8 Fletcher F. 1 (1984)
Democracy under Fire: An Interview with Ambassador Deane R. Hinton

handle is hein.journals/forwa8 and id is 7 raw text is: DEMOCRACY UNDER FIRE:
AN INTERVIEW WITH
AMBASSADOR DEANE R. HINTON
FORUM: What do you believe are the roots of revolution in Central
America?
HINTON: In the case of El Salvador, I think it was political frustration
with pressures building up from a difficult economic and social situation.
One possible escape valve was democracy and free elections - proven not
to be workable in the '72 elections stolen from Napoleon Duarte; then
in the mid-seventies there was the agrarian reform effort of Molina which
was opposed by the landlords and landowners who wouldn't go for a
reasonable evolutionary approach to agrarian reform; and I think that the
feeling that there was no way to change this system contributed a great
deal. There are lots of places where there is worse poverty, but not very
many places where there is a worse population ratio to resources. Ultimately,
I believe, it was a sense of frustration. Then of course to make it go -
and this is very important - there was outside help from very early on,
and in recent years in very substantial and significant quantities.
FORUM: What do you see as the greatest security threat in Central
America?
HINTON: The greatest security threat is the possibility that in a state
such as Nicaragua with Cuban and Soviet ties, you're going to end up
with Soviet submarine bases. They've even made noises and then retracted
the noises that Nicaragua could be a place for missiles. People have got
to understand that it is not that the Nicaraguans are going to overthrow
the government of the United States. It's that having this kind of a
Leninist police state in Central America will have an impact upon her
neighbors and conceivably provide a base for a superpower. That's the
problem with security there.
FORUM: What short-term and long-term objectives has the Reagan Ad-
ministration set for itself in Central America? Can they be achieved?
Deane R. Hinton was U.S. Ambassador to Zaire from 1974 to 1975, and to El Salvador from
1981 to 1983. His other Latin American posts include: Director of AID in Guatemala from 1967
to 1969, and Chile from 1969 to 1971. He was recently appointed U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan.

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