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present regime in Panama is basically pro-Marxist and is determined to pursue its goal of createing a "revolutionary progressive-socialist” state. Unfortunately, so many Americans are terribly naive as to what course Panama is taking, just as many foolishly believed Castro was only an “agrarian reformer.” Cuban influence has also grown steadily in Jamaica and Guyana and will continue to increase in Panama whether or not we ratify the treaties.
The statement by General Taylor and Admiral Zumwalt would be laughable were it not so serious. Apparently, these gentlemen seemed to have learned little about Soviet strategy despite their distinguished military careers. The primary goal of the Soviets, wherever they are trying to increase their influence, is to get rid of the United States presence in that region-particularly where a strategic location is concerned. Nothing can be more important to the Soviets (as a strategic first step), than to eliminate the United States' presence in Panama. These treaties give the Soviets precisely what they want: no more U.S. control over the most strategic waterway in the Western Hemisphere.
Certainly as Taylor and Zumwalt implied, the Soviets could make political capital from a U.S. rejection of the treaties. However, faced with the prospect of continued U.S. control of the Canal versus a power vacuum that could be exploited by the Cubans and Soviets, which would be more to the communist advantage? The answer is obvious. No outcome could better suit the Soviets' strategic designs than to have the United States withdraw from Panama and turn over control of the Canal to a friendly, pro-Marxist regime. With these treaties, we have already given the Soviets a great reason for rejoicing. Defeat of these treaties would be a major setback for the Soviets and the Communist Party (Peoples Party) in Panama—both, incidentally, have endorsed and fully support the treaties.
Furthermore, the Soviets will be able to exploit politically the United States presence in Panama for the next twenty-three years. There is substantial opposition in Panama (led by the communists) against the U.S. remaining in the Canal Zone until the year 2000. If the past is prologue, there is little doubt that the Communists will engage in protests and violence to extricate the U.S. from the "sacred motherland" sooner than the pull-out deadline. There is little that these treaties do not provide in terms of accommodating both the political and strategic goals of the Communists.
Finally, if neutralizing an issue the communists can exploit politically becomes the major criterion for making important foreign policy decisions, then we can convince ourselves that we should withdraw from every strategic spot in the world where Communists protest our presence (which is just about everywhere). There is only one thing that tyrants genuinely respect and that is strength. Capitulation and weakness only brings us contempt and disrespect from the communists as well as our allies. The U.S. should be more concerned gaining the respect of other nations than of projecting a "nice guy" image, even at the expense of our own interests. It seems the "nicer" we try to be, the more everyone despises and takes advantage of us.
SCHIZOPHRENIC FOREIGN POLICY This obsession with imagery actually touches on a more fundamental issue: What is the United States' strategy in the world today? It seems that our foreign policy is rather schizophrenic. In Latin America, we are doing our best to alienate our allies by cutting off economic or military assistance; we humiliate and condemn them constantly, while at the same time we utter not a word about human rights violations in Cuba, Panama and Jamaica and, simultaneously, court these left-wing regimes. In Asia, we are incrementally selling-out our allies in Korea and Taiwan, while prostituting ourselves to accommodate the wishes of the tyrants in Peking. Our natural allies in Africa, Rhodesia and South Africa, are our major targets of abuse, threats and unreasonable pressure to succumb to ill-conceived solutions lacking any popular support. Israel is being pressured to make unrealistic and dangerous concessions, while the Soviets and the PLO are given unwarranted consideration. Even one-third of West German territory appears expendable by official U.S. strategists in the event of a Soviet attack.
It seems we have an obsession to treat our friends like our enemies and our enemies like our friends. Our foreign policy has gradually shifted from containment to detente and now to appeasement. No compromise seems too great so long as we can hang on to an illusory peace, yet the dogs of war continue to hound us and our allies have almost lost hope that the U.S. can be relied upon to defend peace and freedom.
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Withdrawal from Panama is not just symbolic of this worldwide retreat, it represents the worst of what is a misguided non-strategy of capitulation. It is in this larger, worldwide context that the Panama issue should be viewed. Ratification of these treaties will affirm concretely, for both friends and foe, a bankrupt foreign policy void of any commitment to protect the interests of this nation and the peace and security of the Free World.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much, Mr. Jarmin. We appreciate your appearance here today.
Mr. JARMIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Our next witness is Dr. Herminio Portell-Vila, editor, Radio Free Americas, American Security Council, Washington, D.C.
I am afraid I did not handle your name very well, sir. Mr. FISH. Mr. Chairman, excuse me. I am former Congressman Hamilton Fish and I was wondering if I would be heard this afternoon?
The CHAIRMAN. Congressman Fish, we know you, of course. You are next on our list of witnesses today.
Why we all served with you in the House some time ago. It's so nice to see you again. Why don't you come on up to the table and sit there?
Mr. Fish. I want to listen to the gentleman present his statement. The CHAIRMAN. Yes, by all means, please listen to him.
We are very glad to see you here. Both Senators Case and I served in the House with you.
Mr. FISH. Are you going to have an afternoon meeting!
The CHAIRMAN. We will, but it will be an executive session to hear the Secretary of State on another matter.
Mr. Fish. Did I have to come all the way down here from New York after all my years of service in the Congress to talk to two or three Senators?
The last time I talked before the Foreign Relations Committee, everyone was present. Afterwards, many years later, Senator Pell put in a tribute to me and to the testimony I gave.
I have studied the Communist phenomenon for 40 years and I only want to talk on communism, an issue that has not been raised at all in these hearings before your committee.
TRIBUTE TO FORMER CONGRESSMAN HAMILTON FISH Senator Case. Let me put a tribute in the record for you right now. Come on up here because I don't want you to miss this.
Do you remember when you were somewhat younger and I was, too, and you were first running for Congress from the old district which included Poughkeepsie? You came as a fresh, bright, and shining young athlete from Harvard down to our high school football practice and coached us. Rip Flannery was our coach and you took us in charge for that season. That didn't hurt your campaign any. Do you remember that?
Mr. Fish. I remember that very well.
Senator CASE. I wanted to thank vou for doing that. I was one of the young kids. You were one of the all-time greats.
Mr. Fish. Thank God I am alive today.
Senator Case. Thank God you are. And you know, you have a wonderful boy who is carrying on in the same district which you served so well.
We want to hear you very much, so please be patient with us.
I have sent my speech, of course, to every Senator and to press all over the country because I will be talking about something the people are entitled to know about. You are going to turn this canal over to Communists, who are the most monstrous form of government in the world. They are and have been our bitterest enemy, against which we have spent over $1 trillion.
We are turning the Caribbean into a Communist lake and I want to give you the reasons why, even if there is only one Senator here.
Senator Case. Mr. Congressman, we all very much want to hear you. There are three of us and we very much want to hear you.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, Mr. Portell-Vila, we are glad to hear from you at this time.
[Mr. Portell-Vila's biography follows.] BIOGRAPHY OF DR. HERMINIO PORTELL-VILA, EDITOR, RADIO FREE AMERICAS,
AMERICAN SECURITY COUNCIL To most of the leaders of the Spanish-speaking Americas, his name is a by-word for authoritative reporting. To Fidel Castro, he is the one-time history teacher who flunked Cuba's Red dictator in history at the University of Havana. To others, here is his story in summary:
Education.-Degrees in law and Ph. D., University of Havana (1927 and 1934, respectively), LL.D. "honoris causa", University of Cuzco, Peru, 1949.
Academic Honors.-Guggenheim Fellow in History, 1931-33, and 1935; Chubb Fellow, Yale University, 1957; Rockefeller Foundation Grantee, 1960; University of Florida, Diploma of Inter-American Scholarship, 1960.
Decorations.-Cuba, France, Brazil, Haiti, Spain.
Travels.-All of the countries of Latin America, plus Jamaica, Trinidad, Canada, and all of the United States, including Puerto Rico. Also Western Europe.
Languages.-Spanish, English, Portuguese, French and Italian.
Teaching Experience.—University of Havana (1939–60); Cuban National War College (1946–52); Black Mountain College, N.C. (1935–39); University of California at Los Angeles (1940) : University of Florida (1960-61).
Lecturer.—The George Washington University (1933); University of Chicago (1941); Yale University (1957); American University (1962–65): The Hoover Institute, Stanford University (1964); The Mott Foundation, University of Michigan (1964); The Council of Foreign Relations (1960–61): The Foreign Policy Association (1960–61): Foreign Policy Institute of the Department of State (1961–67) ; The U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania (1964): The Inter-American Defense College (1963-66); The National War College (1965-66); etc.
Diplomacy.—Counselor of Cuban Embassy in Madrid (1933–34) : Plenipotentiary Delegate of Cuba with rank of Ambassador to the VII Inter-American Conference of American States, Montevideo (1933); Delegate to the IV Pan American Commercial Congress. Washington. D.C. (1931); Delegate Alternate to the Conference of the CEPAL, Havana, (1948): and to the Conference of UNESCO, Havana (1949); Delegate to the Inter-American Congress of Indigenists, Cuzco, Peru (1949); etc.
Journalism.-Regular contributor to Bohemia, of Havana, for nearly 30 years and to El Mundo, Havana, for 11 years. World news commentator over the radio (1938–60) and T.V. (1950–60) with a daily program. From 1941 to 1945. the radio program was sponsored by the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs to cover Latin America during World War II. Since 1961, hroadcasting tn Latin America for the Voice of America and WWL, New Orleans, for Free Cuba Radio.
STATEMENT OF HERMINIO PORTELL-VILA, EDITOR, RADIO FREE
AMERICAS, AMERICAN SECURITY COUNCIL, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Mr. PORTELL-VILA. Honorable Chairman, distinguished members of the Committee on Foreign Relations, ladies and gentlemen, much has been said in recent days about the manner in which the United States established its presence in the Panama Canal Zone. It has been alleged that the United States "stole” the territory in order to build the canal.
Let us begin at the beginning, for to understand the present, we must know the past.
The Republic of Panama came into being in 1903 as a result of the plans of President Theodore Roosevelt for the United States to build an interoceanic canal across the Isthmus of Panama after the French had tried and failed.
The French rights were bought by the United States. Panama had, up to then, been an integral part of Colombia, although there had been some unsuccessful secessionist attempts. The first American dealings with Colombia for an agreement regarding the Panama Canal ended in a deadlock, and not much foreign prodding was needed for a revolution leading to the proclamation of independence.
The Panama Canal has been in operation since August 15, 1914. For more than 60 years it has functioned efficiently and peacefully.
CANAL SECURITY IMPORTANCE
There can be no question that the security of the Panama Canal is vitally important to the United States. Neither can there be any doubt that the canal is in more danger now than at any time before because of Soviet air and naval bases and also garrisons in Cuba, with the Soviet Union dominating the Castro regime, an avowed enemy of the United States.
Arnulfo Arias, the last constitutionally elected President of Panama, was inaugurated on October 1, 1968, and 10 days later he had been deposed by an uprising of the Panamanian National Guard, led by its top officers. They, in turn, were deposed almost immediately by another officer, Lt. Col.--now Gen. Omar Torrijos-Herrera. He has been the leftist dictator of Panama for the past 9 years, behind a caricature of constitutional government in which the nominal chief of state is “President" Demetrio Lakas.
While visiting New York City in 1969, Torrijos told a reporter for the local newspaper Tiempo that he would like to return to Castro “the visit," he said, that an invading Cuban guerrilla had made to Panama in April 1959. He added that in fact the "first revolution exported by Castro had gone to Panama and that in just reciprocity he ought to return that blow."
In the remarks, Torrijos indicated that he favored granting the antiCastro Cubans a base in Panama for their attacks against Communist Cuba, even if his Foreign Minister did not like the idea.
The Castro-controlled press in Havana exploded against Torrijos. and the official newspaper Granma said that “The abominable canal
man, the gorilla Torrijos, who promoted himself to general and has his chest covered with embroidery and medals, did not surprise anybody with his effrontery.”
From then on, Radio Havana, Prensa Latina, and Granma called Torrijos a gorilla.
All this changed when the Panamanian leftist lawyer, Rómulo Escobar-Bethancourt, gained influence over Torrijos because of his close contacts with university students, workers, and some demagogic elements surrounding Torrijos. Soon, the Torrijos regime helped organize excursions to Communist Cuba so that Panamanians might observe a Communist dictatorship in action.
As Torrijos began leaning more to the left, the Castroite press stopped calling him a gorilla.
In 1972, Castro sent his agents, posing as students, to attend the Eighth Congress of the Federation of Panamanian Students. Actually, they were specialists in propaganda, political repression, and socialist "reform." That was the year in which Panama voted in favor of diplomatic relations with Communist Cuba at a meeting of the Organization of American States. But, it also was the year in which the rubberstamp National Assembly of Panama proclaimed Torrijos “The Maximum Leader of the Revolution.”
CUBAN, PANAMANIAN DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS By mid-1974, Communist Cuba and Panama had restored diplomatic relations.
Meantime, in Panama, agitation increased for new treaties with the United States regarding the Panama Canal. A massive propaganda campaign was launched to arouse and mold international public opinion against continued U.S. control of the Panama Canal. So did all the dictators and leftist governments in Latin America. They were backing what Torrijos was trying to do and what Castro was blessing.
With Torrijos winning evermore international support, the U.S. Government abandoned the psychological and propaganda contest over the canal and allowed itself to be cornered in a fight it chose not to continue.
In the early 1970's, neighboring Costa Rica opened its doors to Soviet agents, first for trade and later on for regular diplomatic relations.
Soviet-Panamanian contacts increased via border crossings from Costa Rica. Panamanian leftists thus had the cooperation now of both Cuban Communists and Soviet agents.
The controlled Cuban press now praised Torrijos.
In April 1973, Raul Roa, the Cuban Foreign Minister, while attending a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, formally gave Panama the backing of Communist Cuba in Panama's claim to the Panama Canal. Torrijos reciprocated with a statement saying that "each hour that Cuba is kept isolated are 60 minutes of Latin American shame.”
More Government financed and sponsored trips to Communist Cuba by Panamanian leftists were conducted.