GUATEMALA CITY — Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today that American weapons left behind in Vietnam are being used to promote subversion in many countries in this hemisphere.
Shultz said such weaponry has been sent to Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica and other countries in the region. He said he held the Soviet Union and Cuba responsible.
The secretary spoke at the opening session of an Organization of American States foreign ministers meeting. Extraordinary security measures, including a heavy police presence, were in effect as the 31-member OAS held its first meeting in this capital city.
Communist forces seized huge caches of U.S. arms when they overran the south to end the Vietnam War in 1975.
Shultz also said the rebellion in Nicaragua will persist as long as the people's "legitimate desires" there are repressed.
"We cannot give lip service to democracy when it is convenient and costless but turn our backs on it when there are costs and risks," he said.
Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Miguel D'Escoto told reporters he is willing to discuss his government's differences with the United States but said he doubts the U.S. side would go along.
"They are afraid. They are very big and powerful, but they fear the truth," D'Escoto said. "They fear justice, they have a guilty conscience."
Alien Ideology Blamed
In his speech, Shultz put the blame for instability and violence in Central America on "alien ideologies and foreign cadres"--from Cuba, the Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea, Vietnam and Libya.
"The only road to peace and stability is to eliminate that alien intervention," he said.
Shultz said the recent assassination attempt against Chilean President Augusto Pinochet indicates a Soviet-Cuban attempt to head off the possibility of a democratic outcome in Chile.
He said the United States has made "absolutely clear" to Chilean authorities its strong support for a "prompt and successful return to democratic government."
Shultz's speech highlighted a planned 20-hour visit that included a meeting with Guatemalan President Vinicio Cerezo, a closed-door meeting with other delegation heads and a lunch with the foreign ministers of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica.