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September 14, 1979 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-14

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Page 4-Friday, September 14, 1979-The Michigan Daily

Castro:

The

leading voice of

a

militant alliance

Yi

This week's meeting of third world
leaders in Havana has been criticized
as nothing moreĀ° than an exercise in
rhetorical masturbation for conference
host and coordinator, Fidel Castro. And
the final document to emerge - a
lodge-podge declaration of anti-im-
perialism, anti-capitalism, and anti-
Americanism - has been called proof
in itself, by the conflicting passages of
its own text, that the alliance is too
racked by regionalism and internal in-
cohesion to pose any united threat to the
West.
But what the conference actually ac-
complished was less important than the
clear signal conveyed to the West in
general, and the United States
specifically - that the little guys are
sick of being pushed around, and that.
under Castro's mesmorizing rhetoric,
the soicalled non-aligned nations may
be ready to put aside parochiamism, if
,.only temporarily, to exert a new
militancy.
HOW SUCCESSFUL the movement is
-will be put to the test early, when the
-United Nations General Assembly con-
-venes for its regular session in October.
The U.N, has come to be called among
,many U.S. diplomats a soapbox for
:third world nations, but usually the ani-
,American haranguing lacked any
theme' or consistency, and the
novement was split by regional con-
flicts and internal discontent. There
was never any one leader, which Castro
would like to be, to marshall the "non-
.aligned" to push forward a consise plat-
form of political and economic
specifics.
These disputes were highlighted at
:the Havana conference - the OPEC
,nations versus the non-OPECS on the
issue of world oil prices; those nations,
sled by Castro, who advocated a pro-
'oviet view of non-alignment versus
(hose nations, led by Yugoslav
President Tito, who pressed for a more
iteral interpretation of the conferen-
ce's precept, plus the tired old disputes
ibetween Egypt and the Arab bloc in the
,Middle East, and Cambodia and Viet-
nam in the southeast.
Castro has been accused of taking

advantage of his post as conference
director to ramrod through his own
political views.sBut what Castro did do
was assure the West that, as director of
the alliance, he will not hesitate to use
that position to supercede the bickering
of the individual members to push for
specifics beyond the vague declaration.
Exactly what those spceifics will be
only Castro himself knows, but based
on the Cuban's remarks before the con-
ference,'the Carter administration has
good reason for alarm.
IN SNORT, despite Castro's assuran-
ces that Cuba would not "benefit in the
least from being at the leadership of the
movement in the coming years," the
Cuban leader must take some ironic
delight in the fact that after years of
suffering hostility from the United
States, he is now in a position to ex-
tract his sweet revenge.
And in Washington, some ad-
ministration diplomats are no doubt
kicking themselves silly at the
realization that they blew the oppor-
tunity to cultivate better relations with
Castro long before, and now missing a
much-needed "in" with the third world.
But by practicing the politics of cold
war in dealing with Cuba, and by
repeatedly ignoring Castro's overtures
to establish better relations, the Carter

By Keith Richburg

administration may find all of its suc-
cesses in the third world undermined by
the one third world leader it ignored.
For Castro, the leadership of the con-
ference culminates an evolution in his
own political legitimacy. Having aban-
doned his original idea of "exporting"
revolution through Latin America -
following a series of leftist failures in
the 1960s and the overthrow of leftist
governments in Bolivia and Chile - the
Cuban president turned his sights to a
new region, Africa, to help left-leaning
revolutionary movements.

forced to keep a low profile in the Neto
government.
Now Castro seems more interested in
furthering his position as symbolic
leader and unifier of the disunited third
world than in exporting his revolution
either in Latin American or in Africa.
With President Tito, the last surviving
founder of the 18-year-old alliance, now
approaching retirement age, the
leadership mantle was there for
Castro's taking.
For the Carter administration, the
Cuban situation represents a classic

more or less than an instrument of
Soviet foreign policy, and Castro as the
Kremlin's only puppet in this
hemisphere. 4
The election of Jimmy Carter in 1976
Braised fresh hopes for those who
realized the ridiculousness in not
recognizing Castro's government.
These "liberals," who included such as
George McGovern among their ranks,
argued that Castro was obviously in
power to stay, and that Cuba had aban-
doned its idea of exporting revolution.
Instead of supplying arms and troops to
revolutionary groups, as the recent ex-
perience in Nicaragua showed, Castro
was now content to limit his support to
advice, encouragement, and propagan-
daND CASTRO HIMSELF showed
genuine good faith efforts to appear to
liberalize his policy towards dissent, in
hopes of encouraging the Carter gover-
nment to end the trade and diplomatic
embargo. But in practicing the old cold
war policies of confrontation, the ad-
ministration decided to make the
removal of Cuban troops in Africa its
condition of recognition. Carter even
publicly accused Castro of involvement
in the May 1977 raid by Katangan rebels
into Zaire's mineral-rich Shava provin-
ce, while all along Castro had tried to
stop the rebel invasion.

'For Castro, the leadership of the
conference culminates an evolution in
his own political legitimacy.'

BUT THE CUBANS soon found their
presence on the African continent un-
wanted there by many of the nations of
the Organization of African Unity, who
saw Cuban troops on African soil as
merely an extension of the same im-
perialism they were fighting against.
And even in Angola, where the Cubans
were most successful, they were still

case of an opportunity lost. After the
initial cold war anti-communist
rhetoric and the missile crisis fervor of
the 1960s began to fade, the
Nixon-Kissinger administration came
to power with their demented
geopolitical view of all the world as a
U.S. vs. U.S.S.SR. superpower confron-
tation. Cuba was viewed as nothing

In the words of one outgoing United
States diplomat, the Cuban troops in
Angola are actually somewhat of "a
stabilizing force" for a country that is
still fighting Western-backed guerillds.
Cuban troops and advisors are alto
helping the Angolan government in the
monumental task of reconstruction af-
ter the years of devastation which
followed independence from Portugal.
That tasks included completing
railroad links, building schools ahd
hospitals, and constructing now
housing units. And, perhaps most im-
portant for Angola's economy, the
Cuban troops are protecting Gulf Oil's
refineries in Cabinda against attack
from the UNITA guerillas. a
So Castro's overtures were ignored3
and, in fact, the administration seemed
to be going out of its way to antagonize
one of Latin America's most enduring,
and to some - aspiring socialist gover-
nments - popular leaders. The flap
over Soviet troops on the island, all
while the U.S. maintains a naval base
at Guantanamo, is another case In
point.
So Castro's scathing attack on the
United States during his opening speech
to the conference can be called expec-
ted, and not wholely undeserved,
coming from a leader whom thiscoun-
try has kicked around since 1959.
Coming from Fidel Castro, dictator of
Cuba, the lambasting could have been
dismissed 4as more anti-imperialist
demogoguing from another bearded
revolutionary. But coming from Fidel
Castro, leader of the 95-countries of the
conference of non-aligned nations, the
attacks are something to worry about.
The U.S. doesn't have Fidel Castro, to
kick around anymore, and whether the
other nations of the alliance are able to
put aside their bickering long enough to
follow him is the one question that will
no doubt be worrying U.S. diplomats
and policymakers for some time to
come.
Keith Richburg is Co-Director o
the Daily's Editorial Page.

THE MANY FACES OF FIDEL: From an exporter or revoltion in the
1960s, to a new focus in Africa in the 1970s, Cuba's revolutionary leader

has finally evolved to a position of leadership among the fracticious
nations of the third world.

Ninety Years of Editorial Freedom
CXXX, No. 8 News Phone: 7
Edited and managed by sudents at the University of Michigan

Vol. LX

764-0552

Standby registration
is no solution

T HE UNITED STATES has been at
peace for six years. It has not been
a quiet peace, though, as Americans
now fight the wars of inflation, energy
and unemployment, and the "crisis of
confidence."
But it has been peace, and that is an
accomplishment.
And,-as usually happens in the initial
period following' a major war -
especially an unpopular one - the
public mood in this country since 1973
has become more and more
isolationist. Spreading through the
nation - hitting even traditional con-
servative areas - that isolationism
has inflicted the ranks of the military.
Thus, there has been a heavy decline
in the numbers of the all-volunteer ar-
my. It has suffered serious morale
problems, convincing many conser-
vative lawmakers on Capitol Hill to
press for reviving Selective Service
registration of all 18-year-olds for
possible military service.
Fortunately, however, enough
members of the House voted Wed-
nesday to defeat that motion, instead
calling for the president to study and
report to Congress whether
registration should be resumed.
If the motion had been approved,
Selective Service registration of all
males who become 18 years old after
next Dec. 31 would have resumed Jan.
1, 1981. In rejecting the motion, the
House also ignored the advice of its
own Armed Services Committee.
The movement to begin registration
unc nr~hoct +ar1 h m y mher of the

These same legislators remind
others that registration does not mean
the same thing as a regular draft, that
it is only necessary to speed up the
draft process once the president calls
for it.
But with the overwhelming power of
nuclear weapons making the
possibility of conventional clashes
almost non-existent, registration is not
necessary. The United States and its
allies in NATO already possess a
powerful conventional force in Europe,
and any further increases wwould only
be a challenge to the Soviet Union.
Passing the registration bill would
have just made the chance of a nation-
wide draft that much closer, and it
would not have solved the problems of
an all-volunteer army.
Furthermore, the Soviets have
recently expressed an interest in
beginning talks on troop reduction of
conventional forces in Europe. those
talks are very important, perhaps even
more crucial than the Strategic Arms'
Limitation Treaty, for the decline in
conventional forces on both sides could
go a long way toward reducing ten-
sions in that area.
A U.S. troop increase - or even a
new registration 'plan - at this time
may prove to sabotage those delicate
talks.
To improve the all-volunteer army,
the government must make that option
more attractive. An improved job-
training program for soldiers that
would prepare them for new career

E
1
:,

Excerpts from non-aligned
nations meeting in Cuba
Southern Africa The conference endorsed the right of the
TefloherasAmrofaePalestine Liberation Organization and of the
The following is a summary of the The conference welcomed the Iranian Arab states to reject and oppose any solution
events at this week's conference of non- Government's decision to suspend its oil sales or settlement detrimental to the inalienable
aligned nations in Havana, Cuba. to South Africa. It also noted with great ap- national rights of the Palestinian people and
preciation the recent action taken by Nigeria the liberation of all the occupied Arab
oofThe sixth conference of heads o state o againist Bitish Petroleum, whose oil. con- territories, and to foil them through all
government appeals to all peoples of the cessions in Nigeria were nationalized for possible means, including the use of force.
world to participate in efforts to free the British violation of the oil embargo against The heads of state or government affirmed
world from war, the policy of force, blocs and the racist regime in Rhodesia and its pledge their commitment, in concert with all peace-
bloc politics, military bases, pacts and inter- to divert oil from the North Sea oilfields. loving states and forces, to the adoption of all
locking alliandes, the policy of domination The conference reiterated that Rhodesia . steps, within the United Nations and in par-
and hegemony, inequalities and oppression, was still a British colony, illegally governed ticular in the Security Council, to confront the
injustice and poverty and to create a new or- by a clique of racists and traitors. It continuing challenge by Israel. These
der based on peaceful coexistence, mutual requested all states to continue to refrain measures should include the application of all
cooperation and friendship, an order in which from any kind of recognition of the racist and the necessary sanctions against Israel as well
each people may determine its own future, at- illegal Muzorewa puppet regime in accordan- as mandatory and total embargo and its ex-
tain its political sovereignty and promote its ce with the United Nations Security Council clusion from the international community. It
own free economic and social development decision and the relevant resolutions of the is essential also to study the political,
without interference, pressures or threats of O.A.U. diplomatic and economic measures to be
any kind. The conference expressed great concern taken against countries which support the
This struggle for total emanicpation over the steps taken by the British Gover- Zionist regime.
received an historical impetus from the nment and by certain elements in the United
emergence of newly liberated countries States Government and Congress with a view Human Rights
which have opted for an independent political to recognizing the illegal regime of Southern The conference condemned the massive
development and have resolutely rejected Rhodesia and unilaterally lifting the san- and systematic violation of the most elemen-
polarization on bloc bases, bloc politics, ctions imposed on Rhodesia by the United tary rights of millions upon millions of human
military pacts or military alliances, as well Nations. beings who live- under colonial or racist
as policies tending to divide the world'into The conference also declared that the im- domination or who are suffering from the
spheres of influence or impose any other form perialist powers-particularly the United consequences of underdevelopment and
of domination. States, Great Britain, France, the Federal economic and social exploitation.
The heads of state and/or government con- Republic of Germany, Japan, Belgium, Italy, The conference cautioned against the ex-
sidered the following to be the essential objec- Canada, Australia and Israel-cannot escape ploitation of human rights issues by the great
tives of the nonaligned movement: blame for the existence and maintenance of powers as a political instrument in the con-
Preservation of the national independence, racist oppression and the criminal policy of frontation of social systems and for purposes
sovereignty, territorial integrity and security apartheid, because of their political, of interference in the internal affairs of
of nonaligned countries and elimination of diplomatic, economic, military, nuclear and sovereign states.
foreign interference and intervention in the other forms of collaboration with the Pretoria The conference deeply deplored the ex-
internal and external affairs of states and the regime to deny the South African people their ploitation of the right of individuals to leave
use of the threat of force and strengthening of legitimate aspirations. their country for political purposes, such as
nonalignment as an independent nonbloc fac- the implementation of the Zionist program of
tor and the further spread of nonalignment in Middle East uprooting Jewish communities from the coun-
the world and elimination of colonialism, The conference reaffirmed that the tries of their origin in order to resettle them in
neocolonialism and racism, including situation in the Middle East continues to pose Israel and in the Jewish colonies being
Zionism, and support to national liberation a serious threat to world peace and security illegally established in the occutpied
movements struggling against colonial and due to the increasing possibility of a new war Palestinian and other Arab territories.

alien domination and foreign occupation;
elimination of imperialistic and hegemonistic
policies and all other forms of expansion and
foreign domination.
The sixth conference reaffirmed that the
quintessence of the policy of non-alignment,
in accordance with its original principles and
essential character, involves the struggle
against imperialism, colonialism,
neocolonialism, apartheid, racism, including
Zionism, and all forms of foreign aggression,
occupation, domination, interference or
hegemony, as well as against great power and
bloc politics.
A .A

as a result of Israel's determination to pursue
its policy of aggressiorexpansionism and
colonial settlement in the occupied territories
with the support of the United States.

This article was taken from the New
York Times.

K

EDITORIAL STAFF
Sue W arner. .................................. .................. EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Richard Berke, Julie Rovner .................................... MANAGING EDITORS

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