Duarte Denies Allegations He Was A CIA ‘Asset’ With AM-CIA Book
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ President Jose Napoleon Duarte on Tuesday denied allegations he was a secret ″asset,″ or informer, of the Central Intelligence Agency and said the whole thing made him laugh.
In a new book published recently, Washington Post managing editor Bob Woodward quoted the late CIA director William J. Casey as saying that Duarte was a CIA ″asset.″
Woodward, in the book, ″Veil: the Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987,″ said Casey told him that Duarte was more than a casual informant, but he was not fully controlled by the intelligence agency.
Asked about the allegation, Duarte said it was part of an opposition campaign to defame him in 1984, when he was elected president, by accusing him of links to the CIA and having the agency finance his campaign expenses.
″I have never been and will never be under the economic control of anyone. I follow no one’s line, I obey my country’s line and the constitution of El Salvador,″ he said.
All this ″makes me laugh,″ he added. ″You know me perfectly well and you know that all my life I have been a man who acted freely and independently.″
″I can declare emphatically that this is absolutely false. It is a lie that they tried to bring out at election time when I was a candidate for the presidency,″ he added.
″Now a certain gentleman has brought it out again in his book, in which he writes some things that do not appear to be true, among others that he had gone to talk to Casey when he was sick and dying,″ Duarte added.
Duate spoke to reporters after a ceremony celebrating army paratroopers’ day. His centrist Christian Democratic government is supported by the United States in a war against a leftist guerrilla insurrection.