The two principal groups of Nicaraguan exiles have held talks and plan to announce an agreement on "effective cooperation and . . . common goals" in the "very near future," according to a spokesman.
Adolfo Calero, a leader of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force, the anti-Sandinista insurgent group now fighting inside Nicaragua from Honduran bases, said he met in Washington yesterday with Alfonso Robelo, of the Costa Rica-based Democratic Revolutionary Alliance.
"We have identified very clearly the common goals," Calero said. He said the two needed to coordinate their efforts to the extent that they could provide a cohesive program of opposition to Sandinista rule.
The alliance leadership includes former Sandinista guerrilla leader Eden Pastora, who resigned from the Nicaraguan government last year in protest over its ties with Cuba. Pastora in the past has refused any association with the Democratic Force because it includes ex-guardsmen of ousted dictator Anastasio Somoza, and because it is backed by the CIA.
The alliance also has said in the past that it preferred a political settlement with the Sandinista leadership, focusing on a return to the original democratic goals of the revolution, rather than an armed challenge.
But in an interview here Wednesday, Robelo said the lack of support for this alternative, and for the alliance itself by U.S. "congressional liberals or Social Democrats and Christian Democrats in Europe and Latin America" had forced his organization to adopt a more "pragmatic" policy.
Robelo said that while the alliance has not "closed the door" on dialogue and diplomacy, it would "lose credibility" inside Nicaragua unless it begins military action.
In another change from previous alliance policy, Robelo said his group opposes a current congressional attempt to cut off CIA funding to the Democratic Force guerrillas. Such a move, he said, would free the Sandinistas to exert more military pressure on Pastora's forces.
Meanwhile, Calero said that if the CIA assistance is ended, "we would go on fighting, and other sources would help. Israel is a good source that hasn't been tapped yet."