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December 11, 1987
The Administration has announced its intention to request new aid for the Nicaraguan contras at this time. Given the extremely delicate nature of the unfolding process for peace and reconciliation in Central America begun last August, this is a regrettable decision. Renewed aid to armed combatants at this time can and undoubtedly will be seen by some as an act hostile to the Esquipulas II peace process. In their plenary assembly last month, the Catholic bishops of the United States endorsed Esquipulas II and called upon our govenment "to provide every possible encouragement" to the process.
The bishops urged U.S. policy "to match in deed what has been repeatedly stated in principle, namely that the United States is truly committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflicts through the political processes of the dialogue and negotiations."
The provision of any aid to the armed combatants, apart from such humanitarian and resettlement assistance as the peace process may call for, clearly violates the spirit of that commitment.
Congressional rejection of the request for new funding for the contras could be a positive contribution to the peace process in Central America.
Thank you for your consideration of these concerns.
Reverend Monsignor Daniel F. Hoye
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