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'Reckless and Wrong'

September 01, 1985

Having returned from almost a month in Nicaragua, I was glad to read your editorial (Aug. 7), "Reckless and Wrong," calling plans to double the forces of the contras "a reckless and mistaken proposal." I concur 100% in that assertion but take issue with the further statement that declares that "the Sandinista revolution has been corrupted by those who now rule." My experience and analysis tell me something different.

I spent time in the cities and in the countryside of Nicaragua and heard people speak proudly of the tangible effects of the Sandinista revolution: neighborhoods with roads finally paved, a literacy campaign that touched people who never had the opportunity to learn to read and write, and a successful health campaign against such diseases as measles and polio. The government now in power is the government that initiated and spearheaded these campaigns.

The U.S.-trained and financed contras have waged a war that has left 7,300 dead civilians, 180,000 displaced persons, 6,500 orphans, 170 assassinated teachers, 800 schools forced to close, 28 assassinated doctors, 42 destroyed health centers and 11 demolished child development centers in rural areas. These are statistics released at the end of May.

Who has corrupted the Sandinista revolution? In my opinion, the very people, the contras, to whom the U.S. government has just given $27 million in humanitarian aid.

MARILYN T. SCHAFER

Los Angeles

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