Nicaraguan President, Anastasio Somoza, has said in a radio interview that he has no intention of leaving his country.
Nicaraguan President, Anastasio Somoza, has said in a radio interview that he has no intention of leaving his country. He says he will only negotiate with the Sandinist guerrillas battling his National Guard if they first lay down their arms.
SYNOPSIS: Despite heavy artillery and aerial bombardments, General Somoza's forces have made little or no headway in their bid to regain control of Managua's eastern suburbs from the Sandinist National Liberation Front. The Sandinistas call it a "liberated zone" and they are defending it with anything available. Their armoury includes anti-tank weapons, automatic guns and sporting rifles. Even fireworks are fired through a tube in the hope of frightening National Guardsmen.
An estimated eighty thousand civilians abandoned their homes in Managua on the instruction of Nicaragua Government Radio prior to bombing raids in the mainly slum suburbs of the north eastern section. Despite such attack, the Sandinistas remain confident of victory. Film crews entering the so-called "liberated zone" were shown damage which the rebels say, was caused in a bombing raid by helicopters. The Sandinistas said one hundred pound charges were rolled out of the helicopters' side doors. The urban resistance is proving a thorn in the side to President Somoza, who has been forced to deploy troops to fight ...in the capital instead of defending provincial areas. The urban rebels have taken the war to within six kilometres (three and a half miles) of the President's bunker in Managua.
Civilian casualties are being cared for by the rebels at the bullet scarred hospital in the "liberated zone". Despite claims by the President that his troops are cleaning up the rebel-held suburbs, the troops are showing little willingness to carry this out. President Somoza is also failing on the international front. His former allies in South America have abandoned him and the US State Department in Washington has called on him to resign.
For the rebels, the inferiority of their numbers and equipment remains a problems and the bombing raids by helicopter may continue as long as they have only light weaponry to combat them.