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Security Aide Secretly Visits Central America

December 13, 1985|United Press International

WASHINGTON — National security adviser John Poindexter made a secret two-day trip to Central America this week to review policy, a White House spokesman announced today. He indicated that President Reagan will seek more aid for the rebels fighting the Nicaraguan regime.

Deputy Press Secretary Larry Speakes said Poindexter went to all the countries of Central America except Nicaragua and Belize. He was accompanied by Eliott Abrams, assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, and other officials.

Speakes said the purpose of the trip was to "advance the cause of democracy in the region. The President is constantly reviewing policy in Central America."

Speakes indicated that the current review is to prepare a new policy.

Asked whether the purpose also was to increase support for the contras who are fighting the Sandinista government, Speakes said, "Certainly we do support democratic actions in Central America, and that's one of them."

As for Poindexter's mission, Speakes said, "I think he was assessing the entire range of things taking place in Central America."

He said the Poindexter party met with U.S. and local officials in the area. "Many of the local officials expressed concern over Cuban involvement and the need to build up counterterrorism support to protect democratic institutions against the Sandinista government," he said.

Speakes said the United States is providing expertise and training in Central America on counterterrorism. "Certainly there has been a review of Cuban involvement in the various areas," he said.

He said he did not know which countries are willing to do more in assisting the United States in the area.

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