Tsongas urges Nicaragua talks

Antigovernment rebels in Nicaragua have no way of winning, said Sen. Paul Tsongas at a press conference here. He was one of the two Democratic Massachusetts congressmen who headed a fact-finding tour of Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Costa Rica, reports Monitor writer Laurent Belsie. Instead of supporting the rebels, Senator Tsongas said, the US should open a dialogue with Nicaragua.

The delegation invited the leader of Nicaragua's junta, Daniel Ortega Saavedra, to visit the United States, Senator Tsongas said. But Mr. Ortega was reluctant to apply for a visa because the State Department has already refused one to his colleague, senior spokesman Tomas Borge Martinez.

Rep. James M. Shannon, the other congressman on the tour, said he and Senator Tsongas would push the State Department to grant both men a visa. One possibility is that Ortega could visit the US when he comes in September to address the United Nations.

Just as the anti-Sandinist guerrillas can't achieve a military solution, Mr. Shannon added, the El Salvador government won't be able to win militarily against Salvadorean guerrillas, at least for the next couple of years. While there is evidence that the Army has begun to fight more than a ''nine-to-five'' war, he said, ''no real progress is being made in human rights.''

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.