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President Labels Nicaraguan Leader Ortega a 'Dictator in Designer Glasses'

December 15, 1985|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Describing Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega as a "dictator in designer glasses," President Reagan on Saturday accused the Sandinistas of using Cuban aid and terrorists to turn their country into a breeding ground for subversion.

In some of the harshest language ever directed at Nicaragua's leftist government, Reagan used part of his weekly radio address to push for additional assistance to the rebels fighting the Managua government.

"Nicaragua today is an imprisoned nation; it is a nation condemned to unrelenting cruelty by a clique of very cruel men; by a dictator in designer glasses and his comrades, drunk with power and all its brutal implications," Reagan said.

The President apparently was referring to reports that Ortega had purchased designer eyewear while in New York attending the United Nations' anniversary celebrations earlier this year. Once, Reagan derided Ortega as "the little dictator who went to Moscow in his green fatigues."

In his radio address, Reagan accused the Sandinista regime of repressive actions against Roman Catholics and Jews in Nicaragua and of trampling on human rights.

The President said that he is offended by the Sandinistas' denial of basic rights and their socialist economic controls but that a cause for deeper concern is "the spectre of Nicaragua transformed into an international aggressor nation, a base for subversion and terror."

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