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Reagan Policy in Nicaragua

I write to object to the recent escalation in rhetoric and real hostility our Administration is bringing against the Nicaraguan government and its people. Statements such as “little choice but to use military force” belie the fact there are many choices.

For example, why have we forgotten the Contadora process, which Nicaragua signed and for which we professed support, until the precise time Nicaragua committed itself to that process?

Second, why all the negativism? Even if Ortega was unwise to seek economic aid from Moscow when he did, there is much in the current Nicaraguan process of reconstruction we could affirm.

Take for example, literacy. In 1980 Nicaraguan leaders inspired 100,000 young people to travel throughout the countryside, teaching illiterate peasants to read and write, and the country is almost 90% literate now. This campaign used Paulo Friere’s methods, giving peasants a sense of dignity, self-worth and empowerment in this process.

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This campaign moved 133 members of the British Parliament to nominate the people of Nicaragua for the Nobel Peace Prize in February, 1981.

As our President beats the war drums, let us ponder current Nicaraguan peasant wisdom: “Reagan depends upon the loyalty of the ignorant.”

KATHLEEN COSTELLO

Cupertino

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