September 13, 1991 |
Fresh from the hot sands of Kuwait and Iraq, U.S. military forces could find themselves fighting next in an even more inhospitable locale: the remote Andean mountains and Amazon jungles of Peru. Unencumbered by public debate, the Bush administration is taking on dangerous and misguided new commitments to save that country from the twin scourges of drug trafficking and Maoist revolution. Home to 70 percent of the world's cocaine production, Peru is quietly becoming the front line of the Bush administration's "war on drugs.
April 6, 1989 |
The White House yesterday strongly criticized Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev for failing to provide action - and not just words - to achieve peace in Central America. And the administration again called on Gorbachev to halt military aid to Nicaragua. It is "hard to fathom" why the Soviets continue to supply Nicaragua with such aid, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said in a statement at the White House. Fitzwater said Gorbachev's visit this week to Cuba, which ended yesterday, "would have seemed a unique opportunity" to propose "new thinking" on efforts to bring peace to Central America "We're disappointed," said Fitzwater, noting that Gorbachev's speech on Tuesday to the National Assembly "did not provide any new thinking - mostly old thinking - and no real leadership in terms of new directions in Central America on the part of the Soviet Union.
September 18, 1991 |
President Bush yesterday defended his efforts to send U.S. military aid and trainers to fight drug trafficking in Peru, brushing aside charges from Congress that he is glossing over Peru's dismal human rights record. Bush, emerging from a meeting with Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, justified his request to send $34.9 million in military aid and "several dozen" U.S. trainers to Peru, saying the reformist leader is his country's "hope for the future. " Bush urged Congress to lift a freeze it placed on the entire $94.9 million U.S. aid package to Peru, contending that Fujimori's 15-month-old government has made "progress" toward ensuring that human rights are respected by his nation's freewheeling security forces.
July 5, 1990 |
Through wind, sleet and heat on 25 Sundays, demonstrators have massed patiently on the sidewalk outside the elegant East Falls home of U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter. Yesterday, many of the same protesters were in a crowd of more than 700 to measure the effect of their pressure on the senator to vote for a halt in U.S. military aid to El Salvador. As Specter addressed them at St. Joseph's University's Bluett Theater, it briefly appeared the Sunday sidewalk lobbying had succeeded.
April 17, 1986 |
House Republicans pulled a fast switch on the Democrats yesterday by voting for an amendment that would have banned all military aid to Nicaraguan rebels. The amendment was attached to a spending bill President Reagan already had promised to veto. The surprise maneuver prevented Democrats from facing down the Reagan administration on its request for $100 million in aid to the Contras, as the rebels are called. Democratic leaders had expected Republicans to vote down the amendment.
August 10, 1987 |
Some colleagues of House Speaker Jim Wright were saying the Texas Democrat had been "snookered" when he lent his name to the scheme Ronald Reagan proposed last week as a "peace initiative" for Central America. But this was before leaders of the five countries in that isthmus took Wright off the hook with a plan of their own. It all happened so quickly that Reagan's strategists apparently still haven't figured out how to discredit the pre-emptive accord just signed by the presidents of all the Central American nations.
December 18, 1987 |
The Reagan administration is preparing a formal request to the Soviets to explore a cryptic offer made last week by Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to mutually reduce arms shipments to the warring parties in Nicaragua. The request is going forward despite a White House official's insistence yesterday that there is "no connection" between Soviet military aid to Nicaragua's ruling Sandinistas and U.S. aid to the anti-government contras. As the administration puzzled over the Soviet intentions in Central America, House Democrats voted in a closed-door caucus to reject further military aid to the contras, but left open the possibility of continuing non- lethal assistance.
July 14, 1988 |
In an unprecedented show of bipartisan unity, the Senate is warning Nicaragua's Sandinista government it could face renewed U.S. military aid to the Contra rebels unless it reverses "dramatic new steps in brutality" against its own citizens. In a 91-4 vote, the Senate also said it was ready to extend U.S. economic aid to Nicaragua if the Sandinistas fully comply with commitments made a year ago and "proceed to permit the establishment of a democratic system. " The "sense of the Senate" resolution is non-binding.
August 4, 1988 |
Senate Democrats, armoring themselves against election-year attacks by Republicans, outlined a contra-aid package yesterday that would provide $32 million in humanitarian assistance to Nicaraguan rebels and set the stage for a later vote on $16.3 million in military aid. Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd (D., W. Va), said the proposal was designed by "Democrats of all persuasions" after more than two weeks of discussions - and predicted that it would be adopted by the Senate next week as an amendment to a pending military spending bill.
January 27, 1988 |
President Reagan has decided to ask Congress for $36.25 million in new aid to Nicaragua's contras and will pledge to confer with four Central American presidents before shipping any lethal aid to the rebels. The pledge is intended to soften congressional resistance to the military portion of the aid package, informed administration officials said, and to boost chances of passage for the President's controversial proposal. Reagan told House Minority Leader Robert Michel (R., Ill.)