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U.S. Funding of the Contras

March 16, 1987

It was reported (March 6) that President Reagan, in his certification message requesting Congress to release $40 million in contra aid, stated that there is "no reasonable prospect of peaceful settlement and a democratic Nicaragua unless the aid is continued."

President Reagan thus blandly overlooks the public fact that Nicaragua still has before President Reagan its offer to negotiate a settlement directly with the United States, the creator and fundamental force behind the contras.

Nicaragua also has been demonstrating far more support for the Contadora process of negotiation than the Reagan Administration has demonstrated.

President Reagan thus gives continued indication that he does not understand or accept the fundamental lessons of the Iran-contra scandal. Congress should give the President a resounding "No" to the request to release the $40 million--and with sufficient strength to override a veto. We then can put an end to the immoral and senseless killing provided by this funding--and get on with the ultimately inevitable negotiations.

TOM CLAGETT

Los Angeles

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