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Soviet Weapons In Nicaragua

December 20, 1985

It was ironic to read in The Times (Dec. 7) of a helicopter downed in Nicaragua, by contras using a Soviet-built SAM-7 missile. Moreover, Secretary of State George Shultz was "delighted" that they have the missiles, spirited in by a Portuguese arms dealer.

Isn't the great fuss in Nicaragua over keeping Soviet weapons out of the region?

If Shultz can lend this moral support, however direct, to a small portion of the Soviet war machine, the contra cause has to be very, very just. Moreover, if Reagan, who claims religious faith, calls them his "brothers," the cause has to be Christian and American as well.

Yet I read, through Witness For Peace documentation of the war, a continuous litany of contra atrocities--kidnapping, rape, murder, farms and clinics destroyed. And Peggy Heiner, a United States citizen and Methodist missionary serving in Nicaragua for CEPAD, the Evangelical Committee for Aid and Development, told me this month that the effects of the continuing contra war are quite simple. The poor, the marginal majority in Nicaragua, are bearing the brunt of the pain. These people, too, claim the Christian faith.

I would remind Reagan that real Christians do not kidnap. Real Christians do not rape or murder. Real Christians do not destroy the means of feeding and tending to health of other people, no matter their political stripe.

And real Americans do not rejoice as Soviet weapons sneak into Nicaragua.


San Jose

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