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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • 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.

  • August 15, 1968

    Information from Bulgarian Ambassador in Havana Stefan Petrov to Bulgarian Leader Todor Zhivkov on the Domestic and Foreign Policy of Cuba

    Bulgarian Ambassador to Cuba Stefan Petrov analyzes Cuba’s domestic and foreign policies in an informational report to Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov. Petrov criticizes Cuban Communist Party policies and claims they are incompatible with Marxism-Leninism (e.g. Cuba’s focus on conflict between imperialism and national liberation rather than socialism and capitalism). Cuba has adopted an anti-Soviet attitude and believes Cuban leadership is the vanguard of communism. Petrov reviews Cuba’s conflicting relations with Latin American communist parties and Cuba's support to guerilla movements in the region. Petrov notes that Bulgarian-Cuban relations remain positive.

  • 1970

    Letter to the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union, B. N. Ponomarev

    A letter describing the state of socialist and communist movements in Latin America with respect to their organized struggle against the imperial influence of the US. The letter indicates that the growth of youth, workers' and women's movements in Latin America is conducive to the development of stronger ties with the socialist countries around the world. The letter suggests that a strategic approach towards Latin America should be adopted in establishing cooperation in all spheres of life: economic, political, and cultural. An emphasis is placed on the gradual development of close relations with Latin American communist parties.

  • March, 1970

    Bulgarian Communist Party Politburo Member Boris Velchev, Report to Boris N. Ponomarev, Secretary, Central Committee, Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), re: Relations with Latin America

    Bulgarian Politburo member Boris Velchin reports on a Bulgarian delegation visit to Latin American in late 1969. Liberation movements are characterized by mass participation against imperialism, not socialism. Latin American communist parties have a strong theoretical base, but are weak. Velchev proposes that socialist countries create coordinated economic and political strategies towards Latin American countries and aid the populist movements in their quest for liberation from imperialism. Velchin is interested in collaborating with the Soviet Union, which should coordinate the effort.

  • March 11, 1976

    Minutes of the Meeting between Todor Zhivkov and Fidel Castro in Sofia

    Conversation for the record between Zhivkov and Castro during a four-day-long state visit of the Cuban leader to Bulgaria. Among the main issues discussed was the state of economic development in both countries, their relations with Albania, China, Romania and Yugoslavia; the Cuban foreign policy in Africa and the Caribbean; the civil war in Angola; the battle for the Third World.

  • November 28, 1978

    Information on the Developments in Nicaragua

    Report which outlines the activity of leftist opposition movements in Nicaragua in their attempt to overthrow the rule of Somoza. The text gives an account of the support which various leftist opposition organizations have received from neighboring countries. According to the information, the following groups have overtly expressed discontent with the ruling regime: The Democratic Union for Liberation, the “Group of Twelve,” the Nicaraguan Democratic Movement, and the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN). Those movements have been supported politically, financially, and in some instances with military aid, by the governments of Venezuela, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and Cuba. The text suggests that two factors have contributed to the escalating tension in Nicaragua – the internal struggle against the regime combined with pressures from outside, coming mainly from the USA, to keep the regime in place.

  • June 16, 1981

    Memorandum of Conversation with Ricardo Uilock, Nicaragua's Ambassador to Bulgaria

    Memorandum highlighting recent developments in countries of Central Latin America. The information has been received from the Nicaraguan Ambassador to Bulgaria, after a visit to Budapest where he has met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua. The document summarizes political developments that have taken place in the following countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.

  • November 09, 1982

    Information from the Bulgarian Communist Party Regarding the visit of the Secretary General of the Communist Party of Honduras – Rigoberto Padilla

    Summary of recent developments in the formation of a unified leftist movement in Honduras lead by the country’s communist party, in an attempt to counter the “imperial” influence of the USA. The text suggests that various pro-communist movements within Central Latin America have formed, and have started to cooperate with the intent to create a network. The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) and the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) have played most prominent role in this endeavor. The Honduras Communist party has worked internally in the direction of creating a strong consolidated left wing movement. The document mentions future plans for mutual cooperation between the Bulgarian Communist Party and the Honduras Communist Party.

  • December 22, 1982

    Summary of Information on Visit of Schafik Jorge Handal – Secretary General of the Communist Party of El Salvador – to Bulgaria ( 8-13 December 1982)

    Summary of main points discussed during Handal’s meetings with Alexander Lilov and Dimitar Stanishev regarding the political atmosphere in El Salvador and the revolutionary struggles in Latin America as a whole. Key topics include: the military and political operations of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMNL), the Summit of Central American Communist parties and revolutionary organizations held in Havana, and the problems encountered by the revolutionary movements in Latin America.

  • November 20, 1984

    Information on Changes in the Strategic and Tactical Struggle of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMNL)

    A description of measures taken by the military leadership of FMNL to improve the organized struggle in Central America, in terms of creating opportunities for large-scale operations intended to lead to the ultimate defeat of the enemy – the government-supported army of El Salvador. The information was compiled based on sources of the Vietnamese Embassy in Havana, and with the cooperation of the Cuban comrades. According to the document, a decision was made to regroup military units from small squads to battalions and brigades. Following this course, the partisan movements earned considerable success in 1984, but their actions easy to trace due to the size of the new formations. As a result the Front’s combat units, hospitals and supply bases suffered severe blows. The situation at hand required that FMNL reassess its strategy and make important changes in accord with the anticipated victory of the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua and that of Reagan in the US. The document states that FMNL’s leadership switched its strategic and tactical line and reverted to armed struggle conducted by small mobile squads. This change aided the suppression of the government armed forces’ offensive.