US seeks new aid for Guatemala
Washington — The Reagan administration wants to resume military and economic aid to Guatemala on a small scale to encourage the new military government's reforms, Stephen Bosworth, deputy assistant secretary of state, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Guatemala rejected US aid four years ago after the Carter administration demanded improvement in its human rights record. But Mr. Bosworth told the Senate the junta led by Gen. Efrain Rios Montt is restoring rights, has disarmed rightist bodyguards, and has engaged in no violence except for skirmishes with leftist guerrillas.
He said the administration wanted to provide a small amount of aid quickly by redirecting it from other aid programs in order to encourage continued progress.
The Central American country needs US aid to restore confidence in its economy and spur development of its natural reources, he said.
Mr. Bosworth said Guatemala was also interested in helicopter parts and military training for use in the long-running battle against leftist guerrillas, although it had not formally requested any military aid.
President Reagan in addition has requested $13 million in economic aid and $ 250,000 for military training in Guatemala next year.