348. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski) to President Carter1
- The Need for a Comprehensive Approach to the Caribbean
I have asked my staff to write brief analyses for your use on issues which they see looming on the horizon. The attached paper (Tab A) on the Caribbean focuses on a region of great importance to the United States at a time of great economic and political uncertainty; it also suggests a way to approach the issue which is different than the bilateral approach, which we would probably turn to instinctively.
Given the importance of the region and the need to approach its problems systematically and comprehensively, a PRM on this subject would probably be useful. We have found PRC meetings most productive when the PRM terms of reference set out relatively clear goals and request options for attaining them from the agencies.
With that in mind, I have restated some of the directions which are suggested in the attached study as a way to solicit your guidance on ways to approach the issue.
If you approve, Mrs. Carter’s trip could provide a good opportunity to float some of these ideas, particularly with the Presidents of Venezuela and Jamaica.
That a Policy Review Memorandum requesting an interagency study of options to deal with the problems of the Caribbean in a comprehensive manner should be sent out.[Page 863]
2. That the comprehensive approach should be multilateral.
a. Including a multilateral consortium of donors.
b. And be channeled through a regional mechanism like the Caribbean Development Bank.
3. That consideration should be given to proposing an international conference to deal with the problems of new and small nations.
4. Mrs. Carter could broach these ideas in her trip to Latin America.2
- Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 45, Folder: Latin America, 1–8/77. Confidential. Sent for action. Printed from an uninitialed copy. Although no drafting information appears on the memorandum, Pastor forwarded a draft to Brzezinski on April 26, noting that it had been “written in response to your request for short three-five page, medium to long-term, political and/or economic analyses.” “As you may recall,” he added, “you approved my request to write an analysis on the Caribbean in late-February, but only now have I had the opportunity to write it. In some ways, the time for such an analysis is not only opportune, but urgent. The other day, I heard that Ray Marshall and Griffin Bell are apparently proposing a $100 million plan for the Caribbean to deal with the illegal alien issue in just the piecemeal and haphazard manner which I criticize directly in my paper.” In a marginal comment, Inderfurth suggested circulating the memorandum to “Hormats and Hansen before submission to the President.” Aaron agreed and instructed Inderfurth to “return to Pastor and circulate.” (Ibid.) Hansen’s handwritten comments on the attached paper are provided below.↩
- None of the items for consideration was checked; however, in the margin, Aaron wrote, “After we do the PRM, we can answer these questions.” No PRM for the Caribbean was written.↩
- Confidential. At the top of the page, a handwritten note reads, “Roger Hansen’s comments.”↩
- Hansen wrote in the margin under this point, “Can the Soviets afford another Cuba? Do they want one? Without some analysis, this ¶ unconvincing.”↩
- Hansen underlined this parenthetical comment and wrote in the margin, “Emphasizes need for dropping or rewording security ¶ on p. 1.”↩
- Hansen underlined this sentence and wrote in the margin, “I suspect this conclusion is quite wrong. Where do you envision ‛multilateral burden-sharing’ to come from?”↩
- Hansen wrote in the margin under this point, “With Cuba the model? Amount & origin of external resources will reflect domestic choices.”↩
- Hansen wrote at the end of the paper, “These seem like policy guidelines in an empirical vacuum. Where will $ come from? What will they be spent on? What can be said about appropriate directions for Caribbean development? What levels of intra-Caribbean cooperation are needed? How would they be evolved? A ‛Marshall’ Plan for the Caribbean is really a non-sequitur in so many ways that it highlights more fundamental problems than it serves as an appropriate model. It is both the ‛quick fix’ orientation and the implicit policies in the presentation which I simply don’t agree with. I would only concur in a memo which proposed a study asking appropriate questions but not assuming answers, e.g. ‛mobilize sufficient external resources,’ ‛multilateral consortia,’ etc.”↩