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Posted by: Frenchy on February 02, 19100 at 11:51:06:

This is another one for NJ.


After the FSLN's Third Line guerrilla faction opened an impressive countrywide offensive against the Somoza
regime in October 1977, Castro decided to make Nicaragua the DA's first Central American target. Manuel
Piñeiro's deputy, Armando Estrada Fernández, began making numerous clandestine trips to the region to both
promote the unification of the three FSLN factions and lay the groundwork for an arms supply network. (87)
Estrada was a former chief of the DGI's Middle East and Africa sections, with experience in training Palestinian
guerrillas. (88) The Cubans also began training FSLN guerrilla forces in Cuba. The KGB is believed to have
assisted the Cuban efforts to train, fund, and arm the FSLN. (89)

In September 1978, Cuban arms, other supplies, and Cuban-trained FSLN members arrived at staging sites in
northern Costa Rica via small aircraft flown from Panama, and later in Panamanian Air Force planes. (90) Cuban
news media reported the arrival in Havana of the FSLN's senior leader, Tomás Borge, on September 26, his
reception by Estrada, and his meeting with Castro on the 27th. By the end of the year, arms began arriving in
Costa Rica directly from Cuba. Accompanying them were members of the elite Special Troops (Spetsnaz) from
the MININT's Directorate of Special Operations (DOE) to oversee the equipping of the rebels and to help
coordinate guerrilla operations. (91) On December 26, the Cubans announced the decision of the FSLN factions to

In early 1979, DA agents helped to organize, arm, and transport an International Brigade to fight with the FSLN. A
senior DA guerrilla warfare specialist, Pedro González Piñero (Commander "Justo"), served as the field adviser to
the brigade. (92) By that April, the FSLN factional leaders had formed a unified FSLN National Directorate as a
result of a series of talks in Havana with Fidel Castro and DA officials. (93)

When Carlos Andrés Pérez's tenure as President of Venezuela ended that spring, the FSLN's principal foreign
source of logistical support dried up. (94)

Consequently, Cuba became the FSLN's main supplier of military material and other essential support. (95) This
change of foreign patron states usually has been ignored by those who view Cuba's role in the Nicaraguan
revolution as insignificant. During the 1978-79 period, there were at least twenty-one flights between Cuba and
Costa Rica carrying war material for the FSLN; a minimum of 500 tons of arms destined for the Sandinista forces
were airlifted to Costa Rica from Cuba and elsewhere. (96) According to Aspillaga, however, a total of fifty-seven
flights were made between Havana and Costa Rica, for a total of 1.8-million tons (as stated) of arms; Piñeiro
personally supervised the loading operations at Havana airport. Julián Díaz, then chief of the DA's Central
American Section, directed the Cubans' main operations center-based in San José Costa Rica-for coordinating
logistics and contacts with the FSLN and monitoring the airlift. (97) When the FSLN launched its final offensive in
mid-1979, Special Troops from the MININT's DOE were with Sandinista columns and maintained direct radio
communications with Havana. (98)

After Somoza's ouster by the Cuban-supported FSLN forces in July 1979, Nicaragua quickly became a base of
operations for the Cubans, particularly the DA. By mid-1979, the DA-now working through Nicaragua- had begun
to impose the victorious "Nicaraguan model" on Marxist-Leninist movements in El Salvador, Guatemala, the
Caribbean, Colombia, and Chile. (99) Expanding on the aforementioned Cuban-Soviet model, Cuban aid was made
conditional on the successful implementation of a strategy of prolonged guerrilla warfare combining ultimately with
urban insurrection and supported politically by a broad front of non-Communist opposition groups. Despite the
contentions of those who minimize the Cuban-Soviet role, this model was not an endogenous Nicaraguan variety of
revolution. (100)

Quietly taking credit for the revolution, the Soviets joined the Cubans in declaring the Nicaraguan model a "correct"
revolutionary paradigm for other Central American nations. Z. Zagladin, deputy chief of the CPSU's International
Department, linked the "victory of Nicaragua" to Soviet/Cuban-supported "anti-imperialist" strategy and expressed
the hope that Nicaragua will have its "continuators." (101)

Following the FSLN's victory, the Soviets began to urge certain Latin American CPs to coordinate with guerrilla
groups and agreed that "political-military fronts" should play the primary role in the creation of united fronts.
Although the CP would remain the inheritor of revolution, it would concede the role of instigator to the
"political-military front." (102) The CPs of Central America, Panama, and Mexico adopted the new Soviet line at a
clandestine meeting held in October 1980. (103) (The Communist Party of El Salvador [PCES] already had
decided by April 1979 to convert its entire party apparatus into a military-oriented organization. (104)) Nicaragua's
ruling FSLN leaders have assisted the Cubans in playing an active role in promoting the Soviet policy of furthering
cooperation between Latin American CPs and guerrilla groups. (105)

In a paper presented to Latin American revolutionaries attending the International Theoretical Conference in
Havana on April 27, 1982, DA chief Manuel Piñeiro reaffirmed the viability of the political-military model. He
advocated the antithesis of the old Guevarist doctrine by arguing that "revolutionary strategy can be efficacious
only to the extent that it adapts itself to the specific realities of each country" and "the strategic objectives of the
revolution." (106) Because each revolutionary movement is different, Piñeiro reasoned, "only a political-military
strategic conception and the corresponding training and preparation" will enable the guerrilla groups to implement
the new revolutionary strategy effectively. (107) Piñeiro argued further that "the consistent and opportune use of
arms" is an "important factor" that "combined with the unity of the masses... in our opinion guarantees the triumph
of the genuine revolutionaries." (108)

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