100. Central Intelligence Agency Intelligence Information Cable1

TDFIR DB–315/01635–80


  • Ethiopia/Cuba


  • Cuban Decision to Maintain Current Troop Levels in Ethiopia in Face of Expected U.S. Base Rights in Somalia


  • [2½ lines not declassified]

1. [less than 1 line not declassified] January 1980, a senior Cuban military officer met with Ethiopian Minister of Defense, Brigadier General Tesfaye Gebre Kidan. During the discussion, the Cuban officer informed General Tesfaye that the Cuban First Vice President of the Councils of State and Ministers, General Raul Castro Ruz, was in favor of withdrawing some Cuban troops from Ethiopia, but had decided to maintain current levels as he believed the United States would gain base rights in Berbera, Somalia. The senior Cuban officer stated that he would have agreed to withdraw some Cuban troops from Ethiopia, but he too recommended that the situation be studied further before any action was taken to withdraw Cuban troops. (Field comment: Source was unable to identify the senior Cuban officer but he believed the officer to be General Ochoa, commanding general of all Cuban military personnel in Ethiopia.)

2. (Field comment: The same source said General Tesfaye made no response to the troop decision announced by the senior Cuban officer.)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Staff Material, Horn/Special, Box 4, 1/80. Secret; [handling restrictions not declassified]. Sent to the White House Situation Room, Department of State, National Foreign Affairs Center (CIA), DIA, NSC, NSA and Joint Chiefs of Staff.