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'A Ballad for Nicaragua'

February 21, 1988

I commend The Times for the publication of Galeano's eloquent and moving defense of the Nicaraguan nation. Without cant, hyperbole or hypocrisy, Galeano states the facts, which are that the Sandinistas have overthrown the Somoza dictatorship and established their own form of democracy. They have eliminated polio, and they have brought literacy to the people at large, who under Somoza could not read since only the upper-class was educated. They have distributed land to an essentially agrarian people who had no land. They have made for 3 million people a country in which promise is being transformed into achievement.

That promise is the promise of people freeing themselves from the invasion and control of multinational business interests, which the present U.S. Administration is really worried about. The talk about democracy is a ruse. If political democracy were truly a concern, those attacking Nicaragua would instead attack El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, etc. Benevolence does not motivate our foreign policy. If it did, we would provide massive humanitarian aid and reparations to the Nicaraguan people, whose country has been ravaged by U.S. corporate interests and aligned oligarchies for more than 40 years.

SARA S. GAULDIN

Van Nuys

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