The State Department said Tuesday that Cuba has received a new shipment of high-performance Soviet fighter planes and that the United States "simply cannot tolerate" such developments. Under questioning, department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler denied that the statement constituted a threat to Cuba. She referred reporters to recent testimony before a Soviet legislative committee by Secretary of State James Baker in which he said Cuba posed no threat to the United States.
In confirming a delivery of new MiG-29 jet fighters, Tutwiler gave no figure. The Washington Times, which reported the shipment in Tuesday's editions, put the number at six.
The report said the combined total of MiGs in Cuba's arsenal has now risen to more than 300, most of them older models.
Tutwiler said Baker had told the Soviet legislators during a visit to Moscow two weeks ago that the United States has difficulty understanding why the Kremlin continues to send MiG-29s to Cuba, particularly at a time when Cuba has been so critical of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's reform policies.
Tutwiler also quoted Baker as saying, "Cuba is actively supporting the insurgency in El Salvador, and it is these kind of activities close to the shores of the United States that we simply cannot tolerate."
Tutwiler also attached little significance to the internal reforms announced recently by the Cuban Communist Party.
The announcement, Tutwiler added, "distances Cuba from the current wave of reform sweeping Eastern Europe by rejecting any attempt to duplicate foreign models, permit democratic processes or allow a multiparty system."
LUANDA, Angola _ Angola and Cuba have agreed to resume a withdrawal of Cuban troops from the African nation, one month after the pullout was suspended, the Angolan foreign minister said Tuesday.
The withdrawal of the estimated 28,000 Cubans still in Angola would start again Sunday to comply with U.S.-brokered regional peace accords signed in December 1988 by the two countries and South Africa, said Foreign Minister Pedro de Castro Van Dunem.
Van Dunem headed the Angolan delegation at talks with Cuba that began Monday and led to the decision, which also was announced by the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina.
Havana suspended the troop withdrawal Jan. 25, after four Cubans died in an attack by rebels of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, known as UNITA. The incident occurred in western Angola above the 13th parallel, currently the southernmost limit for Havana's soldiers, according to the peace accord.
Van Dunem said the two nations adopted a declaration requesting U.S. guarantees to prevent the rebel attacks on Cubans.
Van Dunem also criticized U.S. aid to UNITA, and what he called Washington's "not very positive" attitude toward Angola's Marxist government."
"We would like the United States to cease its interference in the Angolan question," van Dunem said. "We're sure that if they want to use their influence with UNITA, there will be no more attacks on Cubans."