Here is the text of President Carter's speech yesterday on the presence of Soviet troops in Cuba:
I want to take a few minutes to speak to you about the presence of the Soviet combat brigade in Cuba.
The facts relating to this issue have been carefully laid out by Secretary [of State Cyrus] Vance, both in his public statement and in his testimony before the Congress.
The facts, in brief, are as follows:
We have concluded as the consequences of intensified intelligence efforts that a Soviet combat unit is currently stationed in Cuba. We have some evidence to indicate that such a unit has been in Cuba for some time, perhaps for quite a few years.
The brigade consists of 2,000 to 3,000 troops. It's equipped with conventional weapons such as about 40 tanks and some field artillery pieces and has conducted training as an organized unit. It is not an assault force. It does not have airlift or seagoing capabilities and does not have weapons capable of attacking the United States.
The purpose of this combat unit is not yet clear. However, the secretary of state spoke for me and for our nation on Wednesday when he said that we consider the presence of a Soviet combat brigade in Cuba to be a very serious matter and that this status quo is not acceptable.
We are confident about our ability to defend our country or any of our friends from external aggression. The issue posed is of a different nature. It involves the stationing of Soviet combat troops here in the Western Hemisphere, in a country which acts as a Soviet proxy in military adventures in other areas of the world like Africa.
We do have the right to insist that the Soviet Union respect our interests and our concerns if the Soviet Union expects us to respect their sensibilities and their concerns. Otherwise, relations between our two countries will inevitably be adversely affected.
We are seriously pursuing this issue with the Soviet Union and we are consulting closely with the Congress. Let me emphasize that this is a sensitive issue that faces our nation -- all of us. And our nation as a whole must respond, not only with firmness and strength, but also with calm and a sense of proportion. This is a time for firm diplomacy, not panic and not exaggeration. As Secretary Vance discusses this issue with Soviet representatives in the coming days, the Congress and the American people can help to ensure a successful outcome of these discussions and negotiations by preserving an atmosphere in which our diplomacy can work.
I know I speak for the leadership in Congress with whom I have met this afternoon, as well as for my own administration, when I express my confidence that our nation can continue to show itself to be calm and steady as well as strong and firm.
Thank you very much.
National Security Affairs Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski made the following remarks at a meeting with out-of-town editors yesterday morning:
Let me just make a few introductory remarks and then I am at your service to answer any questions that you may wish to pose.
I think it is useful to note that the posturing of Cuba as a nonaligned country is fundamentally ridiculous.
Castro is a puppet of the Soviet Union and we view him as such. Throughout the world there isn't one instance in which Castro has deviated from official Soviet policy in any respect whatsoever. Castro economically is totally dependent on subventions from the Soviet Union. The $3 billion annual Soviet economic aid to Cuba represents one-quarter of Cuba's gross national product.
Soviet industrial projects in Cuba account for 30 percent of Cuba's electric power output; 95 percent of Cuba's steel production; 100 percent of Cuba's sheet metal output and the bulk of Cuba's sugar harvest mechanization; approximately three-fifths of Cuba's imports come from the Soviet Union; and so does virtually all of Cuba's oil at a 40 percent discount from the average OPEC prices.
The Soviet Union purchases 72 percent of all Cuban exports and arranges for East European nations to buy Cuban sugar at prices well above world prices. In fact, I wonder how the Jamaicans, for example, react to the fact that the Cubans get five times over the world price for sugar.
Militarily, Cuba is entirely dependent on the Soviet Union. Soviet military support for Cuba goes far beyond Cuba's defensive needs, as witnessed by the fact that the large proportion of the military equipment supplied to Cuba is used by Cubans in combat abroad and far from Cuba.
The Soviet Union supplies to Cuba jet fighters, transports, submarines, missile patrol boats, attack helicopters and antisubmarine patrol boats.
Cuba provides the manpower and since 1975, it has been converting its armed forces from a primarily defensive role to one capable of offensive operations far from Cuban shores. In keeping with that, Cuba deploys forces -- combat troops I mean -- and advisers in Africa where it acts as a proxy for Soviet military intervention. It does so in the Horn of Africa, in the Yemen and elsewhere.
In effect, Cuba is an active surrogate for foreign policy which is not shaped by itself, and is paid for this by economic and military support on a scale that underlines Cuba's status as a dependent client of the Soviet Union.