June 4, 1988 | Backgrounder on Latin America
I 655 June 4,1988 CUBAS TERRORIST CONNECTION INTRODUCTION Last Aprils hijacking of a Kuwaiti airliner is a troubling reminder that terrorism remains undefeated. In th e battle against terrorists, attention understandably focuses on such notorious sponsors of terrorism as Iran, Libya, Syria, and radical Palestinian groups.
Curiously, generally ignored is a source of terrorism much closer to the United States. This is Cuba.
Terrorism can be defined as political action employing extraordinarily violent means to achieve the largely psychological effect of intimidation and demoralization of a nations government and its populace. Terrorism is a weapon of the weak, used by gr oups and individuals who have little conventional military power. Terrorism is also cheap. Training and supplying small groups of men and women with light arms and explosives is far easier than building and sustaining a rurally based guerrilla army Avoidi n g Stunts. As a result, terrorism is especially popular with countries short on resources and long on ambitions, such as Fidel Castros Cuba. Havanas terrorist activities rarely make headlines and nearly always avoid serious inquiry In part, this is because .
Havana has avoided the terrorist stunts, such as airplane hijacking, that attract maximum and unfavorable international attention. Castro also does not periodically and publicly threaten to unleash terrorists against the West In fact, the Cuban leader av idly avoids any mention of the subject even in his legendary diatribes. This style contrasts sharply with that of Libyas mercurial Muammar Qadhafi.
Castros targets for subversion and terrorism have included such Latin American military dictatorships as Ge neral Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic as well as democratic leaders Romulo Betancourt of Venezuela and Jose Napoleon Duarte of El Salvador.
Cuban-aided terrorism helped destroy Uruguayan democracy for a decade and contributed greatly to the erosion of Chiles: democratic institutions under Salvador Allende.
Wrecking El Salvador's Elections. In El Salvador, meanwhile, Cuban-supported guerrillas and terrorists attempted to wreck the March 20,1988, legislative and mayoral elections with the bomb and the bullet, just as they had six years earlier when Salvadorans went to the polls in that country's first free election. In the same month, a former pilot of Panama's strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega said that planeloads of Cuban arms had been flown into that country. for .purposes that remain unclear. This development confirmed by U.S. officials, is fraught with future peril to Panamanians and Americans. The arms, now apparently cached in secret locations around the country, could be a bargaining chip fo r a desperate Noriega, anxious to protect his position.
It is not likely that the Cubans would be interested simply in improving the Panamanian general's chances for a safe exit. Havana would be interested in having those arms.available for its supporters in Panama. The outbreak of even low-level terrorism in a country unused to serious violence could destabilize this already fragile, strategically vital nation even more. Ultimately, a terrorist campaign could provoke U.S. military intervention Counterterr o rist Priority. Cuban terrorism, compared to the Libyan or Iranian variety has attracted far less attention, and therefore, little in the way of an effective riposte by the U.S. This must change if future U.S. administrations are to build the consensus nec essary to move decisively to punish the. Castro regime for its nearly three decades of sponsoring terrorism around the world A new consensus requires heightened public awareness of the Cuban terrorist threat.
Once this consensus forms, a 'revived counterte rrorist policy can give greater priority to Havana. First, the U.S. must publicize and expose Cuba's role in international terrorism to a wide international audience; and the Cuban people must be told about their government's role. Second, Cuba should be i ncluded in overall U.S. counterterrorism plan and embargo lists along with the Middle Eastern terrorists. Third, the U.S. should consider ending its low-level diplomatic ties with Cuba THE EARLY YEARS OF CUBAN TERRORISM Cuban history is replete with examp les of terrorism, most notably in the early 1930s when groups of young Cubans struggled against General Gerard0 Machado, who ran Cuba with an iron hand for nearly a decade beginning in 19
25. Calling themselvesrthe*ABC itis unclear what the initials stood for), these young Cubans invented many of the techniques of modern urban terrorism (coordinated bombing, for example which Cuban advisers have passed on in scores of training camps around the world to thousands of Argentinians Brazilians, Chileans, Colomb ians, Ecuadorans, Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, and Uruguayans, to name a few in Latin America, and to Basques, Namibians, Palestinians West Germans, and Yemenis.
Castro himself wrote and spoke publicly of terrorism even before he began his insurrection against Fulgencio Batista, who seized power in April 1952 in a coup after retiring" in 1944 following a decade of strongman rule. Ironically, at the time Castro opp o sed terrorism; once inpower, this changed 2 The" Guevara's Failure. In the early years of their rule, Castro and his closest followers were wedded to thefoco, the belief that radical revolution could erupt when a group of rural guerrilla fighters took up arms against the government. Their fundamentalist belief in thefoco, of action first and political work a poor second, was profoundly shaken when Castro's close associate The" Guevara made his quixotic stab at guerrilla warfare in Bolivia in 19
67. Guevara was convinced he could create a revolution in impoverished Bolivia and that in turn would ignite a continental revolution. But his small band of Cubans and Bolivians failed to attract the support of the Indian peasants they supposedly were liberating, an d the local communist party ignored them. After months of barely surviving the Bolivian wilds, Guevara and his dwindling band were tracked down by army rangers and decimated in a series of skirmishes.
During Castro's fight for power, his 26th of July organ ization committed acts of urban terrorism as did his Rebel Army operating in the Sierra Maestre mountains. Rad Castro Castro's younger brother, for example, kidnapped a group of Americans and Canadians and held them hostage in rebel-dominated territory. T h e purpose was to forestall an expected army sweep and air force bombing of the areas. The tactic worked. Under U.S. pressure Batista delayed the offensive three weeks, allowing the rebels to regroup. Raul Castro also organized one of history's earliest in ternational plane hijackings, which resulted in the wreck of the aircraft and the deaths of 17 people in 1958 Smuggling Arms from Cuba. In Venezuela, a war raged against democratically elected governments between 1961 and 19
63. It featured some of the most bloody acts of urban terrorism committed in Latin America in the past quarter century. This campaign by the so-called Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) had the full support of Havana.
In November 1963, four tons of arms were found by security f orces in a cache on Venezuela's lonely northwest coast. The weapons of Belgian, Italian, and American manufacture were traced to sales made to the Castro government in 1959 or were from stocks left over from the Batista era, according to a special commiss i on of the Organization of American States. The arms had been smuggled from Cuba aboard a boat belonging to the Cuban National Institute of 'Agrarian Reform. Intending to ruin Venezuela's December elections, Castro-trained terrorists threatened voters with death if they showed up at the polls.
More than three years after their defeat in the 1963 elections, the Venezuelan terrorists were still being encouraged by Castro. In July 1967, FALN terrorists kidnapped and subsequently murdered the brother of the Ven ezuelan foreign minister. Though the murder was denounced by the Venezuelan Communist Party, the PCV, the Cuban press printed the FALN statement on the killing without any show of disapproval, and Castro denounced the PCV for "betraying" the revolution.
I n the 1960s, perhaps 80 percent of Cuban-supported insurgencies in Latin America were rural based. But by the 1970s, Cuba was supporting primarily urban-based insurgencies following the Venezuelan model 3 Aiding Urban Terrorists. Castro has been careful n e ver to endorse urban terrorism openly He and his propaganda apparatus were quite vocal, however, in their support of such urban terrorist groups as Brazils Carlos Marighella, the Uruguayan Tupamaros, and the Chilean Movimiento Izquierdista RevoluciOnaria (MIR The Cuban Communist Party daily Granma, reprinted Marighellas terrorist Minimanual in 19
75. The book went through many editions in several languages over the years and was distributed by Cuban publishing houses around the world. The .Cuban magazine T ricontinental, published in November 1970 a special edition of Marighellas writings, including the Minimanual The Cuban press followed the Uruguayan Tupamaro activities without ever criticizing its acts of terrorism. For instance, it published the so-call e d conversations of Dan Mitrione, an American security expert attached to the U.S. embassy in Montevideo, with his Tupamaro captors, and cast the Tupamaro kidnapping in a sympathetic light As for the Chilean Movemiento Izquierdu Revolucionario (MIR the Cas t ro regime followed a two-track strategy. Privately, even under the left wing rule of Salvador Allende the Cubans gave material support and training to the ultra-left MIR with or without Allendes knowledge or permission. The MIR openly promoted and attempt ed to carry out a violent revolution even when Allende was in power.
Two years ago, sensing that the government of Chilean President August0 Pinochet Ugarte was in trouble, Castro renewed high-level support for the MIR and the armed wing of the newly milit ant Chilean Communist Party (PCCH) including the provision of training and arms. In July 1986, Chilean police discovered 50 tons of arms hidden in several places on the sparsely populated desert country of Chiles northern coast. The weapons had been broug h t by Cuban fishing boats and were destined for the so-called Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front (FMR), the armed wing of the Chilean Communist Party. With more than 3,000 U.S. and Belgian rifles and nearly 2,000 Soviet rocket launchers traced to Vietnamese a nd Cuban stocks, the FMR unleashed a campaign of terror in Santiago designed to further polarize Chile, thus making it an already difficult transition toward full democracy all but impossible OUTGROWTHS OF 1960s TERRORISM For Castro, however, the experime n t in outright terror was hardly a total loss. By degrees, no doubt, the Cuban leader learned that the Tupamaros and theArgentine Montoneros did not bomb and machine gun entirely in vain. Although, the terrorists did not win or even come close, they manage d to undermine the regimes they were fighting, thus preparing them for a future generation of gunmen.
Defeat served Cubas other purposes, too. At least the cadre of the Southern Cone terrorist organizations were carefully preserved to carry out assignments in other parts of the world as part of Cubas growing international network of terror and subversion.
Not surprisingly then, by the late 1970s, South American terrorists were showing up in Central America and even the Middle East acting as internationalis ts, but in fact in the pay and under the discipline of Havana. And, when and if an opportunity were to arise, the 4 internationalists could be reconverted into nationalists, fighting once more in their home countries In any case, Havana after much trial a n d error, continues to support armed revolutionaries, principally, but not exclusively, in Latin America In practice, this has meant aiding urban terrorists more often than rural guerrillas CENTRAL AMERICAN TERRORISM The Nicaraguan Sandinistas seized power in an insurrection against an unpopular dictator, Anastasio Somoza. Arme.d and abetted by Cuba, this action featured a high incidence of urban warfare with the consequent heavy loss of life. In El Salvador, several factions within the Cuban-backed rebel c o alition, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), began as urban terrorist groups, several of which were trained and armed by Havana. When the security forces cracked down in 1980, the FMLN concentrated its efforts in the countryside. Reversa ls in the rural areas, thanks to sustained U.S. assistance and a reformed Salvadoran military, have led the rebels back to urban operations with the apparent full blessing of Havana.
Though not a priority for Castro, Havana has helped forge a fighting coalition in Honduras from the squabbling extreme leftist groups in March 19
83. Subsequently, both Havana and Managua have provided training and arms to several of these groups particularly the Peoples Revolutionary Union/Popular Liberation Movement, widely known as the Cinchoneros. In September 1981, the Cinchoneros seized control of the Chamber of Commerce building in San Pedro Sula, Hondurass second city, and held several cabinet ministers and over one hundred business leaders as hostages while they deman d ed release of their jailed comrades-in-arms Rekindling the Guatemalan Insurgency. In Guatemala, Cuban support of guerrilla and terrorist groups stretches back to the mid-1960s. In 1981, according to U.S. intelligence, the Cubans trained some 2,000 guerril l as and terrorists. Their weapons were provided by Nicaragua. As one result, the Guatemalan insurgency was rekindled in the 1980s and posed a serious and growing threat to the regime until 1985 Cuban support of terrorism in Costa Rica, meanwhile, has had t h e lowest of profilesin Central America. Havanas chief interest in Costa Rica is preserving the arms and agent network it established in the late 1970s for the overthrow of Nicaraguas Somoza. This network is attempting to destabilize other more vulnerable C entral American countries, El Salvador in particular. On occasion, however, Cuba has provided weapons and training for Costa Rican terrorists directly to the Peoples Revolutionary Movement, which it helped create in 1982 CUBAS TERRORIST NETWORK being the u ltra-adventurist rebel within the Soviet bloc. He has not insulted a Latin Cuba no longer works alone. In marked contrast to the 1960s, Fidel Castro has stopped 5 American communist party in years, and he has become a disciplined member of the anti-Americ an team.
But the Cubans were not the only ones to change The Soviets also learned that supporting revolutionary organizations, including terrorist groups, could be of strategic advantage, providing it were done prudently. In the next ten years the cooperation betw e en Cuba and the Soviet Union became closer and more extensive Its high point came in the mid and late 1970s as Cubans and Soviet forces rolled into Africa in order to safeguard proto-Mdst regimes in Angola, Ethiopia, and Mozambique The Sandinista victory i n Nicaragua touched off further turmoil in the rest of Central America and the Caribbean. Moscow and Havana worked and continue to work closely together, fomenting armed revolts through a combination of urban terrorism and rural guerrilla warfare In March 1982, police raided a terrorist safehouse in the Costa Rican capital, San Jose.
Besides discovering a large cache of weapons destined for El Salvador, the security forces arrested nine members of a Cuban terrorist arms-running network set up in the 1970s: four Salvadorans, two Nicaraguans, a Chilean, a Costa Rican, and their commander, an Argentine Montonero. There is no direct evidence, but the group they arrested apparently had received Cuban support over the years Support for Puerto Rican Terrorists. Y o ung Jamaicans, disguised as brigadistm learning construction skills, were being trained as terrorists in Jamaica in the late 1970s. One such brigadkta, Colin Dennis, in his book The Road Not Taken: Memoils of a Reluctant Guenilla, details his training in C uba in 1980, which was devoted exclusively to urban terrorism, including bank robbery and assaults on police posts. The Eastern Caribbean island of Grenada under Maurice Bishop (who seized power in 1979 with the help of the Cubans) was being turned into a n arsenal principally by the Cubans and Soviets for arms export to the vulnerable democratic governments of the region.
Castro long has supported Puerto Rican terrorist groups. After an FBI investigation of a 1983 Wells Fargo depot robbery, thirteen member s of the Puerto Rican terrorist group, the Macheteros, were arrested in Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and Texas. A federal grand jury in August 1985 indicted seventeen people for the Wells Fargo robbery and for shipping most of the stolen funds to Cuba. One of those indicted, Victor Manuel Gerena, has been given sanctuary in Cuba.
The FBI also learned that the' Castro regime has provided training and sanctuary for a variety of Puerto Rican terrorist groups over the years. Among the weapons given the terroris ts are M-16 rifles and anti-tank rockets traced to stocks that the U.S. abandoned in South Vietnam in 1975.
Soviet and Cuban officers labor together in terrorist training camps in cooperation with other Soviet bloc states. They also work with such noncomm unist, but ,anti-American regimes as Libya and such groups as the Palestine Liberation Organization 6 A sample of Cubas new style internationalism can be gathered from its efforts in remote South Yemen. According to terrorism expert Claire Sterling Barely two months after [the Yom Kippur] war, in December 1973, forty Cuban experts in terrorist warfare arrived secretly in South Yemen. With them was an East German specialist in the field named Hans Fiedler, who had been in Cuba since 19
71. Landing in Aden, they were at once whisked upcountry to a Palestinian guerrilla camp run by Haif Hawatmeh. Second in importance only to Habash and Haddad in the Rejection Front i Hawatmeh had been an orthodox Communist all his political life This network remains in busine s s with the Cubans acting as one of its most active affiliates THE INSTRUMENTS OF TERROR Cuba has developed several secret services, which have trained and supported guerrillas and terrorists. Much of what is known about who and what in the Cuban governmen t supports the terrorist apparatus has been gleaned by U.S. and other Western intelligence agencies from a handful of defectors The DGI and Terrorism The Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI organized in 1961, is the oldest, largest, and best known of Ca s tros intelligence services involved worldwide in aidingterrorists. .The DGI resembles an orthodox intelligence agency. Its more than 2,000 officers collect and analyze information, conduct espionage, and are involved in counterintelligence activities thro u ghout the world. Its agents usually work under cover as Cuban diplomats, and their Centros correspond to KGB residences that also are located physically in their countries embassies. The DGI Centro chief typically operates with complete independence from the resident Cuban ambassador.
The DGI has aided American black militants and the Puerto Rican Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN According to the testimony of a defector, Orlando Hidalgo Castro, the DGI was also involved, in the late 1960s, in aidi ng Latin American revolutionary groups, when most, if not all, were pursuing an urban terrorist strategy for destabilizing South American governments.
Hidalgo Castro described how persons recruited as potential guerrillas and terrorists traveling to Cuba from Latin America would fly first to Paris, since direct connections between Latin America and Cuba did not exist in the 1960s and 1970s. They would remain there while the Centro obtained the necessary false documentation for further travel, either Russi a n or Czech visas. From Paris, the men would fly to Moscow or Prague and from there to Havana where they would be assigned to training camps 1 Claire Sterling, The Temr Network: The Secret War of International Temnsm (New York Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1 9 85 p. 253 7 Terrorist Training Camps. Beginning in the early 1960s, according to Hidalgo Castro his service ran training camps, which instructed as many as 1,500 men a year in guerrilla and terrorist techniques. Once in Havana, the trainees were grouped b y nationality. Usually there were 15 to 25 men in each group, although there could be as few as three. The various nationalities generally were kept apart for security reasons and because the courses given to the different groups varied Little has changed about the camps before or since Hidalgo Castro's experience with them. This has been established by the testimony of numerous 'trainees who either surrendered or defected upon returning to their countries.
A Venezuelan, Juan DeDios Marin, for example, rece ived his training in late 1960, first at a seaside estate named T&ara and then two months later at the infamous Minas del Fiio camp in the Sierra Maestre. He had been lured to Cuba with the promise of a technician's job. There was no such job. He received instruction in weapons, explosives, and such urban terrorists techniques as robbing banks, grabbing payrolls, destroying factories, and killing policemen. He managed to escape by faking epileptic fits and making contact with the Venezuelan consulate while in the hospital Lured to Cuba. A Jamaican, Colin Dennis, tells of a similar experience that occurred in mid-19
80. Like DeDios Marin, Dennis was lured to Cuba by a false promise of travel to the island with no strings attached. After arriving in Cuba, he was taken to a remote camp in the western part of thekland, where for eight weeks he was trained in the use of an assortment of weapons and given instruction in assault techniques especially designed for police stations, banks, and prisons. Both of these men were to be members of urban terrorist squads, one to attack the fledgling democracy in Venezuela, and the other, the anti-communist government formed by the Jamaica Labour Party.
In June 1981, Guatemalan Paulino Castillo told reporters that he had undergone a seven-month training program in Cuba. His =-man group was divided into two sections.
The first was trained in rural guerrilla tactics; the second in urban terrorism. After his training was completed, he returned to Guatemala via Nicaragua, but sub sequently surrendered to a Guatemalan army patrol The DGI and Soviet Involvement In 1961, the DGI apparently was "colonized" by the Soviet Union. The Cuban service, as its East European counterparts, was effectively put under the direction, if not control , of the Soviet KGB.
According to DGI defector Hildago Castro Nlew advisers would be assigned to the DGI. They would also serve as liaison officers between DGI and the Soviet intelligence service For under terms of the agreement, the operations of the DGI would thereafter be more closely coordinated with those of the KGB. DGI 8 virtually became an arm of Soviet intelligence a fact of special value to Russia in regard to operations in the United States, where DGI had been utilizin the stream of Cuban refuge e s as a cover for the infiltration of agents 9 The America Department When Moscow put the DGI under its wing, Castro in 1974 created another intelligence arm, the Departamento de America the America Department. Unlike Cubas other five intelligence services the AD is under Castros immediate control and.a part of the Cuban Communist Partys Central Committee. Nominally, at least, it is subordinate to the Departamento General de Relaciones Extenoms (DGRE From its creation, the America Department has been led by U.S.-educated Manuel Pineiro Losada, a close confidante of Castros since the Sierra Maestre days.
While the DGI relies on numbers operating worldwide usually within Cuban embassies the AD has fewer than 300 agents working in relatively few, carefully selected target countries within the Western Hemisphere, taking on only those assignments that Castro gives maximum priority.
The Departmento de America has been responsible for Castros most conspicuous successes in the Western Hemisphere. Examples The Cuban Ambassador to Grenada, an ADagent, between 1979 and 1983, directed the subversive efforts of the Ma urice Bishop regime closely, including plans to destabilize the eastern Caribbean by shipping clandestine arms to the regions leftists In Central America, beginning in 1978, AD agents put together a complicated gun running network that snaked through at l e ast two Central American countries before the weapons arrived in Nicaragua to aid the Sandinista rebels After the Sandinistas seized power, the same AD network continued to run arms into El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala Many analysts believe that AD o f ficers stationed in Panama (a key post for the department) are supervising the arms shipments from Cuba to Panama It isassumed.these weapons are meant to bolster Panamas strongman, General Manuel Antonio Noriega As with the DGI, AD agents are assigned to C uban embassies and missions in the Western Hemisphere, although a few may have had assignments in Europe. An estimated two or three AD agents are assigned to each mission including Cubas interests section in Washington, D.C and Cubas mission to the United Nations in New York City. High priority countries, such as Panama, may have as many as six officers 2 Orlando Hidalgo Castro, Spy for Fidel (Miami: E. A. Seeman Publishing, lnc 1971 pp. 39-40 9 As in the DGI, AD personnel do not have to report to their am b assador unless he is a member of the Depcutamenfo. Unlike the DGI, at least four Cuban chiefs of mission, past and present, have been identified as AD agents including Ulises Estrada in Jamaica, Julian Enrique Rizo in Grenada, Osvaldo Cardenas in Suriname , and currently, Julian Lopez Diaz in Nicaragua.
According to Radio Marti News Department Director Jay Mallin A major responsibility ofthe AD is to facilitate military and sabotage training for pro-fidelista clandestine and guerrilla groups. The AD brings members of these organizations to Cuba and then gets them back home.
It provides them with weapons, explosives and other materials. Actual transportation and training may not be done by the AD but by troops.of the Special Operations Directorate [located w ithin the Ministry of the 1nterior1.3 The ADS status has continued to rise, primarily because it was instrumental in giving Castro his one clear-cut victory in Nicaragua after two long decades of failure there and elsewhere FUTURE OF CUBAN TERRORISM Spons orship of terrorism is a longstanding and major part of Cubas foreign policy. It is likely, in fact, that Cuba will increase its terrorism, particularly if it achieves some successes.
Training and supporting small bands of terrorists, often with third coun try weapons (such as from Vietnam costs relatively little. Moreover, because of Havanas chronic and mounting economic failures, it is unlikely that the Castro regime will undertake major new commitments in foreign policy other than helping already favored revolutionary (but operationally terrorist) groups.
Havana also may be encouraged to continue its support of terrorism because of new restraints imposed on the U.S. counterterrorist program. The U.S. Congress is considering measures that further restrict the foreign policy operations of the Executive Branch, thus making it even more difficult for the U.S. to react to terrorism. The American anti-terrorist campaign, moreover, was never directed at Cuba, but at more obvious offenders; suchsas Libyas Muammar Qadhafi POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS Cuban terrorism is perhaps more dangerous than the Iraniasor Libyan variety because the U.S. public is not aware of it. Since Castro avoids the sorts of terrorist acts that make headlines, U.S. officials are unable to build t he consensus necessary to punish Cuba for three decades of sponsoring terrorism worldwide. Measures the U.S. should consider to deal with Cuban terrorism, therefore, should include 3 The Washington 7imes, October 25,1983 10 Calling Attention to Cuba's Ter r orism. Publicity is the key to containing Castro-style terrorism. Despite its long involvement in promoting violence, Havana has never been spotlighted as have Libya's Muammar Qadhafi or Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. The Central American public affairs offic e in the State Department needs to be expanded and reorganized. More attention must be paid to publicizing Cuban terrorist activities worldwide, not just in Latin America Informing the Cuban People. Greater efforts can be made to expose Cuban terrorism on R adio Marti, the U.S. government's alternate radio service to Cuba. The Cuban people should be told about Cuban involvement in terrorism 3 Investigating Cuban Activities. The U.S. Senate should reactivate the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Security a nd Terrorism. The subcomhittee should convene hearings on Cuban terrorism and then set priorities for the counterterrorism policy counterterrorism policy must pay more attention to Cuba. Top attention is still given to Iran and Libya Reforming Counterterr o rist Policy. Besides more effective publicity, U.S Ending Diplomatic Relations with Cuba. Since 1978, the U.S. has pursued a policy of quasi-diplomatic relations with Cuba. Each country has, in effect, an embassy in each other's capital in the form of an " interest section" under the control of another embassy In the case of the Cuban interest section in Washington, it is formally part of the Czech embassy. In Havana, the U.S. interest section is part of the Swiss embassy. It is time to consider ending even this tenuous relationship with the terrorist country nearest U.S shores.
Prepared for The Heritage Foundation by Roger Fontaine a Washington writer; formerly a member of the National Security Council staff 11