February 4, 1988

I am deeply disappointed by the House of Representatives' vote against the administration's request for additional assistance to those fighting for freedom and democracy in Nicaragua. I believe this action undercuts the efforts of those brave men and women at a critical juncture in the Central American peace process.

Yesterday's vote was won by those who advance the proposition that the prospects for peace and democracy in Nicaragua are best served by removing military pressure from the Sandinista regime. We have a fundamental difference of opinion. Whatever the case, the Communist regime in Managua should not interpret the House's action as a signal permitting a reversal in steps taken toward fulfillment of the commitments made under the Guatemala accords. I look forward to consulting closely with the Congress to determine whether the Sandinistas are making measurable and timely progress towards attainment of democratic reforms.

Meanwhile, my commitment to peace and democracy in Central America is undiminished. I wish to assure those struggling inside Nicaragua for those values we hold so dear of my personal support. And in the days ahead, I expect to consult with congressional leaders and our friends in Central America as to how best to build on the impressive record of progress our Central America policy has achieved during the past 6 years.