United States Marines will storm ashore in a mock exercise at the United States Guantanamo naval base on Cuba as part of a military show of strength over the presence of Soviet troops on the island.
GUANTANAMO BASE, CUBA (FILE) (REUTERS)
GV Cuban barbed wire obstacle fences at Guatanamo Bay, Cuba
GV Cuban look-out post
SCU United States observers on look-out duty
TOP GV United States border fence
GV Cuban workers leaving base in evening (2 SHOTS)
GV Bird in flight PAN TO border control post
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Background: United States Marines will storm ashore in a mock exercise at the United States Guantanamo naval base on Cuba as part of a military show of strength over the presence of Soviet troops on the island. The exercise was announced by President Carter when he went on television to give his answer to the presence of the troops, although he said he has had assurances from the highest level of the Soviet government that the troops would not be used to threaten other nations. Some Congressmen see the issue as a reason for opposing the latest Strategic Arms Limitation agreement with the Soviet Union, but President Carter discounted this.
The effort to secure sufficient congressional backing to ensure ratification of SALT II includes a massed mock attack at this United States beach-head in Cuba. Guantanamo has been a U.S. base since 1903, but since the 1959 revolution President Castro's government has refused to accept rent and has periodically threatened to seize it. The exercise to be held within two weeks will involve about 1,500 troops who will increase the Marine presence four-fold.