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Problems Seen in U.S. Aid Cuts to Coup Nations

From Reuters

A provision recently approved by Congress requiring a cutoff of U.S. foreign aid to nations whose elected governments are deposed by military coups could cause some problems for the Reagan Administration in the coming year, congressional sources said Monday.

The provision, attached to a funding bill approved by Congress earlier this month, would end all U.S. military or other assistance to any country where a duly elected government is deposed by a military coup or decree.

It was contained in a $368.2-billion catch-all funding bill for government agencies. President Reagan signed it soon after Congress completed the measure Dec. 19, before it adjourned for Christmas. Congress resumes on Jan. 21.

Cutoff a Compromise

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The cutoff was a compromise on earlier language proposed by the House that would have suspended aid to Guatemala or El Salvador in the event of a military takeover.

Instead, House and Senate negotiators agreed to broader language to end all military or other aid if a “duly elected head of government is deposed by military coup or decree.”

“Frankly, I think we’ll have some problems with the language,” a House source said.

“It may cause the Administration some problems down the road,” he added. “Take Liberia,” he said, referring to recent unsuccessful efforts to unseat President Samuel K. Doe. “Which side are we on there?”

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