Central America Whose Peace Plan Is It Anyway?

Arias prepares to pitch his accord to the U.S. Congress

When Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright first proposed last month that Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez be invited to address Congress, the White House responded with enthusiasm. Officials reasoned that a visit from Arias, architect of the peace plan signed last month in Guatemala City by five Central American Presidents, would demonstrate the Reagan Administration's interest in talking peace rather than making war.

Within days, however, second thoughts set in. Officials feared the visit would enhance the prestige of a plan that Reagan has come to view as fatally flawed, and might call attention to the fact that Reagan has...