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February 11, 1986
1st news of the day “Scharansky freed by the Soviets.” After years of imprisonment he was made part of a spy swap & allowed to rejoin his wife. We flew him to our base at Frankfurt & an Israeli plane flew to Tel Aviv. Later in day I received a call from P.M. Peres & Scharansky thanking us. I told them Kohl of W. Germany played a big part in putting this together.
Sen. Lugar & Cong.man Jack Murtha who headed up our observer team in Manila (the election) came in to give me a preliminary report. While they had no hard court room evidence they said the appearance of fraud in the Phil. election was overwhelming. They wont issue an official report however until the vote counting stops which probably wont be for several days.
Here on T.V. we’ve seen day after day mobs apparently hating Am. burn me in effigy, the flag etc. According to Dick & Jack this was never more than a small group. The Filipinos love Americans they said & opened their arms to our people & hailed them as protectors.
We had an ec. council meeting on the need to help our neighbors in the Caribbean. We have a plan to increase their exports to the U.S. by allowing them to export to us clothing without limit—if it is made from fabric woven & cut in the U.S.
Next item was re the sugar quota which again is hurting these same countries. I agreed to a quota change at the expense of some of the better off countries.
Last item was to try for change in the farm bill to prevent us from subsidizing grain sales to the Soviet U. Believe it or not Cong. will give us trouble on this.
Had a photo with Donna Ashlock—her family & the Dr. & his wife who did a heart transplant on her. She is the 14 yr. old girl whose 15 yr. old boyfriend gave her his heart. He had a premonition of his death.
A Farewell reception for Jack Block as Sec. of Agri. A meeting with Geo. S. on plans to try & reconcile the warring parties in Manila. We’re sending Phil Habib over.
More practice for the Press Conf. at 8 tonite. It went O.K. Most of Q’s were on Philippines & frankly they were all so busy trying to trap me into a headline maker they didn’t ask very good Q’s. Phone calls first half hour were 57 to 25 in my favor.