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Mr. HANSEN. You say responsible. Is this responsible, gunrunning, subverting governments of other nations?
General MCAULIFFE. If those charges are true and proved, then obviously some action has to be taken.
Mr. HANSEN. I would like to stop you right there. I am sorry to interrupt you, but we have a clock to play with.
I would like to ask you, you said something about this may be individual actions by people in Panama. Do you consider these individuals when it is in U.S. court records that state there were orders given by the Panamanian Government to them that these gunrunnings should occur? This is in the court records. It is stated by people who have been part of the Panamanian operation. We have had a witness of equal ranking to you, General, retired, sitting here saying that he has knowledge of the intent of General Torrijos that he was going to blow this thing up. We know that Wittgreen, and I do not care what anybody says, when these guys are engaged in front operations for their governments, you cannot say it is not part of the responsibility of the Government of Panama. And you can sit there and say it is an individual action. I do not understand.
It seems you have been sitting too close to the State Department. Do you care to defend yourself? I will let you do this. General MCAULIFFE. I will just have to say that I believe that the allegations of the Panamanian complicity, government complicity, that can be drawn from those indictments have yet to be proved and certainly not yet proved in a court of law.
Mr. HANSEN. This is not a court of law.
General MCAULIFFE. I understand that, sir. And I do not want to say anything here that might otherwise react adversely on that case. But let me say again that it is not as though I am ignoring those rumors and allegations. It is not as though I am not expressing in the appropriate channels my own concern about these kinds of things and the indicators that seem to be coming our way.
But it is to say that when I have seen Panama working with us in a common cause as Panama would be in the case of carrying out the treaty obligations in running that canal, and you can say it is in their interest as much as it is in ours to run that canal efficiently and safely, then I say they will do it and I am willing to bank on that.
Mr. HANSEN. I would like to say this, that the thinking that everyone has been predicating on is-if they are not implemented, based on the fact that supposedly the treaties will go into effect and the United States were to say that there has been action which has been taken by Panama which has made the treaties impossible to go into force, which this is what we are developing right here about the gunrunning, the possibility of allowing the treaties to go into force, if the United States wants to renounce the treaties on the basis that Panama has broken them, then we are not obligated—the law goes on. You can defend the Canal Zone. You can keep the zone. All things remain equal.
Is this not correct?
General MCAULIFFE. I do not think after October 1 things are in any way going to be the same as
Mr. HANSEN. If we declare the treaties null and void because Panama has violated everything going on before-because the treaties do not supersede anything. Is that not correct?
General MCAULIFFE. No, sir. Because there would be no violation of the treaty before it goes into effect, and once it goes into effect, the old treaty is automatically canceled
Mr. HANSEN. But if the conditions for a treaty to go into effect are so violated that it will not allow them to go into effect, such things as the neutrality and we decide those cannot go into effect, then things would remain as they are.
Is that not correct?
That would be a political decision by this country. We have been putting the burden on the United States all along, that we have to be the honorable ones. Where is the honor that we demand from Panama?
Mr. HUBBARD. Let me please ask these remaining few questions and then I will ask if other members or visiting Congressmen have a last few questions. We will try to expedite this. We have only one more witness following these two gentlemen who have been so patient and willing to try to answer our questions.
Let me ask you both this. Do you have any information as to whether the Tri-Continental Conference held in Havana, Cuba, in 1966 set the blueprint for takeovers in Latin America and else where?
Mr. GROVE. I am sorry, I will have to provide an answer to that question.
[The information follows:
Tri-CONTINENTAL CONFERENCE The “Tri-Continental Conference”, held in Havana in 1966, was made up of delegations from Communist governments, Communist parties and other leftist movements from various countries and several “national liberation movements”. Various resolutions calling for struggle against “reactionary" governments were passed at that Conference, but there is little evidence to suggest serious efforts were made to translate these into action. Indeed, it was subsequent to the Congress that Cuba began to shift away from export of revolution as a policy and armed struggle as a tactic, except in a few select countries such as Nicaragua where the governments are considered to be so repressive and unpopular that Cuba would not be interested in diplomatic relations.
Mr. HUBBARD. Did you or the State Department-you have no information as to the Tri-Continental Conference?
Mr. GROVE. Without having personal knowledge of that, I would not attempt to answer. I will be glad to take the question and provide an answer to you.
Mr. HUBBARD. Would you?
Mr. HUBBARD. If the State Department would provide an answer to that.
Do you have any information as to whether the Tri-Continental Conference held in Havana, Cuba, in 1976, set the blueprint for future takeovers of governments in Latin America and elsewhere?
Second, is it not correct that the so-called People's Solidarity Movement, headquartered in Havana, Cuba, is an important tie with the Sandinista front?
Mr. GROVE. Again I will have to excuse myself from replying. I should have pointed out to you at the outset that although I am responsible for the Caribbean, I am not responsible for Cuba. Cuba falls under the Assistant Secretary, and I am not prepared but will supply an answer to that.
[The information follows:]
PEOPLE'S SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT The People's Solidarity Organization is simply the permanent Secretariat of the Tri-Continental Conference, established after the 1966 meeting. It is largely moribund except for propaganda efforts and has little if any significance in Latin America. Certainly any significant contacts the Cuban Government may have with the FSLN would be conducted directly and not through the People's Solidarity Organization.
Mr. HUBBARD. Are you familiar with the Sandinista front?
Mr. HUBBARD. Are you not aware that they are tied to the People's Solidarity Movement in Cuba?
Mr. GROVE. I must say I am not specifically aware of that.
Mr. HUBBARD. Third, do you have any information as to activities of a Cuban organization headed by Manuel Pinero in Panama?
Mr. GROVE. Again I would like to take the question and provide a written answer.
[The information follows:]
MANUEL PINEIRO Manuel Peneiro is the head of the Americas' Department of the Cuban Communist Party. He is not the head of any organization in Panama.
Mr. HUBBARD. Do you, General McAuliffe, have any information or knowledge as to the activities of a Cuban organization headed by Manuel Pinero?
General MCAULIFFE. No, sir, I do not, and again I will be pleased to help give an answer later.
Mr. HUBBARD. Do you both agree-would you not admit-is it not clear from the way the Cubans have operated in Panama to organize and coordinate the Sandinistas that the Government of Panama is indeed sympathetic to and encouraging the Sandinistas in allowing the Cubans use of materials and supplies to overthrow the Government of Nicaragua?
Mr. GROVE. That is a complex question. Would you mind repeating it?
Mr. HUBBARD. Is it not clear from the way the Cubans have operated in Panama to organize and coordinate the Sandinista movement, that the Government of Panama is itself sympathetic to and encouraging the Sandinistas in allowing the Cubans to use Panama to overthrow the Government of Nicaragua?
Mr. GROVE. There are a number of assumptions in that question and I would need to parse it out very carefully and to try and answer it precisely. And I wonder if I might not be able to think it out and provide a thoughtful, thorough and detailed answer that it deserves.
Mr. HUBBARD. Would you please provide us an answer on that later?
Mr. CARNEY. Could we get that answer before Tuesday?
[The information follows:]
SANDINISTA MOVEMENT We do not believe that is accurate. It is of course true that the Panamanian Government is itself encouraging the Sandinistas, but this seems to flow more from their strong anti-Somoza policy than it does from a pro-Sandinista stance. Panama is not “allowing” the Cubans to use Panama to overthrow the Government of Nicaragua in the context that is implied in the question.
Mr. BAUMAN. I am going to see the President Monday night for dinner and I will ask him.
Mr. HUBBARD. I will make this comment. I remember in the noise and hue and cry the statement of Congressman Bob Lagomarsino, a very low key Congressman, who made the statement that as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, as a member of the Subcommittee on Latin America, and yet not a member of our subcommittee, he has been here for much of the testimony. He stated emphatically in all of his conversations with leaders in Latin America, heads of government and others, that very seldom does the question of the Panama Canal Treaty even come up unless the leader of that South American or Latin American country expresses his dismay as to future raising of the tolls.
Therefore, I would simply say, as chairman of this subcommittee, that it is amazing to me that the State Department is so determined that, whatever it takes, that we implement or we seek legislation implementing these treaties, regardless of the fact that in Latin America there seemingly is very little interest in the Panama Canal status except insofar as if we lose our rights to it and the treaties are implemented, that the tolls will be increased.
Do you have any comment? You did hear Congressman Lagomarsino?
Mr. GROVE. I did, indeed. I have the greatest respect for his remarks and his judgment. I think that when the treaties were first-when the treaties became law, when the treaties were initialed prior to coming into force and the heads of the Latin American governments came here, it was a major moment in our relations with the hemisphere. We had changed a basic relationship for which we were in many ways faulted by other nations. They believed the time had come to abandon what the Panamanians and what many of the others considered a colonial relationship, unbecoming to a power like the United States in the middle of the 1970's.
I think the warmth with which that action was greeted, I think the perception that we as a country were taking a new look at a very complicated series of relationships in that part of the hemisphere, meant a great deal to everyone. I think that there is, and probably in Panama too, the expectation that there will be implementing legislation. There is a good understanding of the action of the Senate and the treatymaking process within our Government.
I believe that we are credited as being a country of high statesmanship and a country which makes good on its obligations. I put it that way because it seems to me that the Panama Canal Treaties in their present form, in their dormant form, are a commitment, and that perhaps we do not hear more about this debate which is so deeply felt, for good reasons.
But the debate really is internal to us. Perhaps we do not hear more about it from our other friends in the hemisphere because they do not see the matter quite the way we do, do not realize how agonizing it is for us, and individual members of the House of Representatives, and simply have an expectation that when the time comes, when October 1 of this year comes, that there will be in place the mechanism to make this relationship work and to make good on what amounts to a vision of the future that we and Panama have jointly arrived at. That vision of the future, I think, says there is an orderly way in both of our interests that we can manage a major element of our relationship to our mutual benefit and to our mutual credit.
General McAULIFFE. May I just comment? I have heard this kind of a comment, expression of concern lest Panama should raise the tolls of the canal, from some of the military leaders of the countries that use the canal. I will have to say that those comments came immediately in the wake of the signing and ratification of the treaties before they had been studied extensively in those countries.
When these countries realized that we still have our hands on that toll structure, then you find, let us say, a feeling of relief.
Mr. HUBBARD. Staff counsel, Larry O'Brien.
Mr. O'BRIEN. I have before me a document entitled "Panamanian Committee for Human Rights," volume 2, published in Panama, November 1976. I would like to have the clerk show it to you so you can peruse it and I draw your attention in particular to page 5, and we will pause momentarily while you review it.
First, I ask if either of you have seen it before? This is published, I understand, by a group in Panama, a human rights group. It was submitted to the committee and transmitted to President Carter in January 1977.
Page 5 contains what purports to be a payroll of the G-2 section of the Panama National Guard. Do either of you two gentlemen recognize that document or that page?
[The following was submitted for the record:]
PANAMANIAN COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
[Vol. II–Panama, November 1976) 5.4 Coercive repression outside of Panamanian boundaries
It is an established fact that the Torrijos Regime has G-2 agents extremely active in Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica (in the case of exile Leopoldo Aragon, he was actually arrested in Costa Rica by Panamanian G-2 agents), Miami, New York and Washington. Many of these agents are disguised as consular and Embassy officials, and their job is to persecute Panamanian exiles in foreign countries, following normal patters of dictatorships of the Right and Left, such as Fidel Castro's Cuba, Pinochet's Chile, the Sha's Iran, etc.
As proof of this fact, see attached photocopy of an official Panamanian Government payroll sheet of G-2 forces, which include Mr. Edgardo Lopez as a "guardia” (soldier) in the Panamanian G-2 Security Section. It is worth observing that, although Mr. Lopez is a “common soldier", his salary appears as B/447.00 when on the same page it can be verified that a Lieutenant makes a wage of B/166.79, and Manuel A. Noriega, a Lt. Col. and Chief of the feared G-2, makes only B/484.60 (this wage should be compared with his lifestyle). Mr. Lopez now holds the post of Panamanian Consul in the city of Miami, Florida, and heads all G-2 covert operations in that area, to cover the large Panamanian exiled community that lives in that city. In Costa Rica, it is widely known that G-2 agents from the Panamanian