Counteroffensive for a Counteroffensive: Cut Aid to Cristiani

The editorial ``Crisis for Cristiani,'' Nov. 24, states that President Alfredo Cristiani ``deserves a chance to assert his authority and prove that Salvador's justice system is not hopelessly compromised.'' Since his election last March, where ballots were marked with voters' numbers and it was illegal not to vote, Mr. Cristiani has not been able to control the right-wing faction of his ARENA Party. The real power lies with party leader Roberto D'Aubuisson, who has been linked with death squads and the assassination of Archbishop Romero in 1980.

Cracking down on the popular movement, the government has detained and tortured students and political leaders. In the bombing of the office of Fanastras - a labor union and strong supporter of the popular movement - 10 people were killed and dozens injured. There were also seven others wounded in the bombing of the office of Commadres - Mothers of the Disappeared.

Faribundo Mart'i National Liberation Front (FMLN) leaders see very few positive results coming out of the dramatic concessions they had made in the peace talks with the government. The government saw these concessions as a weakening of the rebel forces. While participating in the talks, government officials set out to crush the popular movement once and for all. The FMLN rebels reacted by dropping the talks and mounting the present counteroffensive.

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In view of the grotesque violations of human rights in the government's reaction to the counteroffensive, it seems that Mr. Cristiani has already been given too long to try to prove the legitimacy of his government. Any additional time we now give him is the equivalent to more Salvadoran bloodshed. Now is the time to stop all aid to El Salvador. Lynn Kelley, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University

Demanding freedom for all Regarding the article ``Death-Squad Charges Shake S. Africa,'' Nov. 21: A system actively supporting racism, while violently suppressing those trying to fight it, must be exposed as often as possible.

As citizens of the free world, white South Africans included, we should be outraged by oppression. Our lives shouldn't feel comfortable if we're permitting, by ignoring, racism in any country.

The dissolution of the Berlin Wall is one proof that the oppressed will not tolerate their condition. We must demand that those with no visible wall to topple be freed to live as human beings. How to demand this will take the intelligent action of each individual. Suzanne Barton, Milton, Mass.

`France' is French for freedom Regarding the article ``List of Nations Rated `Free' Grows,'' Nov. 24: France has been the world's foremost champion of freedom since 1789.

For the New York Freedom House to omit France from the ``Most Free'' list, while including other nations whose dedication to freedom seems doubtful or of little significance - such as Malta, Cyprus, and some of the Caribbean islands - seems preposterous. Paul Alpert, Great Neck, N.Y.

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