San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Contra Perspective Showed Confusion, Ignorance

Dear Nica Times:

The Perspective article “Memories of a U.S. Contra Fighter” (NT, March 13) begins with an outright lie. The ex-fighter goes on through thirty paragraphs to make obvious his deep and incurious ignorance of his enemies, his commanders, his mission, and its place in the long and documented history of his country’s criminality in dealing with Nicaragua.

First, see the lie. The fighter did not fight from 1985 to 1988 against the first Ortega dictatorship. There was no dictatorship in power in Nicaragua during those years. The FSLN in 1984 won free elections that were certified fair by international observers. The people voted during a terrorist war against their revolution. They voted for the party that organized an end to a 47 year family dictatorship, famous for cruelty, that had been locked around the neck of Nicaragua by American agents, as the U.S. governments demanded.

The fighter’s brethren did much to starve the ill children he pitied. The FSLN in 1980 won the World Health Organization’s gold medal for the greatest improvement in public health achieved by an government in the world. The entire national treasury had been taken out of Nicaragua by Somoza.

Shortly after, the CIA organized nuclei of the hated National Guard as the contras and began to use them systematically to kill nurses, doctors and children, and to blow up schools and medical clinics. It was called “low-intensity conflict” directed against “soft targets”, which means undefended innocent people whose only crime was to vote and to work.

The fighter’s favorite president – Ronald Reagan – proclaimed his whole-hearted support for an unprovoked, undeclared war on the revolutionary people of Nicaragua. They threatened to be a good example of how a socialist regime in a very poor country could raise its peoples’ living standards by serving them ahead of U.S. financial interests. That was their crime, and the fighters’ brethren bled hard to make them pay for it and get the FSLN out of power.


World Court

in the Hague found the contras to be terrorist bandits the U.S. was guilty of maintaining. Reagan simply ignored the

World Court

, as our fighter does. All of this is a matter of public record, yet the fighter’s Rambo memoir recognizes none of it.

It is shameful to shed the blood of people you don’t understand in the service of criminal presidents who know you don’t understand. Young adventurers, learn what you are really being asked to do before you burden your souls with guilt for murder. What is there to be proud of here?

Frederick Willkie

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica


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