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Wright Sees White House Attempt to 'Torpedo' Peace

October 05, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.) said today that President Reagan's plan to make tougher demands on the government of Nicaragua makes it appear that the Administration wants to doom the Central American peace process.

Administration officials say Reagan's Wednesday address to the Organization of American States will lay out a timetable for resumption of military aid to the anti-Sandinista contra rebels and will specify "guideposts" the Administration will use to gauge Nicaragua's compliance with the peace process.

Wright said today that "it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the conclusion that someone advising the President is deliberately trying to torpedo the peace process."

In remarks to reporters, he said it appeared the "extreme right wing" in the White House has taken over Central American policy-making and that the planned Reagan speech includes "ridiculous" demands that violate Nicaraguan sovereignty.

Reagan's speech will take place a month prior to the Nov. 7 deadline for a cease-fire and democratic reforms established in a regionally sponsored peace plan.

At the White House, spokesman Marlin Fitzwater was asked why Reagan believes he can make demands about how Nicaragua is living up to the regional peace accord, since the United States is not a signatory to the accord.

"We have a right to decide what represents compliance in our judgment, and how it guides our actions," Fitzwater said.

"We'll make our own determination about what is acceptable, and what constitutes compliance in terms of all the range of decisions we have to make in Central America," the spokesman said. "It's important to let the world know what we think and what our attitudes are."

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