Political tension mounted in civil-war-scarred Nicaragua on Thursday (June 28) as rumours spread about President Anastasio Somoza's replacement.
Political tension mounted in civil-war-scarred Nicaragua on Thursday (June 28) as rumours spread about President Anastasio Somoza's replacement. The Nicaraguan National Congress held a crucial meeting on Thursday following the arrival on the previous day of the new United States Ambassador, Lawrence Pezzulo. A U.S. State Development spokesman said that instead of his credentials, Mr. Pezzuli would be delivering message to General Somoza to resign. Meanwhile, the new 'Provisional Government of Reconstruction' make plans to Costa Rica for a take-over. Costa Rica is playing host to tens of thousands of other Nicaraguan fleeing civil war.
SYNOPSIS: The Sandanista guerrillas control the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. One of General Somoza's aircraft makes its daily flight, bombing machine-gunning guerrillas positions.
A wounded Panamanian fighter for the guerrillas receives treatment at a Red Cross centre. Panama has joined Costa Rica in officially recognising the new provisional government. Five other countries, Mexico, Ecuador, Grenada, Brazil and Peru, have severed or suspended relations with Nicaragua in recent weeks.
President Somozo said in a radio interview broadcast in Spain on Wednesday (27 June) that he had no intention of leaving his country. He said that he would negotiate with the Sandanista's, only if they first laid down their arms....The Somoza regime was installed by the United States thirty-four years ago. The United States' proposal at the Organisation of American States, last week, for a peacekeeping force to intervene in the fighting, was rejected by the Central and South American delegates.
Three of the five members of the provisional junta, Robelo Callejas Alfonso, Sergio Ramirez and Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, say they can thank General Somoza for their unity. The present junta was culled from fifty opposition groups who united in their mutual hatred for Somoza and his slowness in making concession towards greater democracy.
While the three junta members discussed their ideas for a new Nicaraguan government with reporters, the other two members were in Nicaragua, taking part in the fighting there.
In recent weeks, what was just a trickle of refugees crossing into Costa Rica, has become a mass exodus.
The National Committee for Nicaraguan Refugees has registered some ten thousand refugees. But government figures place the number who have crossed the border since 1978 at 40 to 60 thousand.
The International agencies caring for the displaced people have appealed to Costa Rican citizens and organisations to aid with accommodation, food and clothing. Here the food distribution hour is the best time of the day.