Premier Felipe Gonzalez reportedly urged normalization of relations between Washington and Havana in talks here today with Assistant Secretary of State Thomas O. Enders on U.S. policy in Cuba and Central America.
Enders' visit to Madrid, including a meeting with Foreign Minister Fernando Moran, coincided with local press reports that Cuban President Fidel Castro would come to Spain in the fall as part of a tour to include visits to socialist governments in France, Sweden and Austria.
Although each of those governments has normal relations with Cuba, as Spain had even under the rightist regime of dictator Francisco Franco, Castro reportedly has long coveted the additional recognition of an official invitation to Western Europe.
Gonzalez, who also serves as a vice president of the Socialist International, the organization of socialist and social democratic parties, has special responsibility within the group for Latin American affairs and has publicly stated that diplomatic recognition of Castro's government by Washington is an important prerequisite for the pacification of the Caribbean Basin region.
Spanish sources reported Gonzalez's recommendation on Cuba. Following today's talks with Enders, who is the principal U.S. policy-maker on Latin America, the Foreign Ministry said that while there had been a "full exchange of views. . . , some differences" remained over the "political approach" to the problems under discussion.
At a press conference, Enders said the United States did not need mediators to talk to Cuba. He said he had explained to Gonzalez that contacts with Castro during the administrations of presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter had "collapsed" amid the evidence of Cuban involvement in Africa and Central America.
The European socialists generally have been critical of the Reagan administration's policy in Central America, although they have tempered their public opposition in recent months.
Enders, at his news conference, urged the international's members to "review their assessment" of the 10-month-old Guatemalan government of Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, that has been singled out by the Europeans and U.S. liberals for special criticism as a human rights violator. He repeated the administration's assessment that the rights situation has improved in Guatemala, the justification used for last month's lifting of a ban on U.S. weapons sales there.
On El Salvador,, Enders said "reconciliation" with armed adversaries "should be the short-term priority." But he emphasized that there should be no negotiations with guerrilla movements fighting against the U.S.-backed government, saying such talks historically have led to the downfall of existing governments. He cited a unilateral amnesty offered to guerrillas by the government in Colombia as a model that could be pursued in El Salvador.
Last November, the Socialist International backed an initiative by the Salvadoran guerrillas' political front calling for dialogue and a halt to U.S. military support of the Army there. The National Revolutionary Movement, one component of the front, is a member of the international.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry said that no dates had been set for a Castro visit here, but noted that an official invitation has existed since 1978. Diplomatic sources said Castro's possible tour had been debated at a meeting in Paris on Jan. 23, sponsored by the French Socialist Party and attended by Europan socialist leaders including Gonzalez.
Spanish diplomatic sources said that while there was "no overt enthusiasm" among U.S. diplomats over the possible Castro tour, there was no question of any opposition. U.S. Embassy officials declined to comment on the issue.