Irritated by U.S. congressional cuts in military and economic assistance, Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva of Portugal, in an interview earlier this week, said he is considering formally calling in February, 1988, for a renegotiation of the agreement covering the U.S. military base in the Portuguese Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. He said the agreement had promised a rising level of American assistance.
Cavaco Silva, speaking in English, said Portugal is "a faithful ally of the United States" but that "the spirit of the agreement has not been respected."
Although the original agreement was signed with the old Portuguese dictatorship that was thrown out in a 1974 revolution, the dispute over it does not evoke the same kind of angry emotion as the conflict in Spain over the bases there. Spanish officials insist that their agreement, originally signed by the United States and the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, was tainted at birth.