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Nicaraguan resistance

The Oct. 15 article by Dennis Volman, ``Rift develops within Nicaraguan rebel group,'' reveals a rift, but it is between the reality of the Nicaraguan Resistance and Volman's perceptions. First, the Nicaraguan resistance is not funded by any US intelligence agency, but receives humanitarian assistance authorized by Congress and administered by the State Department.

Second, Volman leads us to believe his conclusions are based on recent meetings with resistance leaders. Yet he has not spoken to Adolfo Calero, head of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN), in several years, nor Arturo Cruz or Alfonso Robelo in several months. His assertion that Mr. Calero is indifferent to human rights is a sad distortion. Calero's commitment to human rights was central to his struggle against the Somoza dictatorship, as it is against the Sandinistas. Such a commitment is the basis of the Unified Nicaraguan Opposition (UNO) alliance, both its members and its leadership.

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It has never been the policy of the Nicaraguan resistance to tolerate or to condone human rights abuses. Those found responsible for abuses have been disciplined or expelled from our ranks. Bosco Matamoros, Washington UNO/FDN Representative

[Editor's note: The Monitor stands by the story, which had good sources that could not be identified. We believe subsequent press reports have confirmed the story's main points: that serious rifts exist within UNO, including disagreements over controlling human rights abuses, and the right-wingers' position of dominance in UNO.

There was one inaccuracy in the report. The article stated that FDN activities were ``banned'' in Costa Rica. The article should have said that Costa Rica has not allowed any significant FDN military activity from its soil.] Tariffs

``Tariff Politics'' (Oct. 29) calls the Tariff Act of 1828 ``one of those really good protectionist walls for the United States'' and commends it to President Reagan's attention. If President Reagan is advised to study any previous trade legislation, I would suggest the Underwood Tariff of 1913 and the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. In both instances, the White House displayed impressive leadership on the trade issue -- something vitally needed today in a far different world. David J. Steinberg, President, Alexandria, Va. US Council for an Open World Economy

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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