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Reagan Policy in Central America

April 21, 1985

Dorfman is one of Latin America's greatest living writers. His article should be "must" reading for President Reagan. If for no other reason, because it represents the thinking (wishing?) of a substantial section of Latin America's intelligentsia. It is hoped that the President's daily media summarizer was "on the job" on April 11.

Unfortunately, U.S. readers do not often "take seriously" statements about or assessments of foreign policy made by writers or poets. The opposite is true in Latin America. The position of many Latin American writers concerning public issues is expressed in the words of Mexico's Carlos Fuentes:

"The Mexican intellectual cannot afford the luxury of being a pure artist, he must simultaneously be a teacher to the illiterate and a lawyer for the downtrodden."

Dorfman concluded his article by alluding to a paradox: that Daniel Ortega, president of Nicaragua, might prove to be Ronald Reagan's greatest benefactor. Not altogether unlikely, if one reflects that much of history is writ in paradox.

GEORGE ALVAREZ

Los Angeles

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