Nicaragua's `Heroic' Steps Toward Recovery

The opinion-page article ``Nicaragua's Need: Economic and Political Discipline,'' March 12, overlooks the government's economic measures taken March 3 to reduce inflation. These measures provided for a 400 percent devaluation of the cordoba. All major political parties and trade unions support these measures, demonstrating the democratic consensus behind President Chamorro's economic plan. To this extent, the people of Nicaragua are committed to even the most difficult steps on the path to economic reco very. On March 25 and 26, the World Bank hosted a meeting for a high-level economic delegation to confer with international financial institutions and 15 prospective donor countries. The World Bank and other participants described the Nicaragua plan as ``strong, courageous, and heroic.'' These institutions have expressed their firm support for this plan and are planning for meetings in May to finalize contributions and loans that will resolve Nicaragua's $360 million in arrears.

When President Chamorro was elected last year, there were two major problems in Nicaragua - the war and the economic crisis. Now, there is only one problem - the economic crisis. The same people who brought democracy to Nicaragua and reconciled enemies are now focusing their priorities on economic reform.

We appreciate the international community's confidence in our economic plan. We know that the hard work leading to economic recovery is just beginning.

Ernesto Palazio, Washington, Nicaraguan Ambassador to the US

Cut US military and bolster UN I agree with the opinion-page article ``Let's Build on UN,'' March 15, that we need to work through and rely on the United Nations as the means for solving future armed conflicts in the world.

The US role as the global police force is an illusion we have perpetuated by compiling a federal debt of $2.5 trillion. The superior military force which this debt funded did allow us to call the shots in the Gulf war, but the burden of repaying the debt will fall heavily on our children. Just ask the Brazilians and Mexicans what life is like living under a horrendous debt load.

We must cut back our military to a level that can be sustained by our economy and then join other former world military powers - Britain, France, Germany, Japan, and Russia - in ensuring peace through the international framework provided by the UN.

David Ferguson, Edwardsville, Ill.

US responsibility for Chile Some significant facts were omitted from the editorial ``Harsh Light on Pinochet's Gestapo,'' March 12. The most critical omission is the well-documented central role which the United States played in the coup in which democratically elected social reformer Salvador Allende was overthrown and Gen. Augusto Pinochet was brought to power. Also unmentioned in the editorial was the role of the US as the major funder and trainer of the Chilean military responsible for so many of these abuses.

John Groppe Sniegocki, South Bend, Ind.

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