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Issue #70 (September 1987)
What are the "best interests" of the United States? In 1986 the United States denied Nicaraguan minister Tomas Borge the right to speak here, on the grounds of "security interests of the United States." The widow of Salvador Allende has been denied permission to speak on the same grounds. There are many examples of such denial.
Is overwhelming dominance by the US of the countries of Central America and South America and the Middle East essential to our "best interest"? Is social reform or liberal experiments and tolerance of a communist party in those countries threatening to us?
What are the true Best Interests of the PEOPLE of the United States? These include: We want to be able to travel freely anywhere in the world and be welcome, be safe, and be able to talk and deal without fear with other peoples on politics, economics, theology, and on business.
We want people of other countries to be free to visit us. We want to be proud of our country's efforts to help others, such as the Peace Corps, true economic aid, or contributions of technology.
We do not want to encounter hatred, or "Yankee go home," or suspicions that we might be a CIA agent out to subvert or "destabilize" another country. We do not want to be known as a supplier of weapons to both sides.
However, in the name of "best interests" our country today supports dictatorships, tolerates the torture and murder of political opponents in other countries, denies entry to this country of political independents, and denies or discourages travel of our own citizens to foreign countries (for example, Cuba).
We, as citizens, must ask for our true best interests to be protected and enhanced, and not allow a limited number of Washingtonians to define for us what are our Best Interests.