127. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

5511. Subject: Ambassador Hartman’s Luncheon with Korniyenko. Ref: State 004570.2

1. (S—Entire text).

2. During upcoming luncheon with Korniyenko, Ambassador should discuss Poland, reiterating general approach set forth in the President’s statements, his letter to Brezhnev, and the Secretary’s letter to Gromyko and double-tracking Under Secretary Stoessel’s protest of Soviet jamming of VOA broadcasts to Poland reftel. In order to underline our continuing concern over Soviet support for Cuban interventionism in Latin America and Africa, you should also raise this issue with Korniyenko. Talking points on both subjects follow.

[Page 408]

3. Poland:

—I want to reiterate the concerns expressed in the letters of President Reagan and Secretary Haig about the situation in Poland.

—I could go on at length about the Soviet role in the present repression in that country, but I don’t want to engage in that debate today.

—Your country’s influence over events in Poland is well known, and that is why my government has called on you to help bring about an end to martial law and the restoration of internationally recognized rights. This can be the basis for resumption of a process of national reconciliation in Poland.

—The U.S. actions announced on December 293 represent a measured response to what has transpired thus far, and to President Brezhnev’s unhelpful reply to President Reagan’s letter of December 24.4 We hope that these are the only steps we will have to take.

—As was affirmed in the White House statement of December 29, the U.S. remains committed to a high-level dialogue with your country, and we still hope to be able to make progress on the agenda of regional and arms control issues established by Secretary Haig and Foreign Minister Gromyko in their September meetings.

—Your actions with respect to Poland in the coming weeks will be taken by us as an indication of whether your country is sincerely committed to moving the US-Soviet relationship forward.

—In this regard, I would like to reiterate what Under Secretary Stoessel told Ambassador Dobrynin about the jamming of Voice of America broadcasts in Polish which has been taking place in the past several weeks from facilities within the Soviet Union, specifically from Kharkov, Kaliningrad, and a location near Moscow. This activity is totally unacceptable.

—Such jamming (for that matter, all jamming) is a flagrant violation of the USSR’s commitments under the Helsinki Final Act, Article 35 of the International Telecommunication Convention, and Article 19 of the U.N. Human Rights Declaration.

VOA broadcasts do not subversive [sic] activity as has been repeatedly alleged in crude propaganda attacks by the Soviet media. VOA carries objective news and information now denied Polish people by their own government-controlled press.

—We demand that these illegal jamming activities cease immediately. As we have stated in the past, we reserve the right to take [Page 409] necessary and appropriate actions to protect our broadcasting interests, should the jamming continue.

4. Cuba/Central America:

—We have carefully reviewed President Brezhnev’s October 16 [15] letter to President Reagan 5 calling on us to leave Cuba alone and normalize relations with it and asserting that Cuba represents no threat to the vital interests of the United States. We note further that President Brezhnev made the same points in his December 1 letter to President Reagan.6

—In response to this and other denials of hostile Cuban activity, we must affirm that Cuba’s actions do represent a threat, not only to the United States, but to the vital interest that all nations have in maintaining peace and reducing tensions. I want—in response to President Brezhnev’s letters—to outline to you the areas in which Cuba’s actions cause us serious concern. I do this in the context of looking for means to reduce tensions.

—Because Cuban activities would collapse without Soviet support, the USSR bears a special responsibility for Cuba’s continuing threat to peace. Cuba’s aggressive interventions in Africa and the Caribbean are not acceptable to us. The purpose of any talks with Cuba can only be to end this unacceptable behavior. In that context the U.S. would be ready to address Cuba’s interests. At the same time, U.S.-Soviet relations will continue to be damaged unless Cuba and its friends begin to act responsibly.

The following Cuban activities are of primary concern to us:

. . continued Cuban troop presence in Angola and Cuban refusal to withdraw troops in parallel with South African withdrawal from Namibia. Given recent forward movement toward an internationally acceptable settlement, attention must focus on this obstacle. The chance to remove it is a real opportunity for statesmanship;

. . maintenance of Cuban forces in Ethiopia and South Yemen;

. . the build-up of military forces in Cuba capable of projecting power beyond the environs of the island;

. . Cuban interference in the internal affairs of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Colombia through support of guerrilla groups;

. . Cuban dispatch of larger numbers of military and security personnel to Nicaragua, its assistance in the Nicaraguan Armed Forces’ build-up to levels endangering regional security, and its cooperation [Page 410] with guerrilla groups which use Nicaragua as a headquarters and supply center.

—I hope to discuss each in detail in coming weeks. Today I would like to talk in more detail about Nicaragua:

. . Of the 5500–6000 Cuban advisors now in Nicaragua, some 1800 are military and security personnel. This stands in sharp contrast to our 35 military instructors in El Salvador.

. . The continued flow of arms and ammunition into Nicaragua has facilitated a build-up of Nicaragua’s Armed Forces to regionally unprecedented levels—three times the size of Somoza’s Armed Forces (24,000 active duty personnel, 50,000 reserve forces/militia; southern neighbor Costa Rica has no Armed Forces, Northern neighbor Honduras has 11,000). Realization of plans to have 50,000 active duty personnel and 200,000 reservists/militia would be profoundly destabilizing to the region.

. . Nicaraguan Foreign Minister D’Escoto has told Secretary Haig that Soviet Combat Aircraft will not be delivered. This is good news. A moratorium on delivery of additional weapons and ammunition in general would be a sign of good faith that there is no intention to disrupt the regional military balance. An understanding not to provide additional heavy offensive weapons would also be useful.

. . But this, in itself, is not enough. Other elements of the problem are equally important. At present, the more than 1,500 Cuban military and internal-security advisors in Nicaragua contribute to regional concern over excessive Nicaraguan military expansion, Sandinista persecution of independent elements of the population, and support for foreign guerrillas. The number of these advisors should be immediately reduced to minimal levels.

. . A further threat to the region is created by the Salvadoran and other guerrilla groups which maintain their headquarters and communications facilities in and receive their arms from Nicaragua. These foreign guerrilla activities in Nicaragua, which are supported by Cuba and which aim at interfering in the internal affairs of other states, should cease.

—Unless the situation in Central America is altered in some of the ways I have suggested, the tension characterizing the region will continue and will build. The prospect of a wider and more serious confrontation is real. It is not a prospect we seek; it is not a prospect we welcome. We wish to see early significant changes in the pattern of activities I have described. I welcome your thoughts.

5. Afghanistan: Should Korniyenko raise subject of Afghanistan, you should underline our concern over recent Soviet troop reinforcements and continued Soviet pressure on Pakistan and indicate that any [Page 411] Soviet escalation of the Afghanistan conflict will provoke a response. You should not, however, be drawn into discussion of Dobrynin’s October 31 demarche to the Secretary7 or the reference in the President’s letter of November 18 [17]8 to our intention to discuss Afghanistan further with the Soviets. If pressed by Korniyenko, you should reply that Afghanistan will undoubtedly be discussed by Secretary Haig and Gromyko at Geneva.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, N820001–0208. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Sent Immediate for information to Warsaw and to the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. Drafted by Vershbow, Napper, and Glassman; cleared by Stoessel, Scanlan, Eagleburger, Sestanovich, Azrael, Enders, Veliotes, Simons, and Bremer; approved by Haig.
  2. In telegram 4570 to Moscow, January 8, the Department reported that Stoessel called in Dobrynin on January 7 to deliver a démarche on Soviet jamming of Voice of America broadcasts in Polish. (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, D820088–0360)
  3. See footnote 2, Document 125.
  4. See attachment, Document 123, and Document 122.
  5. See Document 93.
  6. See Document 108.
  7. See Document 109.
  8. See the attachment to Tab A, Document 103.