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Quote Reagan Laid to Lenin Is Challenged

May 05, 1987|From Reuters

MOSCOW — Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady Gerasimov today challenged President Reagan about a quote he attributed to Vladimir I. Lenin, the founder of the Soviet state, during a speech on Central America.

In his address to the American Newspaper Publishers' Assn. on Sunday, Reagan quoted Lenin as saying that the road to America lay through Mexico, Gerasimov said.

"I am ready to eat my hat if he can find that statement in any of these volumes," Gerasimov told reporters as he peered across the complete 55 volumes of Lenin's works on his table.

Defending his Central American policy, Reagan told the publishers his support for the Nicaraguan contra rebels helped to prevent expansion of Soviet influence in the region.

"Soon the communists' prediction of a 'revolutionary fire' sweeping across all of Central America could come true. I do not intend to leave such a crisis to the next American President," Reagan said.

This was "slander intended to blacken the peaceful policy of the Soviet Union," Gerasimov said.

He added that Lenin had often pointed out that interference in Central America came from the United States.

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