US Shift on Nicaragua

The editorial "Chamorro's First Year," April 26, describes President Violeta Chamorro as having inherited "a war-weary, depleted, and bitterly divided Nicaragua." But it fails to remind us that the US Central Intelligence Agency formed, trained, and paid "contras" who invaded for 10 years. And there is no mention of our campaign to deplete the country by trade embargo, by blocking international loans, by CIA mining of harbors and bombing of storage depots, and by training the contras. The editorial claims that the Sandinistas are now undermining Chamorro's government. In actuality, they have supported her while demands for her resignation have come from the right wing of her own UNO coalition. It is Vice President Vergilio Godoy and his "Let's Save Democracy Movement" which have formed armed groups of former contras, blockaded highways, grabbed land illegally, and demanded Chamorro's resignation.

Does the US, in fact, favor a shift to the right because Chamorro favors conciliation with the Sandinistas, refuses to renounce the World Court's $17 billion judgment against the US, and refuses to be our puppet?

Peter D. Mott, Pittsford, N.Y.

What's in a political label? Regarding the article "Pact With Yeltsin Boosts Gorbachev's Prospects," April 26: The term "conservative" should not be used to describe Soviet hard-line communists.

In the US and Britain (and probably elsewhere), "conservative" has come to mean a support for freedom, free enterprise, private instead of government ownership of industry as an objective, and individual solving of problems rather than attempting to solve all problems by government control and intervention. In no way does hard-line communism meet any of these criteria.

Gladys Abell, Grand Junction, Colo.

Rape victims' names Thank you for the opinion-page column "When (or if) to Name Names," April 25, which spoke out against publishing rape victims' names. Hearing NBC news and my local newspaper announce the name of the woman who reported being raped at the Kennedys' Palm Beach compound was bad enough, but listening to their justifications was even worse; that everyone else was doing it seems a poor justification.

The issue goes beyond the harm that might be caused to the woman. Many newspapers have a standard policy of not printing the names of rape victims, yet in this case they violated this policy. How can the media expect people's respect when they don't even follow their own policies?

As a journalism major graduating in a few days, I find this violation of a policy alarming in how it could affect my own work. Why should someone trust me as a reporter if the person has this evidence of a lack of responsibility and respect for agreements?

Barbara Henry, Arcata, Calif.

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