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VFW Ousts Unit for Latin America Stand

Associated Press

The leader of the Veterans of Foreign Wars today revoked the charter of a post of mostly Vietnam veterans who opposed the VFW’s call for strong U.S. military involvement in Central America.

A lawyer for the 67-member post said he will file for a writ of mandate in Superior Court on Tuesday, seeking to block the VFW from enforcing the revocation and taking the post’s bank accounts, flags and other possessions.

In a statement released at the Kansas City, Mo., headquarters of the 2.1-million-member VFW, Commander-in-Chief Billy Ray Cameron said:

“I fully recognized the right of individuals to speak out on issues of concern. However, elements of the organization must abide by the mandates of the national convention, myself included.

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“There are times and places built into our system for the expression of opinions on all our resolutions.”

Post 5888 adopted a resolution last April calling for “a policy of self-determination and nonintervention in Central America.”

That resolution, which failed to win support at the state level, opposed a national VFW resolution calling for restoring “American primacy” in Central America, the Caribbean and South America with a strong military presence.

Post 5888’s stand received little attention until one of its members took it to officials of the Nicaraguan government in December “to let them know that not all veterans agree with the Reagan Administration.”


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