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'Nicaraguan Obsession'

November 09, 1986

You are to be commended for your editorial. It was an appeal to reason against this Administration's "cockeyed crusade against Nicaragua."

Congress must share the blame for adding to the suffering of a miserably poor country, which for more than 40 years had lived under a repressive government, of which the United States had approved. It is not difficult to understand that a desperate and miserable people will turn to any system that offers hope for a decent future. The millions sent in guns and means of destruction could have been used to better advantage. We could have been their friends and not their enemies.

You mention that the Sandinistas were ready to sign a peace treaty with their neighbors, but did not do so because "Reagan began backing the contras." In view of subsequent events and for a better understanding of the U.S. role, the details of that treaty are worth noting:

On June 20, 1986, Nicaragua agreed to sign a treaty that would (1) expel all of Nicaragua's Soviet bloc military advisers . . . (2) stop all shipments of Soviet weaponry, eliminate most if not all of Soviet helicopters and tanks . . . (3) introduce a verification commission with the power to roam freely throughout Nicaragua to ensure full compliance . . . (4) comply with the terms of the present Contadora treaty that insist on democracy in Nicaragua specifying elections, amnesty and dialogue with the opposition." On June 22, the United States stated that the Nicaraguan offer was not sincere. How do we know whether they were sincere or not without the opportunity to prove it?

The United States has been urged to work closely with the Contadora Group (Venezuela, Colombia, Panama and Mexico). Leaders from all the countries in Central America plead: "The solutions in Central America's problems lie in economic and social development and political dialogue not in more weapons and military advisers."

An irrational anti-communist attitude resulted in death, destruction and misery for the peoples of Asia. Is that to be the U.S. legacy in this hemisphere? The Contadora Group should be given the support of the U.S. government and its citizens.

GERTRUDE KERN

Los Angeles

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