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'Making It Tough for Peace'

October 08, 1987

Your editorial, "Making It Tough for Peace," (Sept. 29) should come as no surprise to anyone interested in authentic democracy in Nicaragua. The old saying, "Fools rush in where wise men fear to tread," must be the motto of The Times Editorial Board. Your rush to sanctify some Sandinista window dressing is typical of your penchant for the obvious and superficial.

Applauding the opening of La Prensa, Radio Catolica and permission for a few opposition marches is completely appropriate. But proclaiming these minor and easily reversible acts as significant reform is pathetically naive. One need only to listen to recent comments by Sandinista Interior Minister Tomas Borge to realize how reversible these "reforms" are. Borge said La Prensa and Radio Catolica will still be subject to the same censorship laws used to shut them both down before.

Ironically, both La Prensa and Radio Catolica were opened in the days of the Anastasio Somoza dictatorship, and yet Somoza still deserved toppling. If these were not acts worthy of saving Somoza, they are hardly reasons for saving the Sandinistas.

In your editorial you don't forget to quote Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez on the virtues of peaceful negotiations, but you do conveniently forget that Arias also calls for the Sandinistas to negotiate with the Nicaraguan resistance leadership. The day the Sandinistas negotiate in good faith with the resistance leadership is the day that peace will have been given a real chance. Until then, there can be no peace where there is no freedom.

ROBERT MILTENBERG

San Diego

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