370. Memorandum From Robert Pastor of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski), the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Aaron), and Henry Owen of the National Security Council Staff1


  • CIA Paper on the Caribbean (U)

The CIA has done an excellent paper on the problems in the Caribbean, the Cuban/Soviet response to these problems, and implications for US policy. I attach the summary of the paper because it is good and brief.2 I also attach the Table of Contents in case you may be interested in reading the full paper. One additional point I would like to make concerns the amount of resources going to the region. The Soviets are giving $3 billion a year to Cuba, and a fair amount of that is being used by Cuba to implement its own aid programs to the region. The CIA estimates that the Cubans have a $32 million aid program to Jamaica, comparable to the size of our own aid program. The Cubans will probably have a larger aid program, and certainly more personnel in Nicaragua than the USG will be able to muster. The French have given about $2.4 billion to its smaller territories—Guadeloupe and Martinique—in the Caribbean, and the Dutch gave about $616 million to Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. We are giving approximately $1 billion to Puerto Rico in aid, and about $75 or $80 million a year to the rest of the Caribbean. We are currently struggling with the budgetary issue of increasing aid to the Caribbean by about $20 million this year. This will give you an idea of the reason why we are having difficulty influencing developments in the Caribbean.3 (S)

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 46, Latin America, 11/79. Secret. Sent for information. Copies were sent to Griffith, Brement, and Odom. A stamped notation indicates Brzezinski saw the memorandum.
  2. Dated November 1979; attached but not printed.
  3. At the bottom of the page, Owen wrote, “Our experience in other regions doesn’t give much reason to believe that a large increase in aid would give us much influence. What aid does at most, is to improve long-term economic prospects. That doesn’t seem to be the main problem in the Caribbean at the moment.”