US to Cuba: don't meddle in affairs of Caribbean basin countries
The United States has issued yet another warning to Cuba, this time coupling it with a 37-page ''research paper'' on Cuban ''support for violence in the Hemisphere.''
Thomas O. Enders, assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, told the Senate Subcommittee on Western Hemispheric Affairs Dec. 14 that the emphasis of American policy in Central America and the Caribbean should be on collective action.
But in presenting the State Department's latest paper on Cuba to the subcommittee, Mr. Enders also warned: ''We will not accept, we do not believe the countries of the region will accept, that the future of the Caribbean basin be manipulated from Havana. It must be determined by the countries themselves.''
Enders accused Nicaragua of serving as a ''platform'' for Cuban intervention throughout Central America. Nicaragua, he said, ''continues to be deeply involved in logistics and other support for the insurgency in El Salvador.''
The assistant secretary said that recently the US tried by diplomatic means to achieve a rapprochement with Nicaragua and that it does not close the door on future attempts.
But Enders opted for vagueness when questioned by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) of Connecticut concerning the possibility of military action against Nicaragua.
''We do not exclude any options as part of our planning, but whether they are being considered is another matter,'' the State Department official said.
Enders asserted that there were more than 1,500 Cuban military and security advisers in Nicaragua, or, according to State Department estimates, twice the number present at the start of the year. He added that ''more tanks are reported on their way. Preparations for the receipt of MIGs are well advanced.''
Enders revealed that President Reagan is preparing for submission to Congress early next year ''a far-reaching package of proposals'' for the economic development of the Caribbean basin countries, which might include ''unimpeded access'' to the US market, at least for a defined period of time.
Enders repeated allegations contained in a much debated El Salvador white paper prepared by the State Department early this year. He said that Cuba played a key role in coordinating the acquisition and delivery to Salvadoran guerrillas of arms from Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Eastern Europe through Nicaragua. He contended that the arms flow continues and that in addition, the Cubans over the past year have established a network of small ships to deliver arms to Salvadoran insurgent groups.
At a recent conference in Washington, D.C., Ramon Sanchez-Parodi, head of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington denied that Cuba had funneled ''Soviet arms'' to El Salvador. But, according to the State Department, Soviet arms are not the issue, and Sanchez-Parodi pointedly did not deny that the Cubans may have been involved in helping to funnel other types of weapons to El Salvador.
Enders said that the State Department paper on Cuba described Cuban activities that are either publicly known or can be revealed without jeopardizing intelligence sources and methods. The New York Times, in a report, on Nov. 5, said that there is some dispute in the intelligence community as to exactly what role Cuba is playing in El Salvador. The Defense Intelligence Agency was reported to be arguing that Cuba was still directly involved in the supply of men and arms. Specialists in the Central Intelligence Agency were said to maintain that there is no strong evidence to support this.