The PLO and Israel in Central America

The Geopolitical Dimension

by Bruce Hoffman

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Recently, attention has been drawn to the close relations between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the ruling Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. The support, training, and arms furnished by the PLO to the Sandinistas and like-minded revolutionary movements in surrounding Central American countries have often been cited as proof that Nicaragua has been transformed into a base for international terrorism in the Western Hemisphere. This Note assesses the relationship between the PLO and the Sandinistas. In particular, it examines the geopolitical dimension of this relationship, i.e., the extension or transposition of the conflict between the PLO and Israel in the Middle East to Central America. In this respect, PLO support and assistance to the Sandinistas and other revolutionary movements in surrounding countries has served as a counterbalance to Israeli support and arms sales to Nicaragua's neighbors in Central America.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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