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Letter From,
Richard Feinberg

Nicaragua's president, Daniel Ortega, is expected to win re-election by a wide margin this weekend. If so, he will continue to build his legacy while Washington looks the other way.

Essay, Special 1990
Mark A. Uhlig

The Feb 1990 election defeat of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, although a most welcome development for US foreign policy, has (like Noriega's removal in Panama) left a less-than-successful aftertaste. "Having lost its principal foes, both locally and in the once-grand struggle of ideologies, the United States found that it had also lost its principal anchor and guide in dealing with Latin America".

Essay, Special 1988
Margaret Daly Hayes

Covers US foreign policy in Latin America during 1988, discussing (1) Nicaragua (2) Panama and the Noriega problem (3) drug trafficking (4) the progress towards democracy (5) the debt crisis. Concludes that future US policy will have to centre around Mexico and the Caribbean basin, but that this should not obscure America's long-term interest in a steadily-improving economic situation throughout Latin America.

Essay, Winter 1988
Sol M. Linowitz

Recent and forthcoming elections in key Latin American countries come at a time when US relations with many states in the region are particularly uncertain. Discusses six areas which should be addressed by policy-makers (1) the debt crisis (2) the need for co-operation between the USA, Europe, Canada and Latin American countries in ending Central America's wars (3) support of democratic institutions (4) the drug problem (5) the need to rebuild inter-American institutions (6) relations with Mexico and Panama. Concludes that too much attention has been devoted to Nicaragua at the expense of greater concerns, although straightforward solutions are unlikely. Former US ambassador to the Organization of American States, and co-negotiator of the Panama Canal treaties. A substantial criticism of Reagan's policy in Central and South America, and interesting for its view of both regions as one.

Essay, Special 1987
Linda S. Robinson

Gives details of both US and regional (Arias) initiatives for peace in Nicaragua, with a pessimistic view of the contras' ability to win either the war or an election. Considers US material support for contras to be 'virtually finished', and thus advocates a 'second-best solution' of containment of Sandinistas, by providing a non-intervention guarantee, and seeking democratization of Nicaragua. A slightly misleading title, since almost all the article is taken up with the war in Nicaragua and US involvement, with only a brief reference to El Salvador.

Essay, Fall 1987
Susan Kaufman Purcell

The USA maintains that its aim is for a peaceful settlement in Nicaragua in a regional context that advances the prospects for democracy, protects the interests of the Contras and preserves US strategic interests. These goals involve a potentially long and difficult process. The accord concluded by the Central American Presidents in Aug 1987 by no means ensures peace. The practical question facing the USA is how to preserve its commitment to the Contras while still influencing the negotiating process.

Essay, Special 1986
Clifford Krauss

Assesses the status of revolutionary forces in Central America, arguing that none will be successful. Catholicism and conservatism have deeper roots than Marxism. Domino theory will not be demonstrated. Rebels in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala are unpopular and ineffective. Explains that US containment is the reason why the role of the USSR and its allies has been only one of assisting in defence and economic development of Nicaragua, and has been circumspect and miserly about activities in Central America. Continued US military reaction without diplomatic efforts will only de-stabilize the region.

Essay, Winter 1986
Joshua Muravchik

Uses the example of Nicaragua to argue for selective containment of Soviet expansion and influence under the 'Reagan doctrine'. The Contras should be supported.

Essay, Winter 1986
Violeta Barrios de Chamorro

States the case for civil liberties in Nicaragua, arguing that the goal of the opposition press in that country is to support freedom of opinion. Emphasizes La Prensa's opposition to the former Somoza regime.

Essay, Special 1983
Christopher Dickey

A few days after Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1980, U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua Lawrence Pezzullo gave a long interview in his Managua office. "It's going to be our ideological blinders that may cause us to make mistakes," Pezzullo said, as he considered Central America policy under the new President. "This is a new Administration, there are going to be tradeoffs, and you've got to feed your right-wing somewhere. Maybe you'll just let them eat up Latin America. It's cheaper than some other places like the Middle East, the Soviet Union or China, where no president is going to have much room for radical policy changes." He paused and reflected for a moment. "That's the way I tend to think things will go," he said, "just feed it to the lions."

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