Nicaragua Oh, Brother - Not Again!

The Ortegas blunder, once more lending a boost to contra aid

Some things never change. Every year Ronald Reagan petitions a resistant Congress for renewed aid to the contra rebels. And every year, as the vote nears, Nicaragua's Sandinista leaders make a blunder that puts Reagan's request over the top. In 1985 Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega Saavedra jetted off to Moscow four days after a $14 million contra-aid measure had been rejected; chastened by what looked like a deliberate slap in the face, Congress reversed itself and okayed a $27 million package. The next year a Sandinista attack on contra bases inside Honduras persuaded Congress to approve $100 million. This year may...