The new junta regime in Nicaragua has embarked on its long task of restoring a nation torn by civil war.
The new junta regime in Nicaragua has embarked on its long task of restoring a nation torn by civil war. Commerce is slowly resuming -- street markets have sprung up to supply food -- and young Sandinistas are repairing roads and the railway systems. Reminders of the recent bloodshed intrude as more and more dead guerrillas are buried, or their bodies sent home for burial.
SYNOPSIS: The Bank of Nicaragua in Managua. On Thursday (26 July), the junta announced it had nationalised local private banks and curbed the activities of foreign banks.
Some guerrillas have laid aside their arms, and taken up picks, shovels and trowels in a major effort to restore roads damaged or obliterated during the final two months of the war. The junta is directing their efforts, and all others, until eighteen ministers are fully installed with an effective civil service and organisation.
To pay workers such as these, and feed people, the junta has exchanged notes of formal recognition with the United States earlier than it had intended. This exchange clears the way for some two billion American dollars in aid and investment to lift the country's devastated economy. The United States is among the countries airlifting food supplies into Managua.
The Red Cross says there is a serious shortage of food and medicines throughout Nicaragua.
Meanwhile, the grim business of organising burial of the dead goes on. Here the body of a Sandinista is being flown home.
The latest official estimates put the death toll in the fighting at more than thirty thousand, and shooting is continuing in some areas. At least three hundred people have been made homeless. The government is worried at the bulk of firearms still in the hands of the people.