Letters to the Editor. Governments' responsibility

Pat Holt's article ``On Congress and its abdication of the power of the purse'' [Jan. 2] should be required reading for secondary school and college students. Lawmakers, too, should read it to discuss the causes of their abdication of responsibility. A euphemism for the latter could doubtless be found so as to allow them to save face. Two efforts are necessary to avoid sapping our moral and economic vigor: One would be public forums hosted by television and the printed media, the other would involve educators of sufficient stature who would set national agendas. Once perceived as a national issue of high priority, it may begin to get serious attention from Congress! Stephen F. Dana Worcester, Mass. Cuba

The column by Carl Migdail, ``US and Cuba: let's forge a new policy'' [Jan. 3], is permeated with common sense. Castro is still in Cuba after more than 25 years. We have to coexist with Russia and its outpost nearest to our own borders. Let's start with trade and cultural exchanges and see if we can't begin to affect at the same time the flow of arms to Central America. Rev. Erik Sandstrom Hot Springs, S.D. Haiti

Late last year in Gona"ives, Haiti, high school students demonstrated against the President for Life, Jean-Claude Duvalier. They called for an end to hunger and urged greater social justice. Military helicopters were summoned to the scene, and shots fired into the crowd killed four young high school students.

In light of these recent events, the United States government must rethink its support of the Duvalier regime and withdraw US aid to that country, with its long history of human rights violations.

Contrary to the opinion of the American government, Haitians are political as well as economic refugees. They face death if they criticize their government, assemble in large groups, write or speak the truth about the repressive conditions that have existed in Haiti since the Duvalier family took power in 1957.

The American people should be outraged that their tax dollars support such atrocities and should urge their elected officials to investigate the events and stop supporting and maintaining the Duvalier government until it guarantees its citizens basic human rights. Marie France Saint-Jude Boston

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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