Francesc Vendrell, a Spaniard on the staff of United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, had come to the contra camp at Yamales with a counterpart from the Organization of American States. As heads of a UN verification and support commission created to oversee all aspects of the contra demobilization, it was their job to express the mandate from the five presidents.
The [Bush] administration's policy of maintaining the contras in their camps violates the regional accord calling for their demobilization, repatriation or relocation. As President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica said in August, to qualify as "humanitarian," aid cannot be used to "keep a demobilized army hanging like the sword of Damocles over the head of the Nicaraguan regime."
Although politicians and diplomats understand that the possibility of the contras being revived as a fighting force is remote, no one before Vendrell had delivered that message to the peasant fighters. Cooped up in their muddy camps, held in dank and ignorant isolation, the contras are being exploited to the end.