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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • November 07, 1967

    Complaint by [Government of] Brazil Regarding Czechoslovak Transport of Guerrilla Fighters from Cuba to Latin America

    Head of the 1st Administration of the Ministry of the Interior Josef Houska reports a complaint by the Brazilian government regarding to Czechoslovak assistance of transporting guerrilla fighters from Cuba to Latin America. Brazilian government issued an official warning that relations between Brazil and Czechoslovak could be deteriorated in connection with the support for Cuba. Houska says Brazilian officials' argument could be proof that Czechoslovak specially selected officials making technical arrangement for the transits belong to some section of the Czechoslovak civil service. However, the Czechoslovak authorities cannot be blamed that they go along with the activities of the Cuban Embassy in Prague, which controls the transport of the guerrillas since an embassy is entitled to engage in full diplomatic activities in a friendly country. Houska argues that the Brazilian government does not have conceret evidence for the direct accusation of Czechoslovakia. The position of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs could have been the result of pressure by ultra-reactionary forces in domestic policy which are concerned by the opposition activities in Brazil and abroad.

  • November 17, 1967

    Operation MANUEL: Origins, Development and Aims

    Comrade Josef Houska submits a document concerning issues related to cooperation with the Cuban intelligence service especially the Operation MANUEL to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The Operational MANUEL started in 1962 when the Cuban intelligence asked the Czechoslovak resident in Havana to arrange a transit through Prague for Venezuelan nationals who underwent guerrilla training in Cuba. In 1964 talks were held between Cuban and Czechoslovak intelligence services but no formal agreement of the tasks and responsibilities was concluded between the two. The Soviet government was informed about the Operation MANUEL and stated its agreement with the project. Houska says that the main objective of the operation is the education and training of revolutionary cadres from Latin America and the organization of combat groups. Participants of the operation were not confined to cadres from among the ranks of communist parties but also included members from various nationalist and anti-American groupings. The routes of individual participants in the operation were determined by the Cuban intelligence service who mainly directed the Operation MANUEL. Houska says problems that arisen in the course of the operation were solved in collaboration with Cuban and the Soviet authorities. The document cautioned about counter-espionage institutions' increasing interests in the operation and the fact that the US intelligence service agents were among the operation participants. Houska says refusal to offer assistance would have a negative impact on Cuba and Czechoslovakia would lose control over the operation.