Former United States President Jimmy Carter sharply criticised President Reagan's Central American policy and his handling of relations with China.
GV Former United States President Jimmy Carter, entering the Foreign Correspondent Club in Tokyo, being seated (2 SHOTS)
SV Carter speaking. (SOT) (3 SHOTS)
TRANSCRIPT: CARTER: (SEQ. 2) "I think, the El Salvadorean government is one of the most blood-thirsty in our hemisphere, perhaps in the whole world, with an estimated 30 - 35-thousand of their own citizens being killed by the government. I think, we are in the position, if we had a firm and consistent policy in support of human rights and democratic principles to create some self-imposed reforms, there had been some self imposed reforms in El Salvador. In Nicaragua, many of the forces of the former President Somoza, from the boundaries of Honduras, are now trying to overthrow the junta. I think, despite semantic denials, the United States is directly and overtly involved in the overthrow of the Sandinista government. We have taken another issue of (indistinct) in that effort and we are spending enormous amounts of money to accomplish this purpose, contrary in my judgement, to the legal restraints imposed by Congress. I do not recall, and neither did President Ford that neither did any newsreporter, even having seen an anti-nuclear demonstrators, while I was in office or President For was in office, because there was a general presumption then, not only in our country but in other nations which I visited including West Germany, that the United States was in the forefront of the effort to reduce nuclear arsenals and all the obstacles were form the Kremlin. Now I think there is a very serious concern about where the obstacle lies, in having greater progress towards the reduction of nuclear weaponry. I am concerned that many of the proposals being made in the nuclear talks from Moscow and Washington are designed primarily for propaganda purposes, with the target being the people of Europe primarily and secondarily the so-called freeze movement in our own country."
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Background: Former United States President Jimmy Carter sharply criticised President Reagan's Central American policy and his handling of relations with China. Carter, who is on private six-day visit to Japan, told a news conference in Tokyo on July 19, that the Reagan administration was trying to overthrow the leftist government in Nicaragua. Carter said that when he was President he refused to consider an appeal for military aid from El Salvador, unless elections were held, land reform introduced and civilian killings stopped. He called the Salvadorean government one of the most bloodthirsty in the western hemisphere, claiming it was responsible for the deaths of 35,000 people. On China, he said shifts in President Reagan's position on China and Taiwan has created doubts in Beijing about where Washington's China policy stands. On the nuclear arms race, Mr. Carter claimed, that during his Presidential term there had never been an anti-nuclear demonstrator, mainly because the United States were then in the forefront in the effort to reduce the nuclear arsenals on both sides, and all the obstacles came from the Kremlin. But now, all the proposals made by Moscow and Washington in the arms talks were designed primarily for propaganda purposes.