingents becomes more uncertain. We anticipate that Cuban hard currency needs will make Havana more aggressive in exploiting opportunities for providing technical personnel on a commercial basis in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Castro's Reach Into the Third World: The Cuban Economic Assistance Program The direction of Cuba's foreign policy-including the provision of economic assistance-begins and ends with Fidel Castro. Castro's need to sustain his self- image as a successful revolutionary is a primary motivator of his international activism. Up through the 1960s, Castro focused on sponsoring armed expe- ditions abroad to try to overthrow Latin American regimes. More recently, he has broadened his ap- proach to include more internationally acceptable ways to prove the depth of his revolutionary commit- Although Castro's commitment to Third World aid has ideological roots, other factors are important as well: ? Castro proudly claims Cuba is the preeminent Third World country in education and public health, and its economic assistance program advertises these and other accomplishments of the revolution in a positive manner. ?. Castro also hopes the assistance program will main- tain asense of revolutionary mission and divert popular attention away from domestic problems. Castro has reminded technicians going overseas that their work is "a moral duty, a revolutionary duty, a duty of principle, a duty of conscience, an ideologi- cal duty." Castro undoubtedly expects that economic assis- tance will encourage the development of pro-Cuban regimes and policies. Revolutionary struggle in the 1960s: ? The only road to socialism is insurrection. ? Create "two, three, many Vietnams" in Latin America. ? Armed expeditions. ? A handful ojmedical and agricultural personnel in a few African countries. ? International isolation. From confrontation to cooperation in the early 1970s: ? International legitimization through good will. ? Quest for broader diplomatic and trade relations. ? Minor emergency relief from natural disasters for Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru. ? More opportunities for small numbers of personnel in Africa. ? Less than 1,500 Cuban civilians in 11 Third World countries in 1975. Rapid expansion in the second haljojthe 1970s: ? Angola, then Mozambique, and Ethiopia in Africa. ? Jamaica, Grenada, and finally Nicaragua in Latin America. ? Large-scale teaching and medical contingents. ? Construction for profit in Libya and Iraq. ? Wide proliferation ojsmall-scale aid to Africa. Setbacks and new opportunities since 1980: ? Departure from Jamaica, Grenada, Suriname. ? Rebel attacks in Nicaragua and Angola. ? War-related removal ojmost personnel from Iraq. ? Repayments problems with Angola and Libya. ? Minor setbacks, yet seven new recipients in Africa. ? In several countries where Havana charges for its technicians, the program helps satisfy Cuban for- eign exchange needs. Castro openly admits that Cuba sends its technical services personnel abroad partly to help with Cuba's foreign debt difficulties. Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Table 1 Cuban Economic Technicians in the Third World, 1984 a 225 20 Sub-Saharan Africa 9,060 Angola 6,000 Benin 30 Ten years ago Havana had less than 1,500 economic assistance personnel in only I 1 countries. As favorable political changes occurred in the LDCs-a few with the aid of Cuban military assistance-Cuba moved with impressive speed to help consolidate these re- gimes through economic assistance relationships. From 1974 through 1979 Havana sent thousands of civilian technicians to Angola and-in rapid succes- sion-to Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Nicaragua. Working relationships were also forged with Libya and Iraq. By 1981, 23,000 Cuban technicians were operating in 28 LDCs. Since then, Havana has established a new presence in six more LDCs, but the program has also experienced a number of setbacks. Today, there are about 4,000 fewer Cuban civilians abroad than there were four 100 100 years ago. The newly elected Seaga government asked all of the estimated 650 Cuban technicians to depart Jamaica in 198 L In the Middle East, the Iran-Iraq war caused Havana to pull from Iraq about 90 percent of its estimated 3,500 workers. The ouster of Cuban technicians from Grenada in 1983 was accom- panied by Suriname's rejection of what was then a promising relationship with Havana. In Nicaragua, the phasing out of teachers helped cause the Cuban civilian presence last year to drop by almost 1,000 from its high of 6,200 three years ago. Last year the Cuban economic assistance program placed almost 20,000 technicians in 32 non-Commu- nist Third World countries (table 1). More than three- fourths were African states; only Nicaragua and, to a 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret lesser extent, Guyana and Mexico hosted significant numbers of Cuban technicians in the Western Hemi- sphere. Angola topped the list with an estimated 6,000 Cuban civilians, Nicaragua had 5,300, and Libya had about 3,500. Ethiopia and Mozambique also had substantial, but smaller, contingents. Although Havana charged fees for about one-half of its person- nel, these assistance-for-hire technicians were present in only four countries. Primarily Technical Services Unlike the assistance programs of both Western donors and other Communist nations, the Cuban effort has focused on the provision of technical serv- ices, as opposed to material or financial aid. In fact, the Cuban program sponsors more economic techni- cians abroad than most Western governments. We estimate that less than 25 percent of Cuban aid has been grants of capital goods and other materials. Usually, recipient countries procure the materials Cuban technicians use, often from Cuba itself. Cuba has made substantial grants of material aid only to Ethiopia, Grenada, and Nicaragua-the poorer coun- tries it considers important targets. Even in these countries, the amounts and types of such aid repre- sent, by Western standards, only token commitments and consist of such items as light industrial facilities, supplies for construction projects, fishing boats, breeding stock and equipment for animal husbandry centers, school materials, foodstuffs, clothing, and medical supplies. It is even more rare for the Cubans to provide credits. We are aware of only two in- stances-Nicaragua and Grenada-where Havana financed projects, $50 million and $11 million, respec- tively. Moreover, earlier this year Castro announced Cuba would convert the Nicaraguan loan to a grant. More than three-fourths of the Cuban economic technicians in the Third World work in three occupa- tional categories: public health, education, and con- struction (figure 1). Cuban expertise in each of these sectors is rather basic. Although many LDCs appeal for specialists, most of the doctors among the more than 2,000 Cuban medical personnel abroad are general practitioners. Moreover, about 10 percent are students who are completing their internship require- ment while serving abroad. In the education field, most Cuban teachers teach at the primary and sec- ondary levels or conduct adult literacy training. At Figure 1 Sectoral Distribution of Cuban Economic Technicians in LDCs, 1984 Third World universities they often teach practical subjects such as agronomy, veterinary science, engi- neering, and general medicine. The limited skills of Havana's construction personnel usually restrict their activities to manual labor on large industrial projects and simple construction work, such as housing, schools, roads, bridges, and small-scale irrigation systems. The other one-fourth of the Cuban technicians per- form avariety of advisory services; most work on agricultural problems in remote areas. Typically, only a few Cubans work directly for middle- and high-level decisionmakers in Third World ministries and plan- ning agencies; but in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Nicaragua the number of Cuban technicians in planning agencies is substantial. Training LDC Students in Cuba Havana also invites large numbers of Third World students to Cuba, usually on fully paid scholarships. Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Figure 2 Third World Countries With Students in Cuba, 1984 Guyana Number of Students 500 and above - less than 500 Nuic: PLO has Icss Than 500 stuJents We estimate the number of students-from more than 75 countries-at more than 26,000 (table 2). The program is highly focused geographically: about three-fourths of all foreign students in Cuba come from Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, and Nicaragua.' Five other African countries, as well as South Yemen, currently have 500 or more students in Cuba (figure 2). .Like the rest of the Cuban economic assistance effort, the student program accelerated only in the late 1970s. `A large part of the growth-total Third World enrollment has tripled in the last 10 years-is attrib- utable to the establishment of schools on the so-called Isle of Youth, just south of western Cuba. Currently, 21 of the island's 60 schools are set aside for foreign- ers; each school can accommodate about 600 students for eight years at a time and the curriculum centers on the blending of academic training and agricultural labor. The first foreign students arrived there in 1977; last year there were some 12,000 elementary and high school students from 1 1 Third World countries. Postsecondary foreign students in Cuba enroll in Cuban universities (especially the University of Ha- vana), technical schools operated by government min- istries, and schools run by the party and associated political organizations. The academic and technical programs typically deal with such common Third World problems as basic education, public health, agriculture, and infrastructure development. Up to 500 students are enrolled in programs that emphasize ideology, political organization, journalism, and propaganda. 25X1 , Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Table 2 Third World Students in Cuba, 1984 a Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Cuban economic assistance complements other Com- munist Bloc activities in the LDCs. Generally, Havana sends people, and larger Bloc programs finance more expensive and capital-intensive projects. Havana has specialized in educational assistance- Third World students constitute almost 1 percent of the total student population in Cuba. Only Havana places large teaching contingents in individual LDCs. Several Third World countries-Angola and Nicara- gua are the best examples-have substantially more Cuban than other Bloc technicians. Some coordination of Cuban activities with other Bloc programs occurs as well. In Africa, Cuban personnel in recent years have worked jointly with the East Germans and Bulgarians. We believe that Castro uses his assistance program to demonstrate to Moscow that its support of Cuba is a worthwhile investment. There is little evidence that the USSR bankrolls Cuban economic assistance efforts or that Cuban activities are planned in Moscow. Havana's program does not need much outside help because it is a low- cost operation. Most of Cuba's foreign projects re- quire only the simple technologies and skills indige- nous to Cuba. Although Cuba's substantial domestic investment in public health and education-which enables Castro to send thousands of teachers and doctors abroad-would have been impossible without funds derived from Soviet trade subsidies, we believe these decisions were Castro's and not Moscow's. Moreover, there is occasional friction between the Soviets and Cubans on aid issues. Political considerations often join with economic reali- ties to make Cuba an attractive source of economic assistance to Third World countries. Political sympa- thies underlie most of Havana's success in creating aid-based ties to the Third World. Within four months of the leftist Rawlings coup in 1982, for example, Ghana signed the initial aid agreement with Cuba that Havana had pursued for several years without success. In the absence of strong ideological bonds, however, Third World countries often cite the promotion of South-South solidarity or nonaligned credentials as the driving factor. Some leaders openly admire Cuba's capability for activism in the Third World. Among economic factors, Cuba offers assistance well suited to Third World economies and charges little or nothing for it. In the field of education, Havana specializes in delivering basic instruction, such as literacy training, to remote areas. Most Cuban medi- cal technicians provide routine care to rural populaces that usually have infrequent access to medical ser- vices. In construction work, Havana focuses on simple housing,. school, and road projects. These services appeal to financially strapped LDCs because Havana usually sends its personnel free of charge. Cuba pays the salaries of its technicians in Cuban pesos, and the host country is obligated to provide the necessary materials and equipment, food, housing, a personal spending allowance, and local and international transportation. Among Communist aid donors, only the Chinese program is comparable in terms of generosity. In lieu of providing much materi- al assistance or financing, Havana often helps LDCs procure supplies for Cuban aid projects at the cheap- est possible price on the open market. We believe that in countries that can afford to pay-Algeria, Angola, Iraq, and Libya-Cuban charges often are well below market rates. Havana also has some sociocultural advantages over a number of other aid donors. Cuba has successfully exploited cultural heritage by placing approximately two-thirds of its overseas civilian technicians in 10 Portuguese- or Spanish-speaking countries. Cubans also are more accustomed than Western or even other Bloc technicians to the deprivations often encountered while serving in an LDC. Several years ago, Iraq wanted Cuban doctors because they were the only ones willing to work outside the capital (see photos at the back). Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Cuba has used military assistance-mainly personnel and training support-to Third World regimes in tandem with its economic assistance program. Such assistance helps strengthen existing Cuban relations with recipient countries through their military estab- lishments. In Angola, Ethiopia, and Nicaragua, where Cuban support contributes to the survival of Marxist regimes, the military program is more im- portant than the economic program. The military effort places more than twice as many personnel abroad as the economic program, but only in about one-haU'as many countries. Last year the Cubans had more than 43,000 soldiers and advisers in the Third World. Angola is by far the largest recipient, followed by Ethiopia and Nicaragua. A better perspective on the relative dimensions of the two programs, however, is revealed by the fact that, (J' Havana's estimated 35,000 plus military personnel were to return homelrom Angola, Cuban civilians in the Third World would outnumber their military counterparts by almost 3 to 1. We estimate that the cumulative value of Cuban economic aid to the Third World to date amounts to more than $400 million, averaging about $75 million annually in recent years (figure 3). This includes the value of service personnel sent overseas (based on domestic Cuban wage scales), donated goods and materials, and aid credits. These costs entail almost no hard currency expenditures, however, because Havana normally loses only the peso wages of its overseas personnel, plus whatever benefit their ser- vices would have produced at home. Moreover, Cuban hard currency contracts with a few LDCs more than offset the costs of its aid to the rest of the Third World. The large number of personnel trained as a result of the postrevolutionary concentration on the education, agriculture, and public health sectors pro- vides Castro with a ready supply of technicians. In addition to the cost of technical services, Cuba also contributes limited amounts of material aid to LDCs. Usually this consists either of products Cuba has an Cuban economic and military assistance often pro- ceed hand in hand, although many LDCs consider the acceptance of civilian aid a less controversial, and thus easier, step to take. The result is that Havana's economic program covers more countries. In the cases of Angola and Nicaragua, however, military aid preceded economic ties and helped bring to power regimeslavorably disposed to close Cuban ties, in- cluding extensive economic assistance programs. The 25X1 comparatively lower profile of Cuban economic assis- tance activities in general also makes them less subject to disruption than the military program. In Angola, for example, succes.Ff'ul negotiationslor the removal of Cuban personnel would still leave some 6,000 civilian technicians in place to advance Cuban interests. Occasionally, the distinction between Cuban military and economic assistance activities has become blurred. In Nicaragua, for example, civilian construc- tion workers have helped with the military's new Punta Huete airfield. adequate supply of (cement or sugar, for example) or small amounts of goods such as medicine, food, or clothing Cuban economic assistance to Nicaragua, because of the substantial amount of material aid and large numbers of technicians, currently accounts for three- fourths of Havana's total aid to the Third World. Deliveries to Nicaragua to date include a 13,000-ton merchant ship; heavy machinery and other construc- tion materials; fishing boats; prefabricated housing plants; and agricultural, railroad, light industrial, and 25X1 25X1 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Cuban Techniques for Creating an Aid Relationship The Cubans use a wide range of methods in the Third World to improve their image, expand bilateral com- munications, and thereby pave the way for a physical presence through aid ties. These techniques often rely on innocuous themes and so are diffccult for even skeptical LDCs to spurn. Havana often begins by urging better diplomatic relations. A consular convention or other type of foreign relations cooperation agreement may follow. Simultaneously, Cuba usually seeks expanded trade ties, best of all in a trade agreement. A routine civil aviation agreement can ease bilateral travel. The next steps forward are low-level bilateral ex- changes in politically neutral realms. Friendship societies, sports, performing arts, and science ex- changes are favorites. A delegation may be invited to visit Cuba to witness the revolution's progress, the hoped Jor result being a limited cooperation agree- ment. Last year at least one dozen LDCs without aid ties to Cuba signed agreements with Havana. Many of these accords include fully paid scholarships to Cuba for LDC trainees. [f an LDC is judged to have immediate or special needs, Havana will focus its initial aid overtures on those areas. In the wake of natural disasters, Cuba has delivered small amounts of emergency relief aid to a number of countries-including Bolivia, Ecua- dor, Peru, and even Nicaragua prior to the fall of Somoza. Cuba has also provided personal security assistance to Third World leaders Establishment of a Joint Commission for Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation cements Cuban-LDC aid relationships and is the primary mechanism for decisions on the provision of Cuban personnel and other aid. The commission is a perma- nent body that schedules annual meetings. The entire range of activities is discussed, and a formal protocol specifying the upcoming year's program is signed. Cuba currently has joint commissions with 29 LDCs (table 3J. 25X1 , Cuba trys to limit the cost of educating foreign students by training them in Cuba. We estimate Cuba currently budgets the peso equivalent of about $10 million annually for this part of the program. Most students receive full scholarships that include tuition, educational materials, room and board, clothing, and medical care. The accommodations, food, and other provisions of the scholarships are rudimentary at best. Some scholarships also are funded by the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. The Isle of Youth students-accounting for nearly 50 percent of the Third World students in Cuba-are less of a burden for Havana than those enrolled in universities and technical schools, and may even be profitable. As much as one-third of the faculty at the Isle of Youth schools is provided by the participating Third World countries. The students are responsible for the basic maintenance of their facilities and are required to donate 18 hours of agricultural work every week in surrounding citrus groves, according to open sources. Cuban Education Minister Fernandez him- self has openly estimated that, after the initial three years of operation, the agricultural output from Isle of Youth schools more than offsets construction costs and operating expenses. Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Table 3 Cuban-LDC Joint Commissions for Economic Cooperation Date Estab- lished Date Estab- lished Algeria 1979 Libya 1977 Angola 1976 Madagascar 1979 Argentina 1984 Mali 1982 Burkina 1983 Mauritania 1983 Cape Verde 1979 Mozambique 1977 Chile 1971 a Nicaragua 1980 Congo 1979 Nigeria 1981 Ethiopia 1977 Peru 1973 Ghana 1982 Seychelles 1980 Grenada 1979 a South Yemen 1977 Guinea 1979 Spain 1983 Guinea-Bissau 1978 Suriname 1982 a The assistance program has been instrumental in providing Castro with an impressive reach into the Third World-32 countries at present and 40 over the years. Cuban ties to many of these countries would exist even in the absence of economic assistance; the aid provides Cuba with a broader range of fronts on which to make an impact. Through the physical presence of technicians, Havana transmits its views on domestic and international issues to host-country na- tionals. Joint economic cooperation commissions bring together a wide range of middle- and high-level representatives from both sides. For Third World leaders, economic assistance is a tangible demonstra- tion of support that lends credibility to Cuban profes- sions of commitment. Teachers potentially are Havana's best instruments for influencing the popular masses in the Third Figure 3 Cuban Economic Programs in the Third World, 1975-84 .Hard currency charges to Algeria, Angola, Iraq, and Libya World. Castro has openly stated that Cuban educa- tional assistance is intended to exert long-term influ- ence in the Third World. In Angola last year, accord- ing to the Cuban press, Cuban teachers were active in 16 of the country's 18 provinces, teaching an estimat- ed 100,000 students. The Cubans incorporate leftist viewpoints in their lessons; the books they use reflect Cuban ideology and are often translations of Cuban texts. Open sources indicate Cuban educational ex- perts used the Cuban model to help shape the organi- zation of school systems in Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Nicaragua, South Yemen, and Tanzania. Another important vehicle for influence is the esti- mated 1,000 to 1,500 Cuban technicians placed in the ministries and planning agencies of more than 20 Third World countries. Working with the recipient country's middle- and high-level professionals on a daily basis, they assist in economic planning, trade Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 In addition to the estimated $400 million worth of aid that Cuba has provided to the Third World, it has also provided assistance for a fee. Havana's activities in Algeria, Angola, Iraq, and Libya-where the Cubans charge a hard currency fee-represent an economic plus. Payments from these oil-producing countries-ranging from $4,800 to $18,000 a year per technician-go directly to Havana and more than cover associated costs. We estimate that Cuban charges to these countries last year totaled nearly $100 million. Havana's actual annual receipts from these activities are difficult to quantify because of reported repay- ments problems. A January announcement by Presi- dent dos Santos indicates that Cuba probably. has deferred Angolan payments for economic assistance. In any case, Havana is aggressively pursuing assistance for-hire arrangements with at least four new clients, and we believe its hard currency earnings from such activities will increase. Trade expansion and the reduction of domestic un- employment are additional benefits of Cuban pro- grams, whether performed without charge or for payment. Many Third World recipients of Cuban technicians buy the necessary materials and equip- ment from Havana, and Cuban officials incorporate the export of associated goods into their aid propos- als. The dispatch of personnel overseas also slightly reduces domestic unemployment, a side benefit for a country whose rapidly growing work force is already underemployed: development, agricultural reorganization, mass com- munications, labor relations, and sociocultural affairs. In several countries-for example, Angola, Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Sao Tome and Principe, South Yemen, and Tanzania- Havana has been able to place substantial numbers of these experts in decisionmaking positions for extended periods of time. Cuba has used several facets of its educational assis- tance program to try to convert routine academic and technical training into influence. Many Third World students enrolled in Cuban ro rams receive olitical trainin . On the Isle of Youth, Havana attempts to indoctrinate thousands of younger, more impressionable students through awork-study regi- men-unique among educational assistance pro- grams-that can last for up to eight years for each student. The full impact of the Third World student program will not register for another five to 10 years. Most of the initial group of Isle of Youth students have been back in their home countries less than two years, and students with academic promise (those most likely to find influential jobs) have continued on into the Cuban university system. We already are aware of a limited number of Cuban successes. For example, Guyana's Agriculture and Health Ministers are both alumni of the Cuban educational system; Health Minister Van West-Charles, President Burnham's son-in-law, heads up the economic cooperation com- mission between the two countries. In Ghana, a key adviser to the ruling Provisional National Defense Council is a Cuban alumnus. A variety of factors-ranging. from inefficiencies in the aid effort to internal political factors-combine to set limits on translating Cuban economic assistance into durable influence in the Third World. We estimate that less than one-half of the Cuban civilians in the Third World are good candidates to function as effective purveyors of pro-Cuban views. More than 40 percent of the Cuban overseas work force is made up of construction workers and, al- though their activities contribute to a favorable image 25X1 25X1 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Cuban assistance to Nicaragua-totaling nearly $300 million to date-has contributed significantly to the consolidation of the Sandinista regime over the last.five years. Havana's economic support has in- creased Managua's military strength. New or im- proved roads built by Cubans facilitate arms trans- fers and the deployment of troops to.f~ght rebel forces. Similar benefits derive from Cuban improve- ments to the national railroad system. Cuban person- nel are helping with construction work on at least jive airfields, including Punta Huete-soon to be the The Cubans have also had a particularly strong impact on the Nicaraguan educational system. The large contingent ojprimary and secondary school teachers-which at one time constituted 60 percent of the rural teachinglorce and 10 percent of the coun- try's entire educational corps-has used texts with pro-Cuban Marxist content. Havana also has hosted well over 5,000 Nicaraguan students in extended academic programs, most ojwhich include political subjects. Of this number, more than 1,000 are teen- agers on the Isle ojYouth where, as one Nicaraguan student has openly explained, the work-study regi- men is "the implementation ojthe Leninist concept to form the new Soviet man. " In addition, Cuba has trained large numbers ojNicaraguans in shorter, vocational courses that have increased the country's pool of technical skills. Havana also has supplied higher level advisers to the Ministry of Education, who have probably helped reshape the overall organi- zation and direction of the national educational system. Hundreds ojCuban personnel have been placed at the 25X1 central decisionmaking level in nearly every other sector of Nicaraguan society. Through economic planning agreements, Cuban advisers probably have 25X1 encouraged the gradual growth of state control of the economy. The Cubans are extensively involved in the Nicaraguan communications system. These activities rangelrom the installation ojmicrowave and other kinds of equipment to the provision of critiques and recommendations on the national communications network. Close ties exist between the Cuban Commu- nist Party and the Sandinista National Liberation Front, and we believe Cubans have advised on the development of Nicaraguan mass organizations. of Cuba, they are only marginal instruments of influence: ? They often operate in sparsely populated areas and their daily routines leave little time for political activities. ? The workers live in self-contained camps close to their job sites, and ost are primarily motivated by material rewar s o "inter- nationalist" tours of duty, such as overseas bonuses and greater access to consumer goods. politically unsophisticated compared with Although the Castro regime screens other economic technicians-teachers, medical personnel, and techni- cal advisers-in terms of political qualifications, many of these technicians are not well positioned to exert influence. For example, medical personnel typically confine them- selves to the provision of medical services. Although this can promote a positive impression of Cuba, indigenous populations sometimes resent the Cuban presence because they provide the technicians with food and lodging, and the Cuban medical skills often are severely limited. More- over, our analysis, 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 25X1 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 that about three-fourths of the Cuban technicians who are not involved in public health, education, or construction work at the grassroots in a strictly technical capacity. The quality of its personnel and the terms under which Cuba provides aid frequently reduce the politi- cal mileage Havana is able to extract. In Ethiopia, the completion of one of Cuba's largest aid projects was held up for six months because Addis Ababa could not supply the necessary materials. Complaints about Cuban technicians are not uncommon. Although it is unusual for client dissatisfaction to lead to the remov- al of Cuban personnel, complaints can hamper the full development of the relations. Over the years, a num- ber of Third World recipients have characterized Cuban teachers as incompetent and too political. Hard currency transportation expenses have led to the refusal of scholarships and technicians. Our information on Cuban-LDC aid relationships also indicates that Cuban aggressiveness, as well as a "buyer's market" mentality on the part of a number of recipient countries, works against the program's success. Despite years of assistance from Cuba, some Third World countries try to use the importance Havana attaches to its aid program as leverage to negotiate more favorable terms for Cuban assistance. Burundi, Uganda, and Ghana are recent examples. Cuba occasionally finds itself in adversarial bargain- ing sessions, even with regimes in which it has invested a significant amount of time and resources. Finally, developments beyond Havana's research can quickly erode gains from the resources expended in an aid program. Internal political dynamics or external factors over the years have forced Cuban pullouts from Chile, Grenada, Iraq, Jamaica, Somalia, and Suriname. More recently, domestic insurrections in Nicaragua and Angola have disrupted the implemen- tation of Cuban assistance. LDC Students Sometimes Alienated The student program also has problems that may substantially reduce the amount of influence Havana expects to develop over time. Although some students Soldiers or Civilians: Cuban Economic Technicians Abroad Although Cuban economic technicians in the Third World truly are civilians, Havana makes no secret of the fact that it expects its personnel abroad to be able to use small arms to defend themselves. Most Cuban technicians-male and female-have undergone at least basic small-arms familiarization training. Be- fore leaving Cuba civilians assigned abroad often receive an intensive military training course lasting four to six weeks. Over the past 18 months, growing fears of direct US involvement in Nicaragua and rebel activities in that country as well as in Angola have led Havana to place considerably greater emphasis on the military side of its civilian aid program. Other than Angola and Nicaragua, there is little evidence that changes are being implemented elsewhere. are alienated by the political indoctrination in their Cuban educations, the physical labor requirements and lack of personal amenities also leave some stu- dents disenchanted with the Castro regime. Serious student problems-including riots-have plagued the Isle of Youth program almost from its inception. We believe Castro's personal motivations are as strong as ever and will continue to keep the program alive as long as he is in power. His strong desire to be a major actor on the world stage means that he is committed to the aid program, regardless of economic or other costs. We believe reverses in recent years may cause him to value even more the successful Third World relationships he retains and to strengthen his resolve to exploit opportunities for new ones. Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Table 4 Pending Offers of Cuban Assistance Since 1983 e Countries that currently have either negligible or no assistance- based ties to Cuba. The future of some of the existing large-scale Cuban civilian contingents abroad has grown more uncertain in recent years. Regional talks in southern Africa have not improved the prospects for the Cuban civil- ians there. Angolan negotiations with Pretoria have put more distance between Castro and President dos Santos. In addition, the rebel bombing of a Cuban barracks last April may have made it more difficult to recruit personnel to work in that country. Although neither situation has led to cuts in the number of Cuban civilians in those countries, any turn away from the Communist Bloc and toward the West that grows out of regional accommodation would work against their extended stay. In Nicaragua, Cuban- trained Nicaraguans this year will replace Cuban primary and secondary school teachers, thereby per- manently reducing Havana's presence by 1,600. Fi- nally, the nature of the Cuban involvement in Grena- da revealed by the intervention has probably made potential recipients much more reluctant to accept Havana will follow through on opportunities for small-scale assistance, but probably will experience additional setbacks in some existing minor programs. Low-profiled assistance programs are less controver- sial from both Cuban and Third World perspectives, and new chances for such activities will continue to arise, mostly in Africa. We believe a current list of likely candidates for positive Cuban aid developments includes Burkina, Ghana, Guyana, Mauritania, Zaire, and Zambia (table 4). We foresee only small-scale or Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 slowly growing aid to these countries tive, Third World countries. Nonetheless, dissatisfac- tion with Cuban assistance, never an uncommon phenomenon, probably will lead a number of Third World clients to curtail Havana's activities. Cuban leaders have placed stronger emphasis on the provision of economic technicians to Third World countries as a way of increasing hard currency remit- tances and making marginal reductions in domestic unemployment. Havana appears to have focused on the lucrative Middle Eastern market-apparently be- lieving that declining oil revenues will not damage the opportunities for its projects, which tend to be small scale and inexpensive. Cuba also has been trying to break into the Latin American construction market. Cuban economic assistance will continue to consist overwhelmingly of basic technical services, rather than turnkey projects with financial assistance. The Cuban economy will not support significant increases in aid financing in the near term. The only large turnkey projects we are aware of Havana discussing are sugar refinery construction or rehabilitations, such as that in Nicaragua, but without Cuban financ- ing. Cuba will continue to provide smaller light industry facilities. Because of the scarcity of highly trained technical experts in Cuba, Havana will limit itself to the provision of laborers and midlevel technicians. We believe the Third World student program will grow despite its various problems. The rate of accep- tance of scholarship offers has not diminished, and offers to additional countries and those that now have only limited numbers of students continue to grow. In addition, as some Isle of Youth students have moved on to Cuban universities or technical institutes, a new generation has begun to take their places. This year Havana plans to open four new Isle of Youth schools, and we believe at least some positions probably will be open to foreigners. As in the past, many Third World regimes will continue to view small numbers of Cuban scholarships as a harmless way to add to their limited technical expertise. For its part, Cuba will find it easier to accommodate foreign students in the future, as demographic changes cause domestic enrollments to drop. 25X1 25X1 25X1 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Typical Elements of the Cuban Program Shaping popular opinion:a Nicaraguan-Cuban film crew. Even in construction work the message is not lost: a joint CubmrJamaican construction ream. An emphasis on revolutionary esprit de corps: Curia lnrernarional the ?Che Guevara Contingent" of Cuban teachers arrives in Angola. Concenbation orr simple projects: bridges in . Granma Weekle Reviee~ Nicaragua. For the defense of friendly regimes: students at the Cuba lnrernarimial Cuban-built military school in Huambo, Angola. Making an impression on the young: a Cubnn reacher in a makeshift rlassroont, rural Nicaragua. Approved For Release 2009110J08:CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4 Secret Secret Approved For Release 2009/10/08 :CIA-RDP90T01298R000300070001-4