Statement by Assistant
to the President for Press Relations Fitzwater on the Situation in Nicaragua
July 15, 1988
President is pleased with the overwhelming, bipartisan votes of the Senate and
the House of Representatives condemning the outrageous actions of the
Sandinista Government of Nicaragua. These votes send the message to the
Sandinistas that the United States is firmly committed to
the achievement of freedom and democracy in Nicaragua.
this week, the Sandinistas have shut down the two media outlets for free
expression in Nicaragua, the newspaper La Prensa and Catholic Radio. And they have brutally
suppressed a peaceful demonstration for human rights, arrested leaders of the
democratic opposition, and expelled the U.S. Ambassador and much of his staff.
Sandinistas continue to snuff out any hope for democratic reform in Nicaragua, despite the solemn
promises to establish democracy that they have made and broken repeatedly in
the decade since they seized power. They continue to oppress the Nicaraguan
people and receive substantial Soviet-bloc military shipments. The Sandinistas'
conduct makes clear that they will not institute democratic reform and cease
their threats to the security of Central America unless effectively
pressured and persuaded to do so. To achieve democracy in Nicaragua and security for all of
clearly requires a viable and effective Nicaraguan democratic resistance.
the Congress returns, the President hopes they will move swiftly to enact
legislation currently being formulated in the Senate for further aid to the