I was shocked to learn about the death in Nicaragua of Ben Linder, a 27-year-old engineer from Portland, Ore. Ben was a good friend and neighbor during the years I lived and worked in Nicaragua.
Linder was assassinated by a group of contras in the northern Nicaraguan town where he worked on a hydroelectric project. It was no accident; Linder was specifically targeted by President Reagan's "freedom fighters."
It's now official--our tax dollars go to murder U.S. citizens who contribute their valuable skills to benefit the poorest inhabitants of Nicaragua's countryside.
Washington will try to discredit Linder by claiming that U.S. citizens have been warned to stay out of Nicaragua's war zones. Ben told me of his fears before leaving for the countryside, but he accepted the risk as part of the job. Providing medical care, education, agricultural assistance or electricity targets one for terrorist attacks by Washington's proxy army in rural Nicaragua, whether one is an international volunteer or a Nicaraguan worker or professional.