Shultz Speech on Nicaragua

Soviet assurances of economic support to Nicaragua are another disastrous consequence of the Reagan policy in Central America. If there is an extension of Soviet influence there, the Reagan Administration will be responsible.

One of the lessons of Vietnam is the self-defeating nature of fighting a war in a country of peasants when we are on the side of the landlord, and when the peasants have available economic and military aid from another great power.

We do not gain the peace, freedom and justice we seek by supporting the Nicaraguan contras, who would restore economic privilege and accompanying concentration of political power. Instead, our present policy will result in our increased involvement in war, vast destruction of resources, and the prolongation of economic misery and authoritarian government.

We are forcing the truly progressive elements in the Nicaraguan government toward more centralized wartime controls and toward greater dependence on the Soviet Union as their only source of help. We need to recognize hunger as a basic problem in Central America. Until economic justice is granted, neither peace nor political freedom will be safe.



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