Dugger expresses a legitimate concern that the recent suspension of civil rights in Nicaragua by the Sandinista government may become permanent in the face of attacks by the contra army that is attempting to overthrow it. He points to Cuba and the Soviet Union to illustrate how civil liberties abroad have been betrayed.
The article begins with a thoughtful question: What should Americans do about the U.S.-financed contra war and the recent suspension of basic liberties? However, Dugger answers this question with a disappointing backhanded slap to the American left, by stating that the American public should find out if Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is "just another dictator" before, "once again, the American left betrays the cause of civil liberties abroad."
Anyone who is at all familiar with the long and sorry history of U.S. intervention in Latin America, and the massive amounts of financial and military aid that our government has sent in support of brutal right-wing dictatorships there, can only wonder why Dugger attempts to lay the blame for betrayal of civil liberties in that region of the world at the doorstep of the American left. And why is he silent on the denial of basic rights in countries ruled by non-Communist, right-wing dictatorships?