After reading Roettinger's "exculpation" on his Central American adventures, I find myself unable to understand his point of view.
For the record, I am 34 years old and was only 3 when Roettinger perpetrated his acts on behalf of the U.S. government. My wife, four children and I are the beneficiaries of American foreign policy--including Roettinger's "skulduggery." We live in a marvelous country with friendly neighbors and secure borders.
Roettinger admits that the Nicaraguan Sandinistas have played host to some pretty unsavory characters. Let's see, besides the Soviets and Cubans, the list includes the Palestine Liberation Organization, Red Brigade, Libya, Iran and North Korea. He acknowledges the Sandinistas have received military aid from the Eastern Bloc.
Why does Roettinger suppose the communists have been so free with military hardware? Does he suspect that Nicaragua needs a new MIG-quality airstrip and a deep-water submarine port to protect itself from its imperialistic neighbors of Costa Rica and Honduras? Might he consider the possibility that the Soviets desire another surrogate client state in the Western Hemisphere from which to export their Marxist-Leninist revolution?
The greatest threat to stability in Central America, Roettinger states, is the failure of this country's willingness to negotiate through the Contadora group. What about the Sandinistas pledge to the Organization of American States to bring pluralism and democracy to Nicaragua?
The greatest threat to the United States and to the free people of Central America is the defeatist, appeasement-oriented views of self-anointed Latin American "experts." The United States must exert its will in protecting our own interests--security of the hemisphere and the national security. We must not be shortsighted in the application of this will--our children's future depends on us.
GREGORY P. COLE