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tion in the internal affairs of another State, and the remedy for violations of Article 41 was the declaration of a diplomat as persona non grata and his consequent withdrawal from the host country.
4. U.N. Friendly Relations Declaration. The question whether the principle of non-intervention by States was encompassed by the more general language of the United Nations Charter was settled in 1970, when the General Assembly unanimously adopted the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation Among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. This Declaration states inter alia that: “No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law.” That Declaration also provides that: “Every State has an inalienable right to choose its political, economic, social and cultural systems, without interference in any form by another State."
Although resolutions of the General Assembly are not usually statements of law, representatives of many states said at the time of the adoption of the Friendly Relations Declaration that it was an agreed statement of the meaning of the Charter, and therefore a codification of the law, and the representative of the United States characterized it as “an objective statement of relevant Charter princi
B. Meaning of the Principle of Non-Intervention
While the rule on government intervention in internal affairs is therefore now clearly established, the question of what acts constitute unlawful interference or intervention is not. Although many questions remain open for future determination by the practice of States, the Friendly Relations Declaration gives some guidance. It proscribes “armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements.” It also proscribes “economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind.” It prohibits States from assisting “subversive, terrorist or armed activities directed toward the violent overthrow of the regime of another State.” It forbids a State to "interfere in civil strife in another State." It reaffirms the right of each State “to choose its political, economic, social and cultural systems, without interference in any form by another State.'
A close reading of the Friendly Relations text suggests that, aside from the use or threat of force, the Declaration clearly prohibits actions designed to assist groups endeavoring to overthrow violently a foreign government and actions designed to coerce a State to secure advantages from it in contravention of its rights. In accepting this language, we were careful to interpret it as avoiding any condemnation of economic or other pressures designed to protect or enforce the rights of the State imposing the pressures. 13 The text also seems to avoid condemnation of assistance to dissident political groups not directed toward the violent overthrow of the government. However, it gives very little guidance as to what, short of the threat or use of force, might be prohibited interference with the right of a State to choose its political, economic, social and cultural systems. As with most international legal instruments, the Declaration was the product of compromise and leaves many ambiguities and uncertainties. Over time, some of these will gradually be resolved by the practice of States, but that process has only just begun.
It may be asked, for example, whether financial assistance by one State to newspapers, political parties, or other groups within another State is illegal intervention under the principles set forth in the Friendly Relations Declaration. This cannot be decided by textual analysis or by reference to negotiating history, but can be determined only over time by the practice of States. It may confidently be assumed that, if the issue of whether such activities are proscribed by the principle of non-intervention were to be put to a vote today in the United Nations General Assembly, the vast majority would hold that they are; but whether the practice of those States will come to support that conclusion remains to be seen.
" Resolution No. 2625 (XXV), 24 October 1970, Official Records of the General Assembly, Twenty-fifth Session.
12 Of course, the Declaration is scarcely self-explanatory. Terms such as "interference" must still be defined by the practice of states, for the reasons mentioned above, in connection with Article 18 of the OAS Charter.
13 See the statement by the U.S. representative in the Sixth Committee, Sept. 24, 1970 (UN Doc. A/C.6/SR.1180).
Finally, it should be noted that in any situation there may well be conflicting rights and duties of States. Thus, the United Nations Charter, while laying the foundation on which the Friendly Relations Declaration has built concerning nonintervention, also internationalized the protection of human rights. Prior to the Charter, the relation between a State and its nationals was, in general, considered a domestic matter, not properly the subject of international concern. However, each Member of the United Nations has pledged, in Articles 55 and 56, to “take joint and separate action in co-operation with the organization for the achievement” of a number of purposes, including "universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion.” Thus, at least certain actions to promote respect in another State for internationally protected human rights cannot legitimately be prohibited by the principle of non-intervention. Certainly raising questions about violations of such human rights is not impermissible intervention, but where beyond that the line between the conflicting rights should be drawn cannot be decided in the abstract and must be determined on a case-by-case basis.
In summary, recent developments in international law have provided a principle of non-intervention as part of the legal structure in which sovereign states co-exist. The application of that principle to different factual situations is difficult and uncertain and is likely to remain so at least until an extended period of State practice has been accumulated and can be examined. The threat or use of force, assistance to armed revolutionaries, and coercion designed to secure advantages from a State in contravention of its rights are the only State acts clearly and expressly prohibited by the legal principle, but it may well be extended further by the practice of States.
STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN'S STATEMENT ABOUT CUBA, PANAMA, AND GUNS
TO SANDINISTAS Question. On November 28, the spokesman of the Department of State said he could not confirm intelligence reports that Cuba was supplying arms to the Sandinistas, some of them through Panama, and that Panama itself was supplying arms to Sandinistas. At the time you knew of the investigation in Miami and in view of other evidence how could you say Cuba and Panama were not supplying arms to Sandinistas?
Answer. In the press briefing on November 28 Mr. Carter said in response to a question: "We have seen the reports that various governments, including Cuba, have sent assistance to the Sandinistas, some of it allegedly through Panama. They are obviously being studied, through I am not able to confirm them.
“We have raised these reports and our concerns about them with the pertinent governments-specifically, if you ask me, yes, Cuba; yes, others. I am not going to comment any further on our representations, but let me just say they were raised directly.”
That was certainly a correct statement at the time and are still not able to definitely confirm those intelligence reports. We did give them sufficient weight to raise the reports with the governments concerned, as Mr. Carter said. We expressed our strong view that activity of the kind described in the report would only increase the bloodshed and violence in Nicaragua and undermine efforts by the OAS to reach a democratic solution in Nicaragua that would promote peace and stability in the region.
Panama was one of the countries with which these reports were raised. We were assured that Panama shared our objectives and would support the mediation effort of the OAS in Nicaragua. The Government of Panama did support that effort.
[Whereupon, at 6:20 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, subject to the call of the Chair.
TUESDAY, JULY 10, 1979
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11:47 a.m., in room 1334, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. John M. Murphy, chairman of the committee, presiding.
Present: Representatives Murphy, de la Garza, Breaux, Bowen, Hubbard, Oberstar, Bonior, Wyatt, Lowry, Hutto, and Carney.
Staff present: Carl L. Perian, chief of staff; Lawrence O'Brien, chief counsel; Jack E. Sands, minority counsel; Terrence Modglin, professional staff member; Frances Still, chief clerk; Taddy McAlIister, clerk; and Susan Baffa, press secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order.
The full committee is meeting today to consider the matter of possible testimony before the Panama Canal Subcommittee by Mr. Antonio Alvarez, on a subject of some sensitivity.
Mr. Alvarez is charged in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in Case No. 79-174 CR JLK, in a four count indictment alleging that he violated title 18, sections 922(a)(1); title 18, United States Code, section 923 and title 18, United States Code, section 371. These violations concern alleged illegal transaction in firearms and other miscellaneous firearms violations.
In effect, Mr. Alvarez has been indicted as an alleged participant in the illegal smuggling of arms from the United States through Panama to irregular military groups in Latin America. You will further recall that these transactions were the subject of 2 days of hearings by the Panama Canal Subcommittee on June 6 and 7.
On June 11, 1979, Mr. Alvarez and his attorney met with certain committee staff members and myself, offering to testify in public session regarding activities by the Panamanian Government of which he purports to have direct knowledge. These were largely matters involving intelligence operations and other undertakings beyond the borders of the Republic of Panama, and he implied that they involved joint efforts with other Latin American countries. Mr. Alvarez, through counsel, indicated that he could only testify if he was offered immunity, that is, if his testimony could not be used against him in subsequent criminal proceedings.
Under the terms of section 6002 and 6005 of title 18 of the United States Code, a congressional committee can offer so-called use immunity to an individual under the conditions specified in the statute. Specifically, if an individual indicates that if he is subpenaed, then he will claim the protection of the fifth amendment, the chairman of the committee may, by means of a Federal district
court order, immunize the witness so his testimony before the committee may not be used against him. In effect, the committee can compel the testimony of the witness.
By a letter dated June 20, 1979, David Goodhart, Esq., has indicated to me that Mr. Alvarez will seek the protection of the fifth amendment saying in part:
Other than his name and address, Mr. Alvarez must respectfully decline to answer any and all other questions and invoke his privilege against incrimination.
What is it that Mr. Alvarez can tell the subcomitteee and what is its relevance?
Since he has not yet been offered immunity, his conversations with committee counsel and myself has been circumscribed since anything he says to anyone could ultimately be used against him, and, conceivably, those to whom he spoke could be called as witnesses in the case. Nonetheless, during some 2 hours of conversation with Mr. Alvarez, conducted in the presence of his attorney, I concluded that he does have broad personal experience in intelligence operations in the service of several governments including the United States.
On occasion, he worked simultaneously for several governments and in his various capacities, he has had close personal knowledge of past operations and future plans of those governments. In an open session, this is about all that can be said, and if the committee desires to go into closed session, some further specifics as to what he has to offer by way of testimony can be provided.
At this point, I should add that unlike the floor debate on the Panama Canal legislation, H.R. 111, there is no need to close this session for national security reasons. However, the individual rights and liberties of Mr. Alvarez and several other American citizens could be jeopardized by an open discussion of specifics. Furthermore, allegations on his part as quoted here in public session could affect our relationship with several foreign governments.
At the start of our June hearings on alleged gun smuggling by the Government of Panama, there were some who ridiculed the undertaking as a farfetched attempt to undermine Panama Canal implementing legislation. As I said on the floor of the House, soon thereafter, I believed then, as I believe now, that full disclosure of all the facts regarding the activities of the Government of Panama, however unpleasant, argue compellingly for passage of the legislation which will guarantee stability in Panama during the next few decades.
Subsequent to our June hearings, the Chicago Tribune on June 27 published an article based on a May 2, 1979 memo issued by the Central Intelligence Agency more than 1 month before our hearings. As a result of our June hearings, CIA sent copies of the 10page document to the State Department and other Government officials outlining Cuba's role in aiding the Sandinista rebels using Panama as the intermediary. Both Cuban and Panamanian help has been in the form of providing guns, ammunition, heavy weapons, military training of the rebels, and the actual introduction into Nicaragua of government supported Panamanian nationals in the form of a Panamanian brigade. The arms and ammunition, according to the CIA report, were ferried aboard Panamanian Air
Force planes to airfields in Costa Rica and subsequently smuggled to the guerrillas. Despite denials from the administration witnesses of any knowledge of the above, it is now apparent that they would aware of specific shipments from Cuba by way of Panamanian military aircraft to Sandinista guerrillas in Nicaragua during the last week of September and November 5-11, 1978.
Further, they were aware that the Cubans were involved in the recent reactivation of a Panamanian-Costa Rican resupply route to the FSLN. Members of the FSLN general staff reportedly stated in a meeting on April 13, that their inventory included an undisclosed number of antitank rockets of Soviet and French manufacture that Cuba had provided by way of Panama. Although the general staff members did not specify when Cuba supplied arms, other information indicates that Panama delivered arms to FSLN forces in Costa Rica about the time of the meeting. Also among the arms Panama delivered in mid-April were mortar rounds that were apparently of Chinese origin. Other sources have reported that this type of armament had previously been provided by Cuba, probably by way of Panama. These are the weapons that were displayed in this hearing room on June 6 and 7.
Some 6 weeks have elapsed since the subcommittee hearings and it now seems that there have been substantial corroboration of allegations made before the Subcommittee on the Panáma Canal. Mr. Antonio Alvarez feels there is even more to disclose and that it is in the interest of the U.S. Congress to learn of past and present Panamanian intelligence operations, including operations in the United States, and possible future plans of the Panamanian government in such operations and activities.
During the Vietnam war, our country was divided, a nation against itself. It was argued, often convincingly, that the people have a right to know of military or intelligence activities which have a bearing on our national interests. I believe the people have a right to the same full and frank disclosure of matters pertaining to the Panama Canal, and the public policy issue here clearly involves our national interest.
vote to offer Mr. Alvarez immunity to testify does not guarantee that he will ultimately testify. This is a statutory procedure which will permit committee counsel, once a court order is issued, to discuss Mr. Alvarez' allegations in detail. To be frank, his contentions may not stand up under close examination. We will not waste subcommittee or full-committee's time with an individual who may be seeking to enhance his own defense. I carry no brief for Mr. Alvarez and his criminal trial, and that trial will proceed regardless of what this committee does. Nonetheless, I believe it is useful to take the first step toward providing immunity so that we can complete the detailed hearing record in this matter. Consequently, I will offer a motion and seek a two-thirds vote of the committee so that staff can proceed under the statute toward that objective.
Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman?
Mr. OBERSTAR. Mr. Chairman, and my colleagues on the committee, this morning I was quite concerned about this proceeding knowing little of its background, having no indication of adminis