Of course Nicaragua as a Soviet base threatens America's vital national security. Thus The Times' editorial is particularly disheartening. Even if Nicaragua as a Soviet base did not threaten America's security, that is no reason for The Times' editors to deny the Nicaraguans the precious freedoms we have won for ourselves.
La Prensa, the only semi-free newspaper left in Nicaragua, says the situation for the Nicaraguan people is much worse now than it was under Somoza. Somoza demanded control and all the economic benefits, but so long as he had that he did not much mind what others said about him. The Communist Sandinista government in Nicaragua demands mind control also.
Believing the Sandinistas will negotiate once the United States pressure is removed is ridiculous and goes contrary to all the lessons of history.
Believing that other Latin American countries can deal with the Sandinistas through economic pressure or moral suasion is a pipe dream. The Sandinistas have rejected any Contadora suggestion that the Sandinistas give up their dictatorial power.
The Sandinistas congratulate Kadafi on the success of his terrorism. If the Nicaraguans are willing to fight for the freedoms we deem precious, we should certainly help them.
H. MELVIN SWIFT JR.