Central America Putting Guns on The Table

As talks begin, the debate over rebel aid intensifies

The meeting seemed oddly anticlimactic, with none of the passion that has left such deep scars. After seven years of bloody combat, the Sandinistas and the contras sat down at a table in San Jose's Central Seminary last week and for the first time talked directly to each other. Despite the calm voices, however, the two sides laid down two very detailed -- and very different -- proposals.

The Sandinistas offered a plan much like the one rejected by the rebels last December. It calls for a month-long cease-fire, confines armed contras to three zones, prohibits delivery of military aid and...

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