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Resolutions & Amendments

28th International Convention - Los Angeles, CA (1988)

A New Policy for Peace in Central America

Resolution No. 40
28th International Convention
June 20-24, 1988
Los Angeles, CA


There is additional proof every day of the devastating failures of the Reagan Administration's policies in Central America; and


With each opportunity presented to it the Administration manages to undercut friends of democracy, enhance the role of the military, and in every other way all but destroy chances for democracy and freedom; and


Throughout Central America trade unions have been the targets of attack from their own governments as well as from extremist factions, and there is a desperate need for international trade union solidarity with these unions so that they can survive and continue the struggle for human and trade union rights; and


The fixation of President Reagan on his so-called freedom fighters in Nicaragua has left so great a legacy of hatred and destruction that successful discussions on a peace settlement by the weary contestants are difficult to achieve; and


The Administration's determination to support the Duarte administration in El Salvador, no matter its failures and lack of achievement, has brought that unfortunate country back to the regime of death squads, kidnapping of labor leaders use of troops to break strikes and all the other actions that the United States is supposed to oppose; and


The Administration's cavalier use of Honduras both as a sanctuary for the Contras as well as a convenient place to rattle sabers against the Sandinistas has weakened civilian rule, enhanced the military and brought the people into the streets condemning U.S. intervention in their country's affairs; and


In Guatemala trade unions are being oppressed, a military coup was barely contained, and the civilian government operates warily from day to day as U.S. policy in the region becomes increasingly difficult to rationalize; and


The Administration confidently moved against General Noriega in Panama only to realize — if, indeed, it has yet realized — that all that has been accomplished is to strengthen the control of the military dictatorship in Panama, impoverish the workers and destroy the middle class.


That AFSCME urge the development by the next Administration of a new policy for peace in Central America because it is clear that the present Administration is not only incapable of working for peace in that area, but is unwilling to do so. The cornerstone of this peace policy should be consultation with and reliance upon those countries in the region most expert, involved and in need of a peaceful Central America; and


That AFSCME urge the Congress to intervene to prevent the present Administration from sabotaging regional peace efforts, such as the Arias Plan, by refusing to renew any aid to the Nicaraguan Contras, terminating the egregious and ineffective actions taken against Panama, blocking further military adventures in Honduras under the guise of maneuvers or infrastructure support, and refusing to permit the Administration to undercut shaky civilian regimes by building up military assistance as a pretext for resisting insurgencies; and


That AFSCME urge the Congress specifically to block military aid to El Salvador as long as the judicial system remains incapable of bringing to justice the death squads and killers of trade unionists and others innocently caught in the civil war; and


That AFSCME support regional approaches to problems such as General Noriega and the insurgency in Guatemala rather than the time-honored but consistently ineffective approach of direct U.S. intervention.



International Executive Board

Cliff Fried, President
Michael Cardoza, Secretary Treasurer Peter Goodman, Vice President
Gary Potwin, Recording Secretary
Glen Omatsu, Member-at-Large
AFSCME Local 3238, Council 10
Oakland, California

Joe Devlaeminck, President
Janice Smart, Secretary
Council 75
Salem, Oregon

John Birnel, President
Cecilia Saari, Recording Secretary
AFSCME Local 843, Council 28
Seattle, Washington

Oliver Preston, President
Annette Zeni, Secretary
Council 10
Oakland, California