Statement on Senate Approval of United States Assistance for the Nicaraguan Democratic Resistance and for Economic Development in Central America

August 13, 1986

Today the Senate made an historic vote in favor of democracy. The Senate has given bipartisan approval to $100 million for the freedom fighters in Nicaragua and $300 million for the economic development of Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. The Senate's wise decision will be greeted with joy by democrats throughout Central America.

The peasants, students, Miskito Indians, and former Sandinista soldiers who make up the Nicaraguan democratic resistance forces will be deeply grateful for the Senate's confidence in their struggle for democratic rule. The leaders of Central America's democratic governments will appreciate the Senate's support for their efforts to develop strong economies and fair societies.

The Senate's vote today further demonstrates that we have developed a truly bipartisan policy on Central America. Both the House and the Senate have now endorsed a policy which supports the goals recommended by the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America: democracy, economic well-being, defense against Communist aggression, and pursuit of verifiable and comprehensive diplomatic solutions. I hope the House and Senate conferees will meet quickly on this important legislation and resolve their differences. The Nicaraguan resistance forces urgently need this assistance. Their spirits have been raised, but they still anxiously await our concrete support.