The Heritage Foundation

Backgrounder #658 on Latin America

June 22, 1988

June 22, 1988 | Backgrounder on Latin America

A Ten-Point U.S. Program to Block Soviet Advances in South America

(Archived document, may contain errors)

658 June'22, 1988 A TEN-POINT US, PROGRANI TO BLOCK SOVIET ADVANCES IN. SOUTH AMERICA I I 1. 1 I I I I INTRODUCTION Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is planning to visit South 'America late t his year. This first visit ever to the southern part of the American hemisphere.by a Soviet leader highlights Moscow's efforts to increase Soviet influence in the region. Since 1959, when Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, challenging the Monroe Doctrine h as become one of the Kremlin's geostrategic goals. The 165-year-old doctrine, declaring that the Americas are off-limits to other "great" powers, no longer is respected by Moscow The Kremlin's underlying long-term objectives in South America clearly iqclu d e 1) Forcing the U.S. to divert-military resources from other regions in the world to I 8 I I defend its Western Hemisphere interests 2 Embarrassing Washington by exposing ineffective and inconsistent .policies 3) Undercutting U.S.-Latin relations Y 4) Ga i ning expanded influence in the region 5) Increasing influence without having to subsidize yet another impoverished economy such as a Cuba, Nicaragua, Ethiopia, or Vietnam In pursuit of these objectives, Moscow follows a two-track policy, combining normal d iplomatic and economic initiatives with clandestine support for guerrilla insurgents terrorists, and drug cartels. Such Soviet proxies as Bulgaria, Cuba, East Germany, Libya Nicaragua, North Korea, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO and Vietnam ha v e helped Moscow challenge U.S. regional security interests. Soviet beachheads in Cuba and Nicaragua, for example, enable the Kremlin to transfer arms and gather sensitive intelligence throughout the region A growing "anti-Yanqui" Latin spirit, meanwhile, h as allowed the Soviet Union and its allies to expand trade agreements, diplomatic and political relations, and cultural exchanges with South America In the Gorbachev era, Anatoliy Dobrynin, who was :ambassador to the U.S. for 24 years and now heads the So v iet Communist Party's International Department, and Politburo member Aleksandr Yakovlev, are the two main architects of the new policy toward South America.' They are cultivating ties with the large, industrialized nations of Argentina and Brazil. This mi x es Moscow's traditional strategy of mainly.supporting leftist insurgent groups and hard-line Marxist-Leninist revolutionary regimes with a more formal government-to-government approach a To protect U.S. security interests in South America, while limiting a nd eventually 1) Making all of Latin America a high foreign policy priority. fie next president's first reducing Moscow's influence, Washington must adopt a ten-point program consisting of official overseas trip should be to Latin America. Stops should in clude Argentina, Brazil Chile, and Uruguay. i 2) Reiterating U.S. security interests as proclaimed in the Monroe Doctrine and the 1982 Symms Resolution.

During regional discussions with the Soviets as well as at Organization of American States (OAS) sessio ns, the U.S. needs to assert its intention of opposing any Soviet bloc subversion or aggression in the Americas 3) Supporting the democratization processes which this decade have swept across South America. This trend can be fortified through .certain gov e rnment agencies and also through such private organizations as the National Endowment for Democracy 4) Encouraging long-term economic growth. Long-term and stable economic growth is vital to democratic societies. U.S. policy should support creation- of se l f-sustaining local economies that will attract South Americans to invest in their own countries I 5) Working with both the international lending institutions and the debtor nations to devise effective strategies for dealing with the debt crisis. U.S. debt policy should be coordinated with its trade and aid policies to promote free trade, privatization, and private property guarantees 6) Encouraging South American governments to adopt policies that stimulate free trade and privatization of state-owned indus t ries. Washington should tie its bilateral loans to the adoption of such free market policies as eliminating trade barriers, turning over state-owned businesses to the private sector, and encouraging domestic and foreign investment by guaranteeing private p roperty rights 1 See Francis Fukuyama Patterns of Soviet Third World Policy Problems of Communism September-October 1987, p. 6 2 7) Aggressively pursuing a war against the drug and terrorist organizations. Reputed Soviet ties to such organizations as the M edellin Cartel, Colombia's drug mafia, and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement MRTA a Peruvian terrorist group, accentuate the threat such organizations pose to regional security 8) Renewing military aid, assistance, and training programs with those So u th American nations with whom joint military relations have been severed U.S. relations with the region's armed forces are increasingly strained by abrupt aid cut-offs, sanctions related to foreign debt and other nonmilitary issues, and a general lack of i nterest on the part of U.S policy makers 9) Using the Organization of American States to outline clearly Washington's foreign policy objectives in the Americas. Organizations such as the OAS can be effective forums from which the U.S. can openly establish its hemispheric security interests and policy goals.

Washington should take greater initiative and expand its role in regional summits and multilateral institutions 10) Increasing U.S. educational assistance. The number of educational aid and 5. i assista nce programs that Washington provides South Americans is too small. Assistantship and scholarship programs should be expanded and increased I L U.S. INTERESTS IN SOUTH AMERICA The growth of democratic pluralism is important to the U.S because democracies: 1 adopt or generate free market-oriented economies; 2) respect human rights; 3) are more stable politically; and 4) are unlikely to actively threaten US. security interests The U.S. has played an important role in South America's recent trend toward democ r atization. Since 1981, democratic pluralism has replaced authoritarianism in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay. A key U.S. objectivemust be the consolidation of these fragile democracies before Moscow and its allies exploit political instability Was h ington has substantial economic interests in the Americas. Latin America as a whole today owes approximately $400 billion to foreign institutions, against total exports of some $90 billion. Approximately one-third of the debt is owed to U.S. creditors; Th e South American countries are responsible for some $300 billion of this, debt. The U.S. exports about $30 billion annually to Latin America, of which about half goes to South America.

Under conditions of moderate economic growth in Latin America, these sales could climb as high as $50 billion this year. In addition, nearly 50 percent of South America's exports go to the U.S totalling S22S2billion in 19

85. U.S. direct investment in the region currently is estimated at $29.8 billion I 2 Jaime Suchlicki Sov iet Policy In Latin America: Some Implications for the United States,"Joumal of ZnlerAinencan Studies, Spring 1987, p.45 and Znfemational Financial Statktics, International Monetary Fund April 1987 3 Security Interests Washington's most fundamental securi ty interest in South America is preventing the Soviets or their allies from establishing military bases that could threaten the U.S. directly.

The hemispheric balance of power would be threatened if the Soviets were to gain access to additional Latin Ameri can air and naval facilities or increase the number of Eastern bloc military personnel in the region In the unlikely case that the Soviets were granted base rights in Peru, for example, Soviet military force refueling, intelligence-gathering, and operatio n al capabilities would be increased substantially. Soviet bombers such as the BZackjack, Backfire, or Bear originating in Peru could, with the help.of refueling aircraft strike targets throughout the Americas If the Peruvians granted the USSR naval facilit i es the Soviet Fleet would jeopardize severely western Pacific sea lanes increased dramatically. Since 1969, the Soviet navy has conducted 26 full-scale exercises in the Caribbean. Prior to the 1960s, the Soviet navy conducted primarily only coastal defens e Even without such bases, the Soviet air and naval presence in the hemisphere has operations The U.S. also is threatened if the Soviets can block.access to.South America's vital resources. Already, Soviet submarines, capable of interdicting U.S. shipping, operate out of Cienfuegos in Cuba. Such submarines easily could disrupt.navigation. through the.crucia1 Caribbean sea lanes. The fact that the bulk of U.S. shipping sunk by the Germans during World War 11 was along the East Coast and in the Caribbean call s attention to the region's military and economic importance and vulnerability to the U.S For decades, the U.S. protected its interests in South America by being the major supplier of arms to the region. This enabled Washington to ensure a military balance of power among South American countries and.gave the U.S. direct access to South Americak armed forces. In the past decade, however, the Soviet Union, France, and possibly Israel have all provided more military hardware to South America than has Washingto n . U.S arms exports to the region from 1982 through 1986 totalled about $1.1 billion, a mere 15 percent of all arms sales to South America during this period Cultural and Social Interests Although cultural ties between the U.S. and South America have dimin i shed in recent years, they still remain relatively strong. Tensions rose during the late 197Os, however, when the governments in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay lashed out at the Carter Administration's insensitive human rights policies as being intervention in their internal affairs. Since then, "anti-Yanquism" and nationalism have been growing Approximately 50,000 South Americans study privately in the U.S. But Washington has fallen behind the Soviet bloc in providing government-sponsored education and training for South American youth. The number of South Americans studying in the Soviet bloc nearly doubled between 1979 and 1985, from approximately 3,000 to more than 10,000 3 World Military Expendihues and Arms Transfern, 1987, Arms Contr o l and Disarmament Agency, 1987 4 I c Washington, on the other hand, has been making it increasingly difficult for South Americans to receive U.S. government grants to study in the U.S. Only about 7,000 scholarships were offered last year In addition, Sout h Americans studying in the Soviet bloc have tended to stay for at least five years, while those who come to the U.S. usually stay for less than four years SOVIET INTERESTS IN SOUTH AMERICA Pre-Gorbachev Approaches Soviet trade representatives, diplomats, a nd military and political advisers began arriving in South America soon after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. By the end of 1945, the.USSR had diplomatic relations with almost all of the region's major nations and many smaller ones as well. During the earl y Cold War years, however, the Soviet presence in the region diminished. Of those countries that had developed diplomatic relations with Moscow, only Argentina and Uruguay refused to break their ties. After the communists took control of Cuba in 1959, Mosc ow's principal tactic in South America was to spread revolution. After a potential communist takeover was suppressed in the Dominican Republic in 1965, however the USSR scaled back its support for revolutionary activities.

From the mid-1960s through most o f the .1970s, Moscow's South American policies yere largely cautious and bureaucratic, concerned with minimizing risks. They concentrated on expanding diplomatic, commercial, and cultural contacts. During this time, the Kremlin's attention was directed ma i nly at improving relations with socialist-oriented "progressive governments a. 0 VI Most recently, the Soviets have been encouraged by the success of revolutionary forces in Nicaragua in 1979 and the ability to use "united fronts" to bring together in pol i tical coalitions communist and noncommunist radicals in countries as different as Peru and Uruguay! Now, under Gorbachev, Moscow has adopted a more flexible, dynamic, and assertive policy toward South America Growing Political Influence In recent years, t h e Kremlin has stressed normal political and commercial ties with athe region's governments, rather than focusing exclusively on revolution. Since Gorbachev came to power, the USSR has attempted to expand diplomatic and commercial ties with South American g overnments, primarily Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay. From Moscow's perspective, the communization of South America is probably a long-term aspiration. The immediate goal is to weaken U.S. influence in the region I Following the 1982 war fought betw e en Argentina and Britain for control of the Falkland Islands off the Argentine coast, the Soviet position in relation to South America improved dramatically, while that of the U.S. deteriorated. Many South Americans felt that 4 Soviet Influence Activities : A Repit on Active Measures and Propagan& 1986-87, U.S. Department of State August 1987, p. 64 5 Washington had sided with Britain, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) country rather than with a member of the Organization of American States (OAS B ecause the Soviets sided firmly with Argentina, Moscow benefited from the conflict.

By establishing a better working relationship with South American governments, the Kremlin hopes to 1) Encourage the nationalization of US.-owned businesses and investments 2) Erode U.S.-South American military training and assistance agreements 3) Undermine regional political and economic powers or institutions supporting the US., such as the OAS, free market institutions, and business organizations; and 4) Reorient South A merican foreign policies away from supporting Washington Moscow has had some success, in these short-term goals Examples the sale of Argentine grain to Moscow during the U.S. embargo despite.pressure from Washington not to do so, the agreement very recent l y by several South American countries such as Brazil and Argentina not to criticize qba for human rights violations, and the.gradua1.breakdown in inter-American military cooperation I I To expand its influence, the Scbviet Union has'tried to sway decision making in South America's trade unions, student organizations, and communist parties. The election of the communist Salvador Allende Gossens as President of Chile in 197O'gave the Soviets strong hope of influencing events through the electoral process. Al l ende's party, comprised of socialists, communists, radicals, and dissident Christian Democrats, was committed to programs that the Soviets supported. Allende, for example, nationalized Chile's private industry, accelerated land redistribution, and expropr i ated U.S. business interests Supporting Kremlin Policy. More recently, the USSR has been successful in infiltrating and influencing center-to-left parties in Argentina, ,Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. Local communist parties routinely support and advocate th e Kremlin's foreign policy agenda and protest cooperation between their governments and Washington: Communist and socialist parties denounce U.S.-sponsored development programs and U.S. military assistance, and they attack what they label as cultural imper ialism.

Ironically as the wave of democracy spreads across South America in the 1980s diplomatic contacts between the Soviet Union and governments there have increased dramatically.

New civilian governments such as those in Argentina and Brazil have been eager to differentiate themselves from the military regimes they replaced. In expanding and improving relations with the Soviet bloc, Latin political leaders also have attempted to distance themselves at least in the eyes of leftisticonstituencies from.th e nation they most commonly blame for the region's woes: the U.S Official, top-level reciprocal visits by Soviet and South American political leaders have been on the rise. In October 1986, President Raul Alfonsin was the first Argentine head of state to vi s it the Soviet Union. Uruguayan President Julio Maria Sanguinetti visited 6 Moscow this past March. Las year, delegations from at least five key South American governments visited Moscow Soon after, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Komplektov traveled to Brazil and Uruguay. Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze visited Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay last fall. During this trip, he announced that Gorbachev would be making a trip to South America, probably this fall k Strengthened Economic Relation s The USSR now trades regularly with all South American states except Chile, Paraguay and Suriname In 1985, nonmilitary Soviet exports to South America were estimated at 1.65 billion, while nonmilitary imports from the region were approximately 2.85 billio n!

Recently this trade seems to have declined slightly. This is because South America has been experiencing massive economic difficulties and several of the Soviet Unions key trading customers such as Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay have become competitors Not only do they now produce many of the goods that th e y once imported from the USSR, they also export consumer goods within South America. For example, countries can now purchase military hardware from Brazil rather than from the Soviets The Soviets have become customers for South American goods that U.S. tr a de barriers keep out of U.S markets; this includes beef, grain, and sugar. In exchange for these foodstuffs and minerals Moscow exports manufactured goods and heavy equipment Building 80 Ships for Moscow. The USSR has become Argentinas largest grain custo m er. Moscow turned to Argentina after the U.S. 1979 grain embargo cut off U.S grain sales to the USSR. In 1985, the Soviets purchased approximately $1.5 billion in grain from the Argentines A January 1986 agreement between the USSR and Argentina commits bo th countries to high levels of trade through 19

90. In addition, the Soviets have worked out agreements with the Argentines to help build shipping and dock facilities in Argentina in return for agricultural products.

The Soviet Union buys substantial food stuffs and iron ore from Brazil in return for oil manufactured goods, and some technology. Uruguay provides the USSR with wool, dairy products, and citrus in return for consumer goods. Peru sells metals, wools, and foodstuffs in return for heavy equipment and development aid. The Peruvian government recently has agreed to build 80 ships for the Soviets as part of a deal to refinance Perus $650 million debt to Moscow. The center-left Peruvian government of Alan Garcia Perez is pressing for the deal as a mea n s of paying off foreign debt while saving hard currency It now appears a that Ecuadors center-left President-elect Rodrigo Borja Cevallos also may seek expanded economic cooperation with the Soviets Alternative Markets and Sources. Such trade has helped t h e Kremlin establish a permanent economic and political presence in South America. It has also given the Soviets access to such strategic raw materials as Bolivias tin and Brazils iron ore, used in Soviet heavy industry, and much needed agricultural produc t s, including Argentine grain and Colombian coffee 5 6 7 hid p.75 nte Washington Post, September 27,1987, p. A28 Robert K. Evanson, Soviet Economic and Military Trade in Latin America: An Assessment, World Afluin, Fall 1986, p. 76 7 The U.S. is almost cert a in to remain South America's largest trading partner, but Moscow will continue attempting to diminish Washington's regional influence by providing alternative markets and sources of supply. It also is likely that the Kremlin and its satellites will contin u e to exploit the worsening South American debt crisis by blaming it on the U.S and persuading South Americari countries to default on their debts Increased Military Penetration Soviet military involvement in South America has included logistical support f o r revolutionary insurgents and arms shipments to South American governments. Moscow's key military-related objectives seem to be to: 1) influence political conflicts through support of terrorists and insurgents; 2) accustom the U.S. to Soviet presence in t he region 3) wean Latin armed forces away from dependence on the U.S 4) establish a market for Soviet military goods out through such proxies as Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, and Vietnam! hAoi, for example, ships old U.S. weapons to Cuba, which in turn se n ds them to guerrilla forces throughout South America. Currently, the Kremlin reportedly assists such revolutionary and terrorist movements as the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front in Chile; the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) in Peru; and the M-1 9 , the Armed Revolutionary Forces (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN) in Colombia and the Alfaro Vive group in Ecuador Old U.S. Arms for Guerrillas. Clandestine support to guerrilla forces 1 r el is carried Soviet arms shipments to Latin America as a whole grew from $600 million in 1973 through 1976 to $2.1 billion in 1977 to 1980 and $3.6 billion in 1981 to 19

84. Most of this military assistance was to Cuba and Nicaragua. Soviet arms shipments to South America were approximately $320 million during 1981 to 1984, or 4 percent of.total arms sales to the region After Moscow, the major Eastern bloc proiders ofweapons to the'South American armed forces are Czechoslovakia, Libya, North Korea, and Poland These countries also support training missions in t h e region, both overt and clandestine. 9 MOSCOW'S Chief Customer. Peru is Moscow's chief customer. The Peruvians have purchased at least 350 Soviet T-54 and T-55 tanks, a significant quantity of SA-2 and SA-3 surface-to-air missiles, 42 Mi-24 Hind helicopt e rs, about 50 Sukhoi-22 supersonic fi hter bombers, radar equipment, and 'artillery. The price tag: approximately $1.5 billion. 18 Of the 650 personnel in the Soviet mission in Lima, approximately 200 are military advisors. The Soviet advisors in Peru outn u mber the 150 or so American military advisors in all of Latin America. After Cuba, Peru hosts the largest Soviet military presence in the 8 Paul Seabury, Observalions on Soviet Prary Activitih in the Third Wodd, U.S. Institute of Peace, March 1988 9 Russe l l W. Ramsey, "Training the Latin American Armed Forces Journal of Defense and Diplomacy 10 Paula J. Pettavino Peru's Military Buildup JournaIof Defense and Diplomacy, vol. 4, no. 3,1986 vol. 6, no. 4,1988, p. 24 i 8 Western Hemisphere. Other than Peru, th e transfer of Soviet military equipment to South American armed forces has been relatively limited. South American governments still prefer to purchase better quality U.S British, French, and West German weaponry Expanding Cultural Influence Moscows cultur a l objectives are to: 1) heighten traditional anti-American feelings in South America; 2) expand Soviet educational and training programs for the regions youth to indoctrinate them in Marxism-Leninism; 3) improve the USSRs international reputation by portr aying itself as the champion of Third World causes; 4) encourage pro-Soviet elements in the South American press.

By taking advantage of unpopular U.S. actions, such as U.S. support for Britain during the Falklands War, Moscow seeks to improve its image as the defender of Latin independence and autonomy Broadcasting on Channel

9. Radio Moscow broadcasts to South &erica almost 100 hours per week in six different languages. On the other hand, the Voice of America only broadcasts an average of 66.5 hours a w eek in three languages. TASS, the official Soviet news agency, provides information to local news media organizations in many South.

American countries as well. Through a March 1987 agreement between the USSR State Committee for Television and Radio Broad casting and a private Argentine television network, Channel 9, Mosc w provides the network %th television programs documentaries, and news 8 According to U.S. government statistics, the number of students from Latin America Latin students also attend scho o ls in Cuba and Eastern Europe. The U.S. government, on the other hand, offered only 7,000 scholarships in 1987.n Moscow also has established an exchange program for professors. Soviet teachers have taught in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru I and the Caribbean studying in the USSR grew from 2,900 in 1978 to over 10,000 last year. I Learning to be Suspicious of the U.S. The vast majority of these Soviet bloc-educated students and trainees are from impoverished South American families and otherwise might not have been able to afford any education, certainly not overseas. U.S. efforts to support cultural and educational programs to promote South American democraticideas could be undercut by Soviet influence. Some of the students educated in the Soviet bloc almost s u rely will return home committed to Marxism-Leninism, suspicious of the U.S and indebted to the USSR. Many of them may become influential members of their nations business, government, media, or academic communities, and some could be susceptible to recrui t ment by Soviet intelligence agencies discredit the U.S. Example: the Kremlin spreads disinformation throughout South America 11 Ibid.,p.25 12 Soviet Influence Activities, op. cit pp. 66-68 13 The Wall Stwet Joumal, April 5,1988, p. 20 The Soviet Union wag e s an extensive propaganda and disinformation campaign to 9 blaming the U.S. for creating the AlDS virus.14 By enlisting the services of sympathetic journalists, academics, writers, and students, Moscow effectively disseminates information damaging to the U .S The growth of Soviet interests in South America can also be gauged by the expanding scope of Soviet research about the region. In 1961, the Latin America Institute was established in Moscow. The journal Lztinsl&zya Amerih was inaugurated in 1969 and no w has a distribution of approximately 10,000 THE SECOND TRACK SOVIET SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES While placing a higher priority than before on seeking influence through state-to-state relations, the Kremlin has not abandoned covert operations. The Marxist-Lenin i st regimes in Cuba and Nicaragua give the Soviets bases from which to launch clandestine operations throughout the region. Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru are themain targets. In Colombia the Armed Revolutionary Forces (FARC) guerrilla group was create d and continues to be directed by the local Communist Party, one of the most strongly proSoviet in South America. Moscow supports such revolutionary movements mainly with the help of Cuba and Nicaragua. 4 According to General Rafael Padilla Vergara, a Colo m bian Army officer, captured documents reveal that several hundred members of FARC and the Movimiento I9 Abril M-19) had been trained in Nicaragua and Cuba. The documents also disclose Cuban plans to deliver heavy artillery to Colombia's guerrilla forces. C olombian intelligence officials explain that Havana's Americas Department, through which the Soviets assist the Cubans in controlling all insurgent activity in South America, had instructed the Colombian Communist Party to intensify the "political stru le while helping the guerrillas build an armed force of at least 20,000 well-trained men 4 Narco-Communist Network. There is also evidence that the.Soviet Union, via the Cubans and Nicaraguans, supports guerrilla and subversive activities in Chile, Ecuador, a nd Peru. In Peru, the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), a pro-Cuban Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group is the key recipient of such support. The MRTA has declared publicly its allegiance to both the M-19 and the Ecuadoran guerrilla group,Alfaro Viv e . Most MRTA weapons confiscated by the Peruvian security forces are-M-16 rifles;-not in use by either the police or army in Peru. Such rifles are used, however, by the M-19, as well as the Chilean and Ecuadoran terrorists. These weapons have been identifi e d by their serial numbers as those left by U.S. forces in Vietnam and shipped to South American subversives by the Nicaraguans and Cubans.17 I 14 Soviet Influence Activities, op. cit 15 Morris Rothenberg Latin America in Soviet Eyes Problems of Communism, September-October 1983, p 16 Marlo Le&, Jr Is Colombia Next National Review, December 1985, pp. 36-37 17 The Wall Sfmet Journal, February ?6,1988, p. 15 15 10 These Soviet-backed guerrilla groups are known to be heavily involved in the production and dist r ibution of cocaine. It is likely, therefore, that the Sandinistas and their Cuban mentors are part of the South American "narco-terror" or "narco-communist" network.18 This is confirmed by the statements of Jose Blandon, a former top-ranking Panamanian go v ernment official who resigned from his post as Panama's consul general to New York this January, and of Juan Lazaro Perez, a former Colombian drug cartel smuggler. In testimony before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee this February, Blandon and Pere z described how Fidel Castro and his brother Raul, the Cuban intelligence services Cuba's "Americas Department,"'and the Sandinista high command worked out arrangements with the Colombian Medellin drug cartel and rep1 guerrilla groups to help move narcotic s and weapons in and out of South America TEN POINTS TO COUNTER SOVIET GAINS U.S. policy toward South America should be designed to pr0tect:U.S. security interests and limit Soviet influence in the hemisphere. To accomplish this, the U.S. should.pursue a p r ogram I I 1) Making all of Latin America, not just Central America and the Caribbean, a high foreign policy priority. The next U.S president's first official overseas trip should.be to Latin America, including visits at least in'kgentina, Brazil, Chile, a nd Uruguay: 6 2) Reemphasizing the U.S. security interests and objectives as proclaimed in the"

Monroe Doctrine and the Symms Resolution. These include asserting a strong US intention to oppose Soviet bloc subversion, aggression, and intervention in South America.

In the Reagan Doctrine, the U.S. offers a strategy to enforce, the Monroe Doctrine by rolling back Soviet gains in the hemisphere. Washington needs to make Latin leaders understand that in terms of economic, military, and technical assistance; th e U.S. is the answer, not the Soviet Union 3) Continuing its strong support for the democratization process that hasbeen sweeping across most of South America. Washington can provide expertise, training, and resources for organizing democratic elections. T his should be accompanied by a reaffirmation of a commitment to help South American governments fight communist insurgencies, battle the drug cartels, and halt terrorism. An increase in military aid assistance, and training for the region's democracies sh o uld also be considered. Such private organizations as the National Endowment for Democracy can provide funds to such South American local democratic organizations and institutions as political parties, labor unions, business groups, trade associations, an d educational groups 4) Encouraging long-term economic growth. Fostering long-term, stable economic growth is integral to independent democratic societies. U.S. debt policy should be used to support the creation of self-sustaining economies based upon loca l markets. South American governments need to become economically reliable so that citizens will invest in 18 77ie Washington Post, September 27,1987, p. A28 19 77ie WrrSiington Times, February 15,1988 11 domestic economies and not send their money abroad. The U.S. should assist the South American countries with their debt burdens by proposing such measures as debt equity swaps, which involve trading debt either for shares in a South American company or for cheap local currency 5) Continuing to assist negot i ations between international and private multilateral lending institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund IME and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the debtor countries Washington's strong voting power in these organizations can be u sed as leverage. Development funds from these international financial institutions should be granted only if recipients adopt policies that encourage free trade and expand the base of private ownership. Employee Stock Ownership Programs (ESOPs for example , are financial mechanism through which employees can obtain the necessary credit to purchase stock in the company for which they work. The U.S. should insist that the U.S. directors at multilateral development banks consider ESOPs as an option in all priv a tization projects 6) Pressing South American governments, to adopt policies that stimulate economic growth, free trade, and privatization of state-owned companies The U.S. should tie its loans to the adoption of such free market policies as turning state- o wned businesses over to the private sector, eliminating trade barriers, and encouraging domestic and foreign investment by guaranteeing private property rights. U.S. economic assistance programs and loans from U.S. and multilateral lending institutions sh o uld be targeted to the private sector instead of government projects 7) Reaffirming the U.S. commitment to help South American governments fight communist insurgencies, battle the drug cartels, and halt terrorism. The U.S. should explore closer cooperatio n with the Organization of American States to deal with these problems. Attention should focus on improving joint surveillance and enforcement capabilities as well as economic, technical, and military assistance where needed To create a better environment f or cooperation on these issues, the U.S. State Department should make information and technical resources available and,work. closely with OAS members and their staffs. The U.S. also should consider creating a multinational military task force to battle t h e narco-terrorists 8) Increasing military aid, assistance, and training programs for those democracies willing to cooperate with the U.S. on regional security matters. Now that the special- US military schools have been closed in Panama because they are b anned by the Panama Canal Treaty, Washington should expand the programs at the U.S. Army School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the Inter-American Defense College in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. also should increase its International Military Ed ucation and Training (IMET program, which train and educate South American military personnel. Declining .Latin participation in these programs has come at a time when Soviet training in the regi n is increasing. The Pentagon also needs to renew military c ooperation with,Argentina and to reinstate military assistance to Chile once it has adopted a democratic political system so 20 Defense and Fomign Affairs Week May 2-8,1988, p. 2 12 9) Using the OAS to outline clearly Washingtons foreign policy objectives in the region Washington should take greater initiative in regional summits and multilateral institutions.

Organizations such as the OAS can be effective platforms from which the U.S. can publicly establish its hemispheric security interests and policy go als Too often in recent years the U.S. has been excluded from regional summits and other gatherings. It was not, for example, asked to participate in last Novembers inter-American summit in Acapulco Mexico 10) Increasing U.S. educational assistance. The n u mber of assistantships, scholarships and other forms of educational aid that the U.S. government provides South Americans is too small. Greater attention also should be given to the selection.of educational materials textbooks, and cultural activities pro m oted by the U.S. for South Americans. For example the United States Information Agency could take greater initiative in this area in order to counterbalance gains made by the Soviet Union. The U.S. also should encourage its allies in Europe and Asia to pl a y a greater educational and cultural role in South America I 1 CONCLUSION Gorbachevs plan to visit South America later this year highlights .the Kremlins efforts to increase and expand its influence in the Western Hemisphere. Moscows attempts to challenge the principles of the Monroe Doctrine pose security risks for the U.S. At the same time, the fragile new democracies in South America are threatened by the growth of revolutionary subversion, terrorism, narcotics trafficking, and foreign debt. It is the K r emlins strategy to take advantage of these conditions to further its own political economic, and military interests in the region 1 In pursuit of these objectives, the Gorbachev government follows a two-track policy which combines normal diplomatic and ec o nomic initiatives with clandestine support for communist insurgents, terrorists, and the drug cartels. Much of this work is carried out through proxies such as Cuba and Nicaragua To counter this, the U.S. must work together with the South,American countri e s to diminish the growing Soviet presence. Most important, the U.S. has to maintain its strong support for, the democratization process already underway. The best means of guaranteeing the continued fortification of the regions democratic institutions is b y .assisting South Americas long-term economic growth. If U.S. policy makers give South America higher priority, U.S.-South American cooperation on political, economic, and military issues likely will increase while the success of Soviet efforts to underm ine U.S. security interests may dwindle.

Michael G. Wilson Policy Analyst 1 13

About the Author