Related topics


April 14, 1986

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) _ Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today economic and diplomatic aid to the Nicaraguan rebels will be ineffective unless the United States provides a ″sustained program of military assistance to the democratic resistance.″

Shultz said in a speech delivered in the Landon Lecture series at Kansas State University that negotiation is a ″euphemism for capitulation if the shadow of power is not cast across the bargaining table. How many times must we learn this simple truth?″

The secretary of state was interrupted several times by applause from the audience of about 1,700 people, but occasionally someone would cry out ″No Contra Aid″ or hold up a sign to that effect.

About 150 demonstrators outside the hall chanted ″No more lies, no more Vietnams″ and marched with signs saying ″No Contra Aid″ and ″Support Farmers Not Contras.″

Shultz said democracy is on the rise in Central America, and he cited El Salvador, Honduras and Guatelama. ″Nicaragua is the odd man out. Nicaragua is the cancer, and we must cut it out,″ he said.

He also described the Reagan administration’s request for $100 million in assistance for the Nicaraguan rebels ″a modest investment in a region so critical to our security.″

The House is scheduled to vote Tuesday on Reagan’s plan to give $70 million in military and $30 million in non-lethal, humanitarian aid to the U.S.-backed Contra rebels fighting Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government. A previous package of $27 million in non-lethal aid such as medicine and clothing expired March 31.

Last month, the House voted 222-210 against Reagan’s plan, but the Republican-run Senate later gave 53-47 approval of a modified version of the package, sending the matter back to the House.

Shultz said the power from military aid ″may be the only force capable of bringing Communist rulers to the negotiating table.″

″But if the adversary won’t negotiate, we have to be prepared to offer the material assistance needed for victory,″ he said. ″We do not favor open- ended escalation, nor a cynical policy of using the struggles of courageous people to ‘bleed’ the Soviet empire. But we will help these people be effective in the fight that they have chosen to make for themselves.″

Shultz said U.S. friends and allies are more important in light of ″the limits on our own resources, the steady growth in our adversaries’ power, and the understandable concern of the American people that our friends carry their fair share of the burden.″

″In Central America, Southeast Asia, Turkey, the Philippines, and elsewhere, the success of democracy furthers our own strategic interests,″ he said.

Shultz’ speech was part of the Landon Lecture Series at Kansas State.

Update hourly