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Reagan's Bid for Contra Aid

March 18, 1986

The Reagan Administration's accusation that those members of Congress voting against contra aid are in support of communists is preposterous and serves no purpose whatsoever other than that of underscoring the continuing arrogance and naivete of those U.S. policy-makers responsible for Latin American affairs.

In the 1960s, U.S. policy-makers cut off trade with Cuba, thereby forcing the Castro regime to look elsewhere for sources of food and military equipment. The Soviet Union and its allies were only too willing to provide the Castro regime with all the economic and military assistance it needed.

The Reagan Administration has cut off most U.S. trade with Nicaragua. By supporting the contras, the United States is forcing the Sandinistas to devote more resources toward the defense of their regime. Thus, we witness a growing military buildup in Nicaragua. By pursuing these strategies, U.S. policy-makers hope to weaken and ultimately provoke the downfall of the Sandinista regime.

Past experience tells us, however, that the Soviet Union and its allies will step in to offset the intended impact of these policies. Thus, we note the growth of economic and military ties between Nicaragua and the socialist bloc. It is difficult to imagine how the pursuit of these policies will benefit the long term interests of the United States in Central America.

JEFF CRIDER

Pacific Grove

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