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Loeffler at WACL Convention: present at this year’s conference in Dallas. MOST OF the WACL conference that was in public view consisted of plenary sessions in which the delegates sat, UN-style, in the Crystal Ballroom and listened to hectoring speeches about the Communist threat. Some parliamentary business was conducted. But as in any conference, much of the real business was conducted in small meetings in,hotel rooms and impromptu negotiations in hallways and foyers. At one point, two men from Uruguay approached Ellen Garwood and, rather openly, solicited a contribution for a current project. Garwood sat down with them at some length and conversed in Spanish. Some sections of the group had a difficult time letting go of their traditional propensity for secrecy and insisted that their meetings be closed to the press. One such group was the Latin American affiliate, known by the acro nym FEDAL. When reporters arrived to attend an afternoon meeting of FEDAL on September 11, the fourteen members looked on with disbelief. They hastily broke off their discussion and, somewhat comically, assembled for a group photo. The public relations specialist working for WACL was called in. He told reporters the meeting would not be open. “There are some very sensitive things we have to discuss here,” he said. One of the leaders of FEDAL is Dr. Juan Manuel Frutos, who was chairman of WACL in 1979 when the group held its conference in Paraguay, home of one of the oldest dictatorships in Latin America. Another participant at the convention was the Guatemalan, Mario Sandoval AlarcOn. Sandoval has been the leader of the National Liberation Movement in Guatemala, an organization started by the CIA in 1953 to overthrow the Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz The National Liberation Movement has been closely tied to the Guatemalan terror organization La Mano Blanco, according to a column by Jack Anderson in January of 1984. At a press conference on September 12, General Singlaub was questioned about the Sandoval connection by a French television journalist who has followed the network of international right-wing groups. The journalist asked why someone with alleged ties to a Guatemalan death squad was present at the conference. “I didn’t know that he was here, even,” said Singlaub. The journalist assured Singlaub that Sandoval was present and had even been a delegate to last year’s convention in San Diego. “He must be here as an observer, not as a delegate,” Singlaub tried. Then he made a half-hearted attempt to defend Sandoval. The Guatemalan is now running for president in that country, he said. “It would be unlikely that we would refuse a presidential candidate.” Besides, said Singlaub, Sandoval has Loeffler’s High Honor Dallas US. REP. Tom Loeffler, a potential Republican candidate for Governor, turned up to speak to the odd assortment of international guerrilla leaders, farright activists, and millionaires at the World Anti-Communist League annual meeting September 12. Loeffler praised two of the leading fundraisers for the Nicaraguan contras, Ret. Maj. Gen. John K. Singlaub and Mrs. Ellen Garwood of Austin. “It is my high honor to be here to share this evening with so many of you who are on the front lines defending freedom and basic human rights throughout the world,” he said at a “Freedom Fighters’ Dinner” at the Registry Hotel. Loeffler criticized the Congressional defeat of $14 million in aid to the contras last spring. “This represented a new low-water mark for foreign policy meddling by the House of Representatives,” he said. “Sadly, I recall clearly the mood of heady exhilaration as many members of the other party gloated about their single-minded victory over the President.” Loeffler said it was a “cheap, tawdry victory.” But,, said Loeffler, “we achieved a singular victory by reversing that disastrous decision. . . . I feel privileged to have played a key role in my position in the House Republican leadership to achieve that victory.” Congress approved $27 million in non-weapons aid to the contras in July. Loeffler also praised U.S. policy in El Salvador as one that is fostering democracy there. But for the most part his speech was colorless and, by World Anti-Communist League standards, mild-mannered. He let fly with some stunning platitudes: “In a uniquely Texas way,” he said, “I say to all of you, may there always be an abundance of beautiful and brilliant sunsets cast over our individual and collective efforts to achieve worldwide economic, social and political self-determination.” Loeffler also read a letter from a military leader, who wrote that despite a lack of supplies and lack of attention from the rest of the world, he was pressing on in his battle for freedom. The letter was from George Washington at Valley Forge in 1777. Presumably, this was Loeffler’s way of agreeing with President Reagan that the Nicaraguan contras and other selected rebel groups around the world are “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.” 12 SEPTEMBER 27, 1985