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'No Confidence in Contras"

September 25, 1986

I would like to compliment The Times for its increasing editorial commitment to bring to light the hypocrisy of Reagan's Central American foreign policy.

By supporting the CIA-created contra terrorists, the people of United States are proving themselves ignorant of the history of the situation and the many causes that has led to the present state of affairs. Unfortunately, Reagan shows no signs of changing his present barbaric and morally vacuous policies.

It is true that El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica have denied the use of their sovereign territory for the training of the CIA contra terrorists. However, as reported a few weeks earlier in The Times, Honduras is willing to let them train on Honduran soil, provided it can be done in such a way that the Honduran government can deny it is taking place.

Our "aid" to these "friendly" governments has resulted only in making matters worse. The oligarchical government in Honduras boasts over 75% unemployment and the transformation of a once tranquil country into a military training field.

A military siege mentality in El Salvador has resulted in the greatest bombardment in the history of the Western hemisphere and now 25% of its citizens are homeless refugees.

The increased militarization of Costa Rica means that they are about to institute their first standing army in more than 30 years.

Need I mention Guatemala, which has the dubious distinction of being on Amnesty International's top 10 list of human rights violators every year for the past five years?

Considering all this, how can we come to the conclusion that our foreign policies, past and present, have resulted in helping these people? Could it be that our government, this and past administrations, have something else in mind?

You point out that the Contadora countries have proposed to create a Central American-instigated solution to the centuries-old problem and that Nicaragua has been a consistent participant in this process. But it is also true that without the support of the U.S. government, such a process doesn't stand much of a chance. Reagan showed his commitment to diplomatic negotiations earlier this year when he refused to meet with the four foreign ministers of the Contadora nations when they flew to Washington in February.

In order to regain a true sense of national pride, it is every individual's responsibility to learn the truth and inform his/her government as to where he or she stands on the issues.

PETER EISENSTEIN

Los Angeles

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