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Trade Embargo on Nicaragua

In your editorial (May 2), “Bully in a China Shop,” you write that “this country (the United States) must live with the Nicaraguan revolution . . .”

Why must we live with the present regime in Nicaragua? Where is the necessity calling for your word “must”? Your remark has all the lineaments of a cliche: it is designed to stop thinking, not advance it.

Consider. Must we live with the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship in Chile? The apartheid regime in South Africa? Famine in Africa? The Vietnamese invasion and occupation of Cambodia? The Polish regime’s suppression of Solidarity? The Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan? Syria’s occupation of Lebanon? Is there something so special about the Sandinistas in Managua that they are to be immune from opposition--by Nicaraguans or Americans?

The problems raised for the American people by famines, dictatorships and invasions are not illuminated by saying that we should simply “live” with them. The issue is what we as a nation should do and what we can do.

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Your trite formula of what we must do regarding Nicaragua hardly helps in devising prudent policies to secure our interests as a people or to secure the rights of people in nations where those rights are systematically denied. Or do you really mean that we “must live” with every noxious aspect of international relations we encounter?

WILLIAM E. JOHNSTON JR.

Woodland Hills


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