Cuba: Released CIA Papers from 1993 Give Insight
In my attempt to re-establish a list of links over there to the right, I came across the CIA Freedom of Information site, which publishes once classified CIA documents, once they are made public. There is nothing too recent, but this 1993 assessment titled, "Cuba: The Outlook For Castro and Beyond" is way fascinating. The CIA can be called many things, but it is a damn good window into US Foreign Policy thinking and objectives... which doesn't change with Democrats or Republicans in the White House.
Written at the height of the Post-Soviet crash depression (they saw a 33% drop in GDP - the Great Depression saw just a 12" dip), CIA analysts thought counter-revolution was right around the corner. In this context we read the following:
"There is a better than even chance that Castro's Government will fall within the next few years" Oops, a bit off here on the critcal question, as they have been since the 1960s.
"Almost all succession scenarios are likely to entail substantial and possibly protracted instability and large-scale emigration to the US, while generating demands for US involvement.... The new era will be marred by retributory and other violence." I didn't read that in the new "Plan for Transformation."
"With few exceptions, exile political leaders are likely to find scant support on the island and will probably be treated with suspicion and hostility if they are perceived as trying to seize control. Demands to purge Castro Officials is likely to arouse fierce opposition." Somebody better tell Miami
".. the economy will probably continue declining through 1996." Actually things began getting better in 1994 and by 1996, a 7.6% GDP growth rate was achieved.
"in his efforts to manage the domestic crisis, Castro often functions in a practical, rational and flexible manner... and has made no serious tactical errors."
On the risks of dollarization reforms (now retracted): "The benefits will be unevenly spread.... Regime loyalists are the least likely to have relatives willing to send them money... The ability of dissidents to hold dollars will remove a key instrument of repression and could enable them to operate more effectively."
"Relief from the US trade embargo has gained importance for Castro."
"If the US lifted the embargo... Cuba would benefit in the following ways: 1) Savings on lower prices and shipping costs. 2) Increased tourism, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, 3) Addition foreign investment and increased emigre remittances."
On the embargo: "Most political dissidents oppose it... (because) it ties them to a hostile US policy that hurts the average Cuban."
"Between 100 and 200 activists and more than 1,000 supporters are involved with organized dissident groups that span the ideological spectrum."
Then, when discussing the "dissidents," there is the biggest blacked out section of the report. Wonder what is being discussed there?
"Military units... have never been used against civilians." Then there are in depth assessments of a military rebellion and coup, which they see as unlikely but the best hope for regime change.