1 February 27, 1989 Apropos to the attached memorandum, I have some additional information to pass on. I talked on the telephone with Paul Taylor yesterday. He called to indicate that he had talked to Tom Stukel, the USAID Director, and that there is now a unified U. S. Mission position in support of our project. No doubt the Ambassador turned Stukel around on this issue. The question still remains, however, one of finding additional resources in A.I.D./Washington to fund the project. I hope in this regard to work out a strategy with Stukel while he is here in Washington next week. Taylor's actions on our behalf have been most helpful in the past few days. Al Moore will be fully informed when he returns to Santo Domingo on Tuesday. cc: Doherty Friedman Estrada Hill ~ Ri chard Hough Coordinator Agrarian Services 0323a
2 American Institute for Free Labor Development 1015 Twentieth Street, N.W., Washington. D.C (202) Cdble Add ress : FREELAB,'#EMORANDUM February 23, TO: William C. FROM: Richard H. Doherty, Jr. Hough\\~ SUBJECT: AIFLD DOMINICAN REPUBLIC PROJECT PROPOSAL: Institutional Development of the CNTD (Otherwise known as the Development of a National Center of Trade Union and Campesino Organization Education and Training) In a meeting on February loth, attended by Mr. Moore, Mr. Klachuk and I, with the USAID Director, Tom Stukel and members of his senior staff, the Director turned down funding of our proposed project. However, the turn-down clearly was qualified. He invited an Embassy input into the project review - - what he called a "political analysis" - - and offered no objection to us meeting further on the proposal with the Ambassador, Paul Taylor. The Director's position was that the USAID simply did not have the funds, either dollars or pesos, for the AIFLD / CNTD proposal. Beyo nd this, he had reservations on the priority of the project within the USAID program assistance strategy, already approved by AID/W. Th e essence of his position was that additional financial resources would have to be identified in AID / W - - with the DR program allotment correspondingly increased - - and that the political (non-economic development ) justification of the project would have to be emphasized or highlighted more. Stukel's remarks represent a friendly turn-down marked with implications as to how to keep the door open for further consideration of the project in Washington. The following Monday, Al Moore and I met with the Amb assador, his Political Counselor and Labor Officer. The comments of the Ambassador in a long, wide-ranging discussion could only be construed as supportive of the project. He indicated that the political analysis that Stukel said was lacking would be prepared and that he would talk to the latter about the project once he received this staff paper. Whether Taylor will use his authority as Ambassador to lean on Stukel on behalf of the project remains to be seen. It is clear at this time however that the former is a friend, if not an advocate.! "$: ~
3 -2- Where are we then? The analysis by the Political Section of the Embassy is done and has been conveyed to the Ambassador (copy attached). Al Moore is waiting for a feedback from the Embassy on the Taylor/Stukel conversation which he will pass on to me in the next few days. Once we have this, we will work out a Washington strategy. I have already enlisted the support of Bill Meagher, and I am sure he will be helpful in the Department. May I note a few more points. No way should we give-up on the project. In my professional judgment, it is the best project we have yet designed, at least of those that I have had a hand in. The primary problem is one of funding which can be overcome - - without underestimating the difficulties. The approach should be to pursue the funds sequentially, one Project Phase at a time, thereby diminishing up-front project costs. On these terms, I believe we have a good chance of getting the project approved. I would add that the project has a solid economic development rationale, nothwithstanding apparent reservations on this point in the USAID, and that this rationale goes well with the compelling set of political arguments for the project. Merit will win out, one way or another. I will keep you informed as we move forward. Your direct support will likely be needed, but when and with whom are not as yet clear. cc: Friedman, Estrada, Hill, Moore 0323a
4 Political Assessment of Institutional Development of the Confederaci6n Nacional de Trabajadores Dominicanos (AID Operational Program Grant Proposal by AIFLD/CNTD) As requested, the Political Section has reviewed the titled project and makes the following observations: GENERAL COMMENTS ON THE PROJECT: The project is well r~searched, well developed and well designed. The background and policy framework agree with our own in-country assessment of the labor and political situation. The technical program ~ppears to be workable and feasible, and addresses the stctted goals. The two overarching goal~ of the project, 1) to expand the role of the CNTD in the development of democratic trade union and campesino movements and 2) to contribute to the equitably distributed economic development, sup~ort USG policy and objectives. This project could help counterbalance the negative image created by the drastic reductions of other U.S. assistance programs. At the same time, the project promotes Dominican self-sufficiency in the project itself (which has built-in finance-generating factors) and in the skills it will teach. We understand that this project would be funded through moneys generated by AIFLD in Washington and administered with AIFLD/CNTD personnel and resources. This would have a minimal impact on the limited AID in-country resources. PROJECT ADVANTAGES: The CNTD is a positive and significant influence on the labor movement, moving the sector towards a non-partisan, democratic system and providing an important option to both the strong socialist/ communlst oriented confederations as well as the social christian groups. This ~roject provides both concrete (the institution) and symbolic support for the CNTD and those values it represents. This project also promotes the separation of organized labor from political ideologies and parties. Unlike the CNTD, the other major labor confederations have strong ties to political parties and ideologies as well as labor institutions which offer training generally coupled with political indoctrination. This project will provide the CNTD the facilities to offer its own programs (a democratic option to leftist and christian democrats) focused on labor training rather than partisan politics.
5 - 2 - The proposed training in the program is aimed at offering the labor and campesino movements alternatives to strikes and confrontation through learning negotiation skills. Other areas would provide knowledge in organizing and operating open, democratic organizations. These are the type of skills needed by many labor leaders to help mature and stabilize this sector and to improve their capacity and capability to function in an active democracy. Finally, this project directly addresses the problem of rural flight and agricultural underdevelopment which affect the society and the broader body politic. These two problems are major contributors to the current economic and service crises. This program seeks to increase the capability of small farmers through practical education and some modest assistance in an effort to promote full use of the country's very rich agricultural resources. PROJECT DISADVANTAGES A concern that the Political Section sees with the project is the danger that the CNTD is becoming too closely linked with the USG. For the CNTD, it may become known as a USG or even CIA puppet organization. For the USG, we may be charged with attempting to interfere with the internal development of labor or even trying to c overtly control the movement. It is conventional wisdom tha t the USG actively uses the AIFLD/ CNTD connection to manage the labor sector -- a misperception often blown out of proportion. While not a serious problem at this time, we would face charges (especially from the more extremist and politically active members of labor) of indoctrination and interference should we promote a project of this size through the CNTD. A second, less serious concern is the perception among the labor groups friendly or neutral to the U.S. that the USG is playing favorites. This often comes up in discussion with labor leaders not affiliated to the CNTD. They view AIFLD as an extension of the USG, especially when funds are channelled through or sponsored by AID. They argue that an open U.S. labor policy would involve more non-cntd groups. This project going to CNTD will enforce this misconception. CONCLUSIONS: The Political Section believes the potential advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, and that it advances a number of U.S. policy objectives. We conclude that this project merits full Embassy support.