Percy: US must 'draw line' on Soviet 'adventurism'
Senate Foreign Relations chairman Charles H. Percy has set out an array of "linkages" and "drawing of lines" that reflects the emerging Republican foreign policy as seen from Capitol Hill.
In exchange for further US military adviser aid, the leaders of El Salvador are expected to press for an investigation of the "terrorist" slaying of Roman Catholic nuns, Mr. Percy said in a breakfast meeting with reporters.
At the same time, the United States must "draw the line" against Cuban or Soviet "adventurism" in El Salvador. The Illinois Republican senator said no options, including blockades, could be ruled out if the Monroe Doctrine of US hegemony in the Western Hemisphere were to keep its meaning.
Percy characterized the Reagan administration's attitude as very pragmatic toward questions like normalizing relations with Cuba and the Soviet Union.
The Soviet brigade's presence in Cuba he called a "fait accompli." He said "we have to be practical, realistic" about their presence, suggesting the Republicans intend not to raise a fuss about it. But he added, "We have to make sure there is no exporting of adventurism from Cuba."
Several overtures from Cuban Premier Fidel Castro to Percy to visit Cuba have been turned down, the senator said, and will not be taken up unless the Cubans are pledged to discuss a specific agenda of issues.
Percy said a dialogue with the Soviet Union that could lead to resumed SALT talks actually began with a dinner meeting at his home attended by Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. and Soviet Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin.
The senator also revealed that he had represented President Reagan's positions "on certain subjects" to Soviet leaders in his preinaugural visit to the Soviet Union.
Percy pictured the Soviets as wanting to get their own agenda in order with the United States, tempering their impulses in sensitive areas like Poland with an eye on a new five- year grain pact with the US and a deal for American-made tractors to help build a gas pipeline from the Soviet Union to West Germany.
"Unless there is a dramatic change in Poland, I don't think they will go into Poland," the senator said.
Secretary Haig has "laid out" to the Soviets "in writing" US views on an itemized list of Soviet-American issues, Percy said. He emphasized his very close personal consultations with Secretary Haig, suggesting strong Senate leadership backing for Reagan policies.
"The Soviet Union will want to remove forces from Afghanistan," Senator Percy said of Soviet actions that would help improve relations. "There must be a plan for it."
"Linkage is a fact of life," he said. "There is no way to divorce what they do in El Salvador or Afghanistan" from Soviet bids for US technology and grain.
But speaking as a grain-state senator, Percy said he strongly opposes limiting embargoes, for foreign policy leverage, to single industries like agriculture. He favors new legislation that would allow the president to impose embargoes only if they applied across the board to all US industries doing business with the embargo-target nation.
On the subject of foreign aid budget cuts, Percy said, "It would be unconscionable to cut deep into our domestic programs and not into foreign aid."
However, he disclosed he had gone to bat for protecting a US commitment to the World Bank, reached after 19 months of negotiations and affecting 32 foreign countries.
"We'd never live it down," he said, if the US broke its agreement.
Foreign aid will continue to be important to the US, he stressed: Soon "80 percent of our n ational resources will be coming from other countries."