229. Circular airgram CA–10071 to Moscow, March 181

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  • Amembassy CARACAS


  • Cuban Propaganda and Subversive Activities Venezuela

Embassy may find useful in conversations Soviet officials draw upon following summary of terrorism and sabotage Venezuela since October in relation to overt Cuban inflammatory propaganda directed Venezuela during same period:

1. Following October 1962 bombing Creole oil fields Castro/Communist-led terrorist and extremist activity Venezuela continued at alarming rate despite increased efforts GOV halt them. These paramilitary acts reached highest point in weeks just prior President Betancourt’s February 19–28 trip to US. Most colorful and best publicized effort was hijacking Venezuelan merchant ship Anzoategui in mid-February. Other major incidents include brazen January theft five valuable paintings on loan GOV, successful bombings several US business interests (Sears Roebuck and Dupont paint warehouses); and early March sabotage of a Creole pipeline. Minor acts of terrorism in Caracas and rural areas are almost daily occurrences. Principal organization carrying out this paramilitary activity is communist dominated, Castro-oriented FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation). GOV convinced Castro and Communists are supporting and encouraging this activity in Venezuela.

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2. Appeals for violent revolution in Venezuela have long occupied dominant place Castro-Cuba propaganda output. Calls for armed struggle have been particularly vehement in speeches by regime leaders since October–November 1962 missile crisis. Frequently, Havana sponsored meetings of hemispheric communists and leftists have provided forum from which to attack Betancourt government. In November a “week of solidarity with the Venezuelan people” (November 17–21) was officially declared. Cuban Education Minister Armando Hart closed this week of anti-Betancourt tirades with harangue in which he pledged Cuba’s “solidarity with Venezuela is not a solidarity of words.” Referring to Venezuelan communists and leftists in his January 2 speech, Castro said “The imperialists were given evidence of what [Typeset Page 553] revolutionary solidarity is—active solidarity of revolutionaries who do not sit in their doorways to wait for the corpse of their enemy to pass by, of revolutionaries who understand that the duty of all revolutionaries is to create the revolution.” Other Cuban leaders have spoken in similar vein. At the March 1 Venezuelan-Cuban solidarity meeting Larazo Pena, Secretary General of the Revolutionary Cuban Workers Organization, thanked Venezuelan people for striking at Venezuelan oil installations during missile crisis. Pena, like Hart, Castro, Roca, Guevara and others have urged Venezuelans to follow the Cuban example under the leadership of Venezuelan Communist Party and the MIR (Movimiento Izquierda Revolucionario).

  1. Cuban propaganda and subversive activities in Venezuela. Confidential. 2 pp. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Venezuela, March–May 1963.