Politics and Money in Taiwan
Regarding the article "Taiwan Vote Focuses on China Relations and Money Politics," Dec. 18: I agree with the author on the impressive and far-reaching democratization taking place in Taiwan.
I disagree, however, with the observation that two popular Cabinet members resigned in a revolt over "official corruption." To the contrary, the government is not tainted by corruption. The resignations of Jaw Shao-kang and Wang Chien-hsien simply reflect their common concern over the future possibility of monetary influence in the legislative body. They decided to run for a seat in the Legislative Yuan hoping to ward off any possible monetary pollution. Frank S. S. Chang, Boston Coordination Council for North American Affairs Guatemalan labor laws
The article "Under Pressure, Guatemala Addresses Labor Law Abuses," Dec. 14, attributes improvements to pressure from the United States government and international unions. The US and the American Institute for Free Labor Development have long opposed strong, independent labor unions in Central America. They have supported unions subordinated to conservative political parties. They have labeled even moderately progressive organizations "communist," exposing them to intimidation and violence.
Organizations such as the American Friends Service Committee have promoted contact between the US and leaders of popular Central American organizations. Improvements in labor rights have resulted from their struggle, not from the benevolence of North Americans. Sam Beer, Alfred, N.Y. Justice for all in Nicaragua?
Regarding the articles "Behind Nicaragua's Cycle of Crises" and "Nicaragua Army Chief Is Snared in Scandal Over Boy's Shooting," Dec. 3: It is impossible to ignore a 40 percent block of the population when the rest of the people are divided into 14 different parties. One also can't pretend that nothing happened during the Sandanistas' 10 years of revolution, but that is exactly what the United States is pushing President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro to do.
Any American who berates Gen. Humberto Ortega Saavedra for the death of one person, when his guilt has never been proven, forgets that the World Court of The Hague condemned the US on 15 counts in 1986 for its support of the contras who killed innocent Nicaraguans and caused billions of dollars of damage.
The extreme poverty in Nicaragua is the result of the US giving millions to the National Opposition Union coalition so there would be "fair" elections and so that the new government would impose privatization and an American capitalistic system. Moses Beachy, Goshen, Ind.
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