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U.S. Policy in Central America

August 01, 1986

Maynes' article on Nicaragua focuses on the perplexities of America's involvement in that country's political evolution. His reasoning for coming failure makes sense from the Nicaraguan perspective. As for the American view however, he hit a bull's-eye in his last paragraph.

Continued U.S. involvement serves to escalate the arsenals of the warring factions tying that government's limited resources into defense instead of the badly needed economic programs that they need. It also assists in prolonging the conflict and misery of the suffering people. The result, taken from recent history, is northward migration. How many such commitments is Congress willing to sponsor?

The signs of continuing storms are brewing in other Latin American countries, including Mexico. If a Vietnam-type of conflict is begun and sustained as the new American policy upon these neighbor states, the effect on the United States will not be the same as it was in the '70s. It will be different and worse.

There is an effort by the Contadora group to resolve some stability onto the Central American region. In the long run the United States will have more influence and success working through this group than wielding its big military stick by way of unpopular "contra commandantes."

RAFAEL A. CHAVEZ

Alhambra

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