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The Future of Central America

April 06, 1988

How will Central America gain the requisite strength to pull itself out of the jaws of poverty? The strength of the United States of America lay in the union of the states. That is a model of peaceful cooperation worthy of emulation. I believe that the future of Central America must include the possibility of a union of Central American states.

Unified, Central America can enter the 21st Century with the potential of providing for her people without the life and death reliance on grants, subsidies and loans from more developed neighbors. That unity can be achieved only if all Central American states evolve into free democratic states first, with each state making the decision to join that union freely.

Those with a communist world view also see the vision of Central American unity, and they also know the potential power of that unity. Their unity is, of course, a coerced unity that is forced upon nations through force of arms, or the threat of such force. Such a unity under the communist banner would lock the people of Central American into a stockade of economic and cultural stagnation, as it has the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Cuba.

If Americans need to understand any one thing, it is crucial that they understand that there are international strategic consequences for each foot of ground lost to the control of communist forces in Central America.

Nicaragua is a relatively small problem now. But if the communist revolution is consolidated, and it in fact gains inroads into other Central American nations, the problem will not multiply in a linear manner, but rather it will multiply exponentially.

A communist Nicaragua is at best the largest obstacle to a free, prosperous and unified Central America. It is at worst the first step towards the creation of a union of communist states modeled on the tradition of the Warsaw Pact. The handwriting is on the wall.

STEVEN S. SHOWERS

Newbury Park

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