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The Sandinistas' Tolerance

John Hughes's opinion-page column ``Double-Cross by Ortega,'' Nov. 8, fails to tell the reader what President Daniel Ortega Saavedra's double-cross consisted of, and which promises made in the peace proposal had been broken. The cease-fire that Mr. Ortega broke was unilateral, emplaced by Ortega and not heeded by the contra rebels. The peace accord which Ortega signed called for a halt in contra attacks so the election could proceed. The recent passage of a $50 million aid-to-the-contras package by Congress was contingent on this remission. Mr. Hughes admits to the continuing contra attacks. According to the Sandinistas, the casualty toll since the cease-fire began is in the thousands. Thus, the ``double-cross'' charge is ludicrous.

Looking at the nine-year history of contra forays into Nicaragua from the security of Honduras, I am struck by the restraint of the Sandinistas. When the United States was in a somewhat similar situation in Vietnam, with the Viet Cong attacking American soldiers from across the Cambodian border, it mounted an invasion of Cambodia. The difference between Vietnam and Nicaragua is, however, that the Viet Cong attacked American troops while the contras attack nurses, teachers, and farmers. Eugene H. Sheftelman, Carlisle, Mass.

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Japanese trade restrictions Regarding the article ``US Mulls Trade Policy,'' Nov. 6, concerning the ``$50 billion bilateral trade deficit with Japan'':

Easing trade restrictions for the United States should be a matter of self-preservation for the Japanese. Japan would not emerge unscathed from a failing US economy. Should the US economy collapse, Japan would suffer from an immediate reduction of exports to America. In addition, Japanese investment in the US would likely decline.

The Japanese should reappraise their protection policy, or they'll protect themselves right out of international business. Wyndall Sellers, Tuscumbia, Ala.

After viewing the instant replay ... Having always touted the Monitor for its accuracy, and being a long-time admirer of Norman Cousins, I was shocked to see his opinion-page column ``The Brutalization Message,'' Dec. 5. Mr. Cousins relates the story of two Minnesota Vikings players who were allegedly offered a bounty for putting an opposing quarterback out of commission. In fact, the accused players are on the Philadelphia Eagles.

Admittedly, any football fan would realize the error - given the clean-cut image that Vikings players project. But many of your readers are so erudite they do not have the time to keep up with what is happening on the gridiron, and we would not want to leave them with the wrong impression of the team that will win the Superbowl this year. Julius E. Gernes, Winona, Minn.

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