House approves aid for Nicaragua -- with strings

It was an extremely close vote, but the House of Representatives has approved a $75 million aid package to war- ravaged Nicaragua that props up the country's middle class.

The House, voting 202 to 197, also added a number of strings to the measure that may prove objectionable to the new government in Nicaragua, showing that chamber has reservations about the new government's Marxist leanings.

Riders to the measure specify that aid must be terminated if the President finds the Nicaraguan government is helping any international terrorist organization or if Soviet, Cuban, or other foreign combat troops are stationed in the country.

The measure authorizes $70 million in concessional loans at low interest and and businessmen in the private sector.

The Senate had earlier approved the measure without such riders. The two versions will have to be reconciled before the bill is sent to the White House.

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