And yet...despite what seems like for ground for Castro's doctrine of taking from the rich?
And yet...despite what seems like for ground for Castro's doctrine of taking from the rich and giving to the poor...his guerilla war is mostly a flop.
Venezuela recently smashed the Communist terror organization in Caranas by killing or arresting more than 50 Cuban and local guerrillas and capturing their arsenal. In Colombia... the guerrillas also are divided and are no longer a serious threat. In Guatemala...tough military action has reduced the Communist army to less than 200 men.
Why is Castro failing?
First, Latin American governments...with about one billion dollars in American aid money...are doing just enough...or at least promising enough... to keep the poor from revolting. A little prosperity is filtering down. Latin Americans... with their strong nationalism...prefer their OWN brands of reform to reform dictated from Havana. And finally...even when it comes to revolution... Latin Americans have the apathetic attitude of: "ma????ana."
Only in his newest guerrilla war... In Hylivia... does Castrol have a chance to win.
In the warm Amazon basin area where they are roaming, the guerrillas can live off the land. The jungles and mountains make pursuit difficult. The guerrillas hope to recruit plattons from the poor peasants and workers in the new gas and oil industry. Government troops are alienating the population by heavy handed road blocks and other restrictions. In fact, at Lagunillas... a dusty little town the government has chosen as its forward command post...most of the civilians have moved and out abandoned their homes to the soldiers.
NESSENIN MOUNTAINS: The curtain is really just going up on the war here in the jungles and mountains of Southern Bolivia. the guerrillas are starting off with a small, well-armed, well-trained force and are beginning to recruit supporters in the countryside. The government is starting off with a generally inept army and is trying to rush a special anti-guerrilla battallion through training and into combat.It is too late for Bolivia to wipe out the poverty, illiteracy, disease and exploitation which make the promises of Communism so appealing. And it is too soon to say who will win in this war or who deeply involved the United States will become. Ron Nessen, NBC News, near the Lagunillas command Pont, Bolivia.
NESSEN ON BEACH: Across the beaches of Venezuela, Fidel Castro is sneaking leaders and weapons to Communist guerrillas in the hills. Castro also is helping guerrillas in Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala. Other countries think they are next on the target list.
Venezuela in Castro's number one target because he wants the great oil and gas fields around Maracaibo. He also wants Venezuela as a Communist beach head to land guerrillas from the Caribbean and ship them into the rest of South America. Castro's propagandist try to win supporters by pointing to the oil wells as an example of Yankee imperialism stealing the riches which rightly belong to the Venezuelan people. In the same way, Castro charges foreign exploitation in the tin mines of Bolivia, the coffee plantations of Colombia and the fruit orchards of Guatemala.
The slums which cling to the hills of Caracas are called "the belt of misery." Every Latin American city has the equivalent... or worse... usually within sight of the plush world of the rich. To these slum dwellers, Castro offers his glittering promise of a Communist workers paradise.
At the ??? University in Caracas, and other schools in Latin America, Castro's guerrilla war is strongly supported by the students. The students don't like the military dictatorships... right-wing authoritarian regimes a .. and ??? mildly liberal governments which run most Latin American countries. Latin American Universities have been ??? for guerrilla weapons, radios, propaganda and agitators.