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THE PATCHWORK OF PEACE WORK : SOME VIEWS FROM WITHOUT THE WHITE HOUSE : Ortega : To Find an 'Alice in Wonderland' Foreign Policy

January 24, 1988|Daniel Ortega | Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, writes his reaction to the summit for The Times.

Less than four full days after the San Jose summit, Nicaragua became the first country in Central America to move ahead full speed towards total compliance with the agreements. This we did in faithful adherence to the new rules for implementation approved by the five Central American presidents on Jan. 16, 1988.

Although all of us Central American presidents want peace, the Guatemala and San Jose summit agreements were not easy to accomplish. Many were quite surprised when we all signed those agreements, especially Reagan Administration officials. They never imagined that we Central Americans would ever dare to deal with our own problems and reach our own solutions independently of official U.S. policy.

Predictably, after we signed the Esquipulas Accord on August 7, 1987, in Guatemala City, the Administration began to undermine the peace accords, continuing U.S. policy of trying to get rid of our government.

That Administration even went so far as to say in a recent trip to the region by top U.S. officials that if their Central American allies did not support the Contras they would lose U.S. economic and military aid.

This is an "Alice In Wonderland" foreign policy. The Reagan Administration goes to Congress requesting money for the Contras claiming that its purpose is to safeguard what it perceives as the security of Central American countries. When those countries do not support the Contras as a means to make them secure, the U.S. Government threatens to cut off economic and other aid intended for their security.

I stress this because it is essential to understand the dynamics operative at the recent San Jose summit. U.S. allies in the region came to that meeting under enormous pressure to make the summit fail or to reach a toothless agreement.

Nicaragua was the target. From the beginning of the peace process, the Reagan Administration tried to focus media and public attention on Nicaragua's alleged lack of compliance with the accords. Facts showed otherwise.

Nonetheless, the United States continued its military action against Nicaragua at the very moment we were moving to comply with the peace treaty. We were loosening measures put in place to guard us against a U.S. military force created in 1981 and financed by hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. taxpayers' money.

What happened? The International Commission on Verification and Follow-up, created by the peace plan, presented its 100-page report in San Jose showing that Nicaragua along with Costa Rica had complied more fully with the accords than any other countries in the region.

But the spotlight was still on the misrepresentations that the Reagan Administration disinformation campaign had designed against us. To make our position unequivocally clear, we took the final steps to comply with the peace accords, without waiting for other countries to do the same, as we all had agreed in San Jose on Jan. 16, 1988.

What is at issue now is the following. We Central Americans, in exercise of our sovereign rights as independent nations, have agreed upon a regional plan to bring peace, justice and democracy to our countries. It is our own plan for our own countries.

The United States must give peace a chance and stop sabotaging the regional peace accord. It must stop funding suffering, death and destruction, for the good of Central America and the image of the United States throughout the hemisphere.

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