Created: 4/28/1988

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Thia KftOKly Situation Report la prepared by the Central America and Nicaragua Brsnches. Office of African and Latin American .Analyale. Thia paper was coordinated with the Directorate of Operations. Comments and queries ars welcome and may be directed to the Chief. Middle America-Caribbean Division, ALA. I-


Pwiwctlvt: Peace Pro caws Inertia

Despite the apparent progress on verification issues at the Executive Commission meetingpril, the Central American democracies appear unable to control the peace process. Honduras, the host of the next meeting in May, is now unilaterally threatening to suspend its participation until Nicaragua irrevocably withdraws its suit at the World Court. Meanwhile, the democracies have not pressed Managua recently for democratization, and their support for US deliveries of humanitarian aid to the antl-Sandinistas appears

Tegucigalpa's threat reflects its belief that Nicaragua will somehow manage to back awayommitment made at the Executive Committee meeting to withdraw the suitegional treaty on peace and friendship la signed. Honduras probably is as much, motivated by its lack of confidence In its democratic allies as it is by Managua's maneuvering. Cuatemala and Costa Rica likely fulfilled Honduras's expectations by issuing tepid responses to its demarche,osta Rlcan offer to mediate between Tegucigalpa and Managua. In our view, the Sandinistas will continue to insist on settling the suit and the treaty simultaneously and they soon may publicize the reluctance of the democracies to respond to their invitation to meet to draft the treaty.

All the democracies have told US officials in recent weeks that they will press Managua to democratize,but their public silence likely reflects their belief that criticism is inappropriate while the Nicaraguan cease-fire talks occupy center stage. The democraciea

demands foronstitutional changes would constitute interference in Nicaragua's Internal affairs orrecedent for their own insurgents to demand constitutional changes. Moreover, many of tha specific Incidents that Indicate Nicaraguan noncompliance--such as denial of permits tonot sufficiently dramatic to gain the democracies' attention. Apart from these .considerations, recent Internal problems In El Salvador and Honduras have absorbed their policymakers' energies and undercut their willingness to press


The democracies sidestepped the issue of US humanitarian aid to the anti-Sandinistaa at the last Executive Commission mooting, but Honduras later boldly challenged Nicaragua by announcing that It was cooperating with aid deliveries. Costa Rican President Arias has also

ha will cooperate, but his public statements suggest that his approval was grounded Inbelief that the Sandinistas had in the Sspos accordirect US role. We expect that he will give hie full support to aiding child war victims but in the light of the Sandlnlata statements he may now delay allowing use of Costa Rica to provide aid through US channele to lnsurgsnt combatants in Nicaragua. In its cease-fire talke, Nicarsgua has been celling for using international agendas for aid dellveriea. Managua may resort to the UN Security Council to press its case and probably will attempt to gain the public backing of OAS Secretary Ceneral Baena Soares, who already has told US officials that he supports using International agencies.

Thia Week


An oppoaltion labor march onpril in the Nicaraguan t


Nicaraguan Vice Foreign Minister Tlnoco traveled to Miamiweek to meet with rebel leedere, according to press. oiden planned to finalize arrangements forand both expect to elgn an agreementpril in

Nicaraguan Preeldent Ortega denied onpril that criticism of Cardinalbroadcast the previous day on Sandiniata-controlled radio reflected the official view of the government, according to press. Obando had threatened to resignitness to the Sapoa accord if the statements were not clarified. The Vatican foreign mlnieter said he would urge Ma government to ublic etatetaent of support for


Former Nicaraguan rebel leader Eden Pastors said he would return to Nicaragua In August if political conditiona ware ripe for elections, according to preas.

A Guatemalan judge granted amnesty to two leftist political exiles who returned to the country last week, even though both returnees claim they committed no crimes and did not request or accept amnesty. Defense Minister Gramajo strongly criticized the returnees in remarks to the press but denied that the military opposed the court's action. Gramajo added that amnesty should now be applied to cases such as the seven civil defense patrol members Imprisoned3 for participatingassacre of guerrilla sympathizers. | |

Salvadoran Archbishopamae told the press onpril that President Duarte should take into account popular demands.for peace and drop his opposition to renewing talks with tha rebels. The Archbishop alsoroposal made two years agoational dialogue which would encompass all sectors of Salvadoran society.

National Reconciliation

Participants in the Nicaraguan national dialogueandlnlsta-proposed agenda that offered tolawsata for municipalOpposition parties called the proposal a

ruse to distract attention from more significant issues, such aa the separation of th* party and army. party opposition bloc withdrew from the dialogue onpril, saying they would only return after th* government settled otrikeB with construction workers and auto mechanics in Managua.

International Verification

resident Ortega eeid onpril that Nicaragua will lnalat that the verification committee choaen by the Central American foreign mlniatere laat month be expanded to five members, according to press. In addition to Canada, West Germany, and Spain, Managua will demand that one Latin American and one Nordic country be Included. | |

Aid to Insurgents

Nicaraguan President Ortega said onpril that Honduraa was transporting arms and ammunition from Swan Island to the Honduran mainland for distribution to the anti-Sandlniata guerrillas. Ortega aaid that both the Honduran actiona and US nonlethal aid to the lnaurgents violated the peace accord and he was conalderlng calling tha UN Security Council into session to consider the mstter. I


Honduran troops shot andalvadoran refuge* at the Colomoncagua refugee camp onpril, according to the press. Tha armed forces and UN refugee officials have not yat commented on the incident.

Nicaragua recalled its ambassador to the United States onpril for consultations and sent formal protests to Wsshington and Tegucigalpa after USAID delivered humanitarian assistance to Insurgents in Honduraa. President Ortega aald the rebels must either disarm and accept refugee statue in Honduras or assemble In cease-fire zones In Nicaragua before they can receive aid. Ortega also called for an end to tha US trsd* embargo and proposed that bilateral talks between the United States and Nicaragua begin onay.

Tho Central American democracies have turned down NicaragusTi" invitation to name technical representatives for talka In Managuaeace and friendship treatyj-

The Central American Foreign Ministers had

decided at the Executive Commission meeting earlier this month to choose their representatives bypril.

Catholic bishops of Central America and Panama, meeting in El Salvadorpril,ommunique which denounced the war in Caritral America and reiterated support for the regional peace process. The bishops also demanded that both tha US and the Soviet Union refrain from sending more arms to the region.

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