sufficient evidence of such acts as murder, kidnapping, drugtrafficking and mail-fraud, which Christic attorneys claims have been used to finance the current contra war in Nicaragua. In Miami, Judge King a Nixon appointee was sufficiently convinced that he granted Christic attorneys subpoena power and the right to interrogate witnesses under oath. In a sense, they now become private attorneys general. In January, King denied defendants’ motions to dismiss and the case will be tried before a jury next year. Documents filed in federal court in Miami charge that the contras, aided by U.S. citizens: financed military operations with the profits of cocaine sales in the United States and that the cocaine-for-guns scheme used secret airstrips on the ranch of U.S.-Costa Rican citizen John Hull. \(Hull has sued Avirgan and Honey for libel in a Costa hired a professional terrorist to eliminate contra leader Eden Pastora. The bomb detonated by the terrorist killed 38year-old American journalist Linda Frazier. planned to assassinate Lewis Tambs, U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica \(to collect a one million dollar reward offfered to Tambs’ killers by a Bolivian cocaine dealer also named Honduras. Profits from the Tambs assassination would be used to buy contra weapons, and it was assumed that attacks on American embassies would be blamed on the Sandinista government. Each of the defendants is being sued as a private citizen. That these acts were ordered or orchestrated by the U.S. government is not an immediate issue in the lawsuit as attorneys for the plaintiffs argue that the government can not authorize a person to commit a crime. In a recent speech at the State Bar Association building in Austin, Christic Institute attorney Lanny Sinkin a Texan who previously organized opposition to the South Texas Nuclear Project suggested that the Honey-Avirgan lawsuit could ultimately reveal as much about CIA-contra drugs and arms deals as the current Congressional hearings. Members of the select committees, Sinkin said, appear transfixed by presidential involvement and have avoided exploring many events that occurred in the field. Events such as Robert Owen’s arrival in Costa Rica five days before the May 30, 1984 bombing and his departure on May 31. Yet members of the intelligence community, concerned about fellow agents who have “gone rogue” and the use of criminal means to achieve foreign policy goals continue to leak information to the Christic Institute, according to Sinkin. And it is often information in which the Iran-contra committees have shown little interest. But the select committees might not have the final word on the Iran-contra story. Five congressional committees previously investigating the Iran-contra affair did not relinquish their authority to conduct separate investigations. One of those committees is led by Beaumont Democrat Jack Brooks, one of a few select committee members to express any sense of moral indignation with what is now unfolding in Washington. As the House-Senate Select Committee hearings grind to a conclusion Brooks should be watched closely. And the Christic lawsuit, as it moves though discovery and toward trial also deserves our careful attention. L . D . A NOTE TO OUR READERS We are taking our annual summer breather. We’ll be back July 17. DIALOGUE Union’s Due For many years the AFL-CIO has provided assistance to democratic trade unions abroad. We are proud of our role of opposing both right and left dictatorships. In Nicaragua, the AFL-CIO shunned contact with Somoza’s company unions and helped the independent CUS federation, which helped promote strikes in opposition to the dictatorship. CUS called for a worldwide boycott of Somoza shipping in 1979, and the AFLCIO was the first union movement outside of Nicaragua to support their call. Shortly thereafter, the leader of CUS was gunned down by Somoza’s National Guard. Immediately after the revolution long before there were any contras and before Ronald Reagan became a candidate for president the new Sandinista government began to harass and jail CUS members in an attempt to herd all Nicaraguan workers into a Sandinistacontrolled union. The Sandinista union basically takes the government’s side against the workers. It even opposes the right to strike on the grounds that such a weapon is only appropriate in capitalist countries. The CUS has tried to keep its independence. The AFL-CIO continues to show solidarity, as it did during Somoza’s time, by publicizing government repression against the CUS. In El Salvador, the AFL-CIO has helped several struggling campesino unions to seek land reform and democracy: Two AIFLD staffers, along with numerous Salvadoran unionists, were killed by the right-wing death squads. The far right, along with the far left guerrillas and their union fronts, continue to demand the expulsion of the AFL-CIO from El Salvador. Both extremes know that democratic unions, like those gathered under the umbrella of the UNOC confederation, may block their quest for undemocratic power. Some critics, such as Bill Chandler writing in your May 29 issue [Dialogue], apparently want the AFLCIO to abandon the Nicaraguan CUS and the Salvadoran UNOC. They prefer to help the Central American union groups associated with the April 25th Mobilization in Washington and San Francisco. That is certainly their right. The AFL-CIO, however, does not think it wise to legitimate governments and political movements that deny the very basis of trade unionism. Nicaraguan Comandante Bayardo Arce once described the role of workers this way: “In NicaragUa, workers have learned to know and respect the revolutionary doctrine of work. . . . Now workers don’t walk around thinking about asking for wage increases, nor asking for shorter hours, nor asking that they be paid this or that extra or that they get longer vacations. Now Nicaraguan workers support the philosophy of voluntary labor, like true revolutionaries.” \(Rumbo Centro Americano, The AFL-CIO believes it is a violation of trade union rights for a company to secretly control and manipulate a workers organization to serve its own purposes. Is it not also a violation when totalitarian political movements or governments do the same thing? David Jessup American Institute for Free Labor Development Washington, D. C. 6 JUNE 26, 1987
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