Diplomacy is sometimes a game of subtle distinctions without practical differences, as Rep. Robert Lagomarsino (R-Calif.) learned recently when he questioned Myles Frechette, head of the State Department's Cuban desk, at a secret hearing. Asked if the Cubans were aiding terrorists, Frechette said they were not, though they were assisting "revolutionaries" in other countries. He then proceeded to lecture the congressman on the distinction between terrorists and revolutionaries.

Secret intelligence documents show that the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador last March was committed by a professional killer hired by right-wing military officers ousted from power last year. Code-named "Operation Pineapple," the plot involved the hit man, four security guards and a driver. The assassin, who was paid $120,000 for the job, was equipped with a starlight scope that gave him clear aim in the dim cathedral. He also had four grenades in case he missed with the rifle.

The Soviet Union failed to deliver the full amount of lumber it promised Cuban President Fidel Castro last year for housing construction in Havana. cSecret State Department documents disclose that the Cubans are recruiting a "lumber-cutting brigade" to travel to Siberia and harvest the wood the Cubans need.