Nicaragua's bitter civil war has ended with disintegration of the National Guard and victory of for the left wing Sandinista guerrillas.
GV: Sandinistas in streets of Grenada.
SV: Sandanistas with surrendered National Guard commander.
SV: Sandinista shouting through loudhailer
SV: Sandinistas in doorways. (2 shots)
GV AND SV: National Guard handing over arms and equipment.
GV PAN: frightened National Guardsmen.
SV PAN: National Guardsman's mother weeping, Sandinista Commander negotiating with National Guard Commander. (2 shots)
GV: Red Cross arrive to negotiate with Sandinistas (3 shots)
GV AND SV: Red Cross escorting National Guardsmen as Sandinistas hold back crowd. (3 shots)
GV: Sandinistas outside burnt out command post in Dario
SV: Two handcuffed prisoners being paraded in front of town townspeople who vote to free them, and Sandinistas release them. (5 shots)
GV: Managua Police Headquarters with Sandinistas rushing through gates.
GV PAN: Empty jail cells.
SV: Sandinistas breaking open arsenal and rushing out of police H.Q. with guns.
SV: Sandinistas smashing Somoza portrait and firing guns. (2 shots)
GV: Sandinistas smashing statue of Somoza's father and cheering. (2 shots)
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Background: Nicaragua's bitter civil war has ended with disintegration of the National Guard and victory of for the left wing Sandinista guerrillas. A carnival atmosphere erupted in the capital Managua on Thursday (19 July) as thousands of people thronged the streets laughing, singing and weeping.
SYNOPSIS: The last battles were fought around the capital. In Grenada the guerrillas overpowered the National Guard, who found themselves isolated like in other areas when the news came through that ex-president Anastasio Somoza's successor Dr. Francisco Urcuyo had fled with his military chiefs to Guatemala, after just over one day in office.
The Sandinista collected all arms and ammunition form the surrendered guardsmen. Many of the guards stripped off their uniforms and fled in panic, some broke into private homes to steal civilian clothes and cars and others tried to make a stand, but were easily overwhelmed by the Sandinista.
Some guardsmen and their families feared the Sandinista would execute them, hut the Sandinista issued a statement saying those guardsmen not guilty of what was called 'crimes against the people' would be integrated into the new Nicaraguan Army.
After the Grenada had quietened down, the Red Cross arrived to negotiate with the Sandinista about the fate of the National Guardsmen. Despite the Sandinista's promise many still feared bloodbath of revenge against the National Guard, and one Red Cross official said he was reluctant to recommend relief planes to land in Nicaragua until he was satisfied the situation was not going to deteriorate. In Grenada, after negotiations between all parties the Red Cross escorted the National Guard away and the Sandinista tried to hold back the large crowd that had gathered to celebrate their liberation.
In Dario, the Sandinista took one of the last National Guard outposts. They burnt the guardsmen's command post and captured their guns and ammunition.
Later the Sandinista paraded two National Guardsmen in front the townspeople. In a kind of public trial the guerrillas asked the people of Dario what they wanted to do with the handcuffed prisoners...
..and the answer surprised many who had accused the Sandinista of genocide -- the people of Dario voted to release the guardsmen, and the guerrillas let them go free.
In Managua, the Sandinista stormed the central police station and set free scores of prisoners, who came out sobbing.
Managua fell with little resistance, and shouts of 'Long Live the Revolution' echoed through the city as the population celebrated the end of 43 years of authoritarian rule, by the Somoza family. Soon after Managua fell, a five man junta took power and abolished the constitution dissolving the National Guard and Congress.
The junta issued a ban on all portraits, pictures and statues of the Somoza family. A call which was taken up eagerly by civilians and Sandinista alike.