Contadora—the Central American peace negotiations launched on Contadora Island by Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama in 1983— has been the focus of heated polemics in the United States and abroad. Contadora’s supporters contend that it represents the only viable alternative to deepening conflict in Central America, which could ultimately produce a direct U.S. military intervention in Nicaragua. Critics of Contadora view the initiative as a collection of unverifiable and unenforceable proposals that could pave the way for the consolidation of a Soviet-Cuban presence and legitimize a Communist regime on the mainland of the Americas, thus irreparably damaging U.S. security interests. The first of these two volumes examines the evolution of U.S. policy toward Central America and Contadora during the first half of the 1980s in an effort to clarify the nature of the debate over the Contadora process and its potential contributions to regional peace. The contributors define U.S. security interests in Central America and analyze the internal dynamics of the Contadora negotiations as well as ContadoraÂ¾ â€œfitâ€ with U.S. interests and policies in the region.
Table of Contents
Foreword -- Introduction -- U.S. Security Interests in Central America -- U.S. Security Interests in Central America -- U.S. Security and Central America: Why Be So Concerned? -- U.S. Security and the Contadora Process: Toward a CBM Regime in Central America -- Bringing Diplomacy Back In: A Critique of U.S. Policy in Central America -- Reagan in Central America: Roll-back or Containment? -- Roll-back or Containment? The United States, Nicaragua, and the Search for Peace in Central America -- Reagan and Congress: Consensus and Conflict in Central American Policy -- Contadora and the U.S. Congress -- The United States, Nicaragua, and Consensus Decision Making -- The Contadora Process -- Demystifying Contadora -- Conclusion -- The Failure of Diplomacy -- Appendix