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Central Intelligence Agency 


Washingon. DC. 20505 


DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE 
19 September 1984 

TRENDS IN NICARAGUAN SUPPORT FOR SUBVERSION 

Summary 


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Nicaragua continues to support insurqencv and other forms of 
subversion against non-Marxist governments in the region through 
arms flows, training, communications support and advice. 

Salvadoran guerrillas remain the primary recipient. Other qroups, 
especially Costa Rican and Honduran, have also benefitted. 


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point to a continuing flow of 


munitions and manpower from Nicaragua to the Salvadoran 
guerrillas. 


— A t times the quantity is considerable: 


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This memorandum was reguested by the Honorable Robert C. 
McFarlane, Asssistant to the President for National Security 
Aff airs. I t was prepared by 


WWW ~ 7 I 

Middle America-Caribbean Division, Office of African 
and Latin American Analysis. It was coordinated with the 
Directorate of Operations. Information available as of 19 
September 1984. Comments and questions are welcome an d should be 
addressed to Chief, Middle America-Caribbean Division, 


ALA-M-84-10094C 


Copy of ^ j 


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— In April 


Cuba was 


stepping up deliveries of weapons and other military 
supplies through Nicaragua to El Salvador in preparation 
for the insurgents' fall offensive. 


— In June 


the 


guerrillas had received a new offer from Nicaraqua to 
supplv munitions and personnel needs when recmired. 


We currently estimate that roughly three quarters of the 
Salvadoran guerrilas' needs are met by external resupply, and 
perhaps one third or more of their small arms requirements are 
infiltrated — in the latter case a substantial reduction from the 
levels of earlier years due to large arms flows during that 
period and guerrilla success in capturing arms in El Salvador. 
Virtually the entire flow originates in or passes through 
Nicaraqua. 


Salvadoran guerrilla 

groups were still headquartered in Nicaragua — includinq 
the two largest, the ERP and the FPL. 


Support for subversion i n Central America continues to 


receive hiqh-level direction. 





— Sandinista Directorate member Bavardo Arce has ultimate 
authority for arranging arms shipments. 


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— A political section, coordinating aid requests 
foreign insurgent aroups, consists of separate 
for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and even 
Rica. 


from 

branches 

Costa 


— A special operations section, which carries out the 

deliveries, has separate branches for land, air, and sea 
transport. 

A major new trainina facilitv for Salvadoran guerrillas has 
been identified this summer on the Cosiauina Peninsula, across 
the Gulf of Fonseca from El Salvador. 


a military barracks under construction near 


Santa Julia was intended for that purpose. 


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since April 1984 

construction of 19 buildings has been completed or is 
underway, as well as a small arms range, air obstacle 
course, and a possible training site for the SA-7 , the 
shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile of Soviet bloc 
manufacture. This camp's use of natural concealment and 
the nonmilitarv layout of the buildings indicate the 
installation is for unconventional warfare training. 


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— Just southeast of the camp is a staaina area (Potosil , a 
known transshipment point for infiltratinq men, arms, and 
munitions into El Salvador. 

I 

the number of Salvadoran 


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guerrillas assembled in Nicaragua for trainina or staaina 
purposes in 1984 may have increased over what we believe has been 
the case since 1979. 


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as of July 1984 the FMLN had 
about 4000 Salvadorans training in various Nicaraguan 
camps. Though the numbers far exceed our earlier 

estimates of several hu ndred Salvadoran insurgent 

personnel in Nicaragua — 


imav 

reflect some accumulation of Salvadoran manpower tor the 
reported planned fall offensive bv the FMLN. It mav also 
indicate that the FMLN is usina Nicaraaua to conduct 
trainina no longer possible to carry out in El Salvador 


due to Salvadoran army pressures. 


So extensive has been the Nicaraguan support effort for 
Salvadoran insurgents that in private conversations Nicaraguan 
officials no longer conceal Managua* s direct involvement, though 
they do try to minimize the extent. For example: 

— In May 1984, during farewell conversations with the US 
Ambassador to Managua, Interior Minister Borge said that 
Salvadoran communications facilities in Nicaragua were no 
longer essential to the FMLN, but it was impossible to 
close them down unilaterally. Bayardo Arce said that 
just as the US denied mining the ports, so Nicaragua 
denied aiding the Salvadorans; both knew the truth. 


Nicaraguan insurgent operations have occasionally impeded 
Managua's support to the FMLN. 


— Facilities in Nicaragua were attacked last fall and early 
this year. At least one transshipment point was badly 
damaged. 

The Nicaraguans are continuing to support other Marxist 
insurgencies, although at levels below the major Salvadoran 
effort. 


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— In mid-1983 and mid-1984 the Sandinistas infiltrated into 
Honduras a total of 110-120 Honduran insuraents trained 
in Nicaragua and Cuba. A combination of desertions and 
effective counter insuraencv action by Honduran security 
forces thwarted both attempts with apparent ease. 


details on their 


insurgents have 

| training. 

jHondurans stated that part of 
included serving with an international 
anti-Sandinistra forces in Nicaragua. 


orovided abundant 
One of the 
his training 
unit fighting 


— We believe that the Sandinistas, despite their recent 

overtures for improved bilateral relations with Honduras, 
continue to view their meddling operations as a possible 
way to force short-term concessions from Tegucigalpa 
while establishing a base for longer term subversion of 
the government. 


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Sandinista sponsorship of destabilization in Costa Rica has 
continued. 


— The Sandinistas have maintained close ties to Costa Rican 
communists, several hundred of whom entered Nicaragua 
late last year, were trained and equipped by the 
Nicaraguans and as the Mora Canas Brigade fought anti- 
Sandinista insurgents in southern Nicaragua until Julv 
1984. 


— The recall of these field experienced combatants to Costa 
Rica has added to the potential for political instability 
in that country. 


Elsewhere in the region there have been fraomentarv reports 
of Nicaraguan mischief— making since the beginnina of the vear. 

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SUBJECT: Trends in Nicaraguan Support for Subversion 


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DISTRIBUTION 

Copy # 1 - Robert C. McFarlane 

2 - DC I 

3 - DDCI 

4 - Executive Director 

5 - S A/DC I 

6 - DDI 

7 - ADDI 

8 - NIO/LA 

9 - D/ALA 

10 - NIC/AG 

11 - I 25X1 

12 - C/DDI/PES 
13 , 14 - ALA/PS 

15 - ALA/RD 

16 - DDI/CPAS/ISS 

17, 18, 19, 20 - CPAS/IMC/CB 

21 - C/MCD 

22 - DC/MCD 

23 - C/CAS 

24, 25, 26 - NU Desk Analysts 
27 - MCD Files 
28, 29 - CA Files 

DDI /AL A/MCD/ CAN / I (19 September 1984) 25X1 


S 


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