Nicaragua's bitter civil war has ended with the disintegration of the National Guard and complete victory for the left-wing Sandinista guerrillas.
GV & TOP VIEW Vehicles moving down nearly deserted roads near President's compound in Managua and Sandinistas fire guns in victory salutes. (7 SHOTS)
SV & SCU Sandinistas on and around vehicles being cheered by crowd, and firing weapons off into air. (5 SHOTS)
GV Sandinistas drive through cheering crowd in truck, and other Sandinistas stand around vehicle outside Presidential Palace. (2 SHOTS)
GV Armed guerrilla men and women move in to capture Presidential Palace. (2 SHOTS)
GV Led by woman Sandinistas move in towards Presidential Palace.
SV Young Sandinistas raid and loot National Guard barracks. (3 SHOTS)
SV Guerrillas entering former President Anastasio Somoza's home.
SV Sandinistas raid Somoza's home, place FSLN flag over Somoza's bed and remove pictures of Pope John Paul and cartoons from house. (5 SHOTS)
CU & SV Sandinistas stamp on picture of Somoza and celebrate outside Presidential Palace. (3 SHOTS)
SV Young girl carrying gun and belongings.
GV Boat belonging to Somoza PAN TO villa owned by Somoza in Miami, Florida.
CU Somoza speaking in English.
MV British athlete running round track.
CU Jawelin thrower.
MV Woman hurdler.
LV Sprinters running towards camera.
TRANSCRIPT: SEAMANS: "Intense fire began early this morning around the nearly-deserted Presidential compound and the Guard Barracks there. Soon, soldier began to leave. The Commander of the National Guard had ordered an immediate ceasefire and surrender because the Sandinistas began to arrive in large numbers last night. many of the rough young guerrillas were raised in the poor sections of this country, where support for the Sandinista movement has been the strongest. And, it was the poor people in the capital who filled t he streets today to greet the winners of the eighteen-mont-old war.
"It wasn't long before the guerrillas were serious again as they moved quickly and cautiously towards the Presidential compound. They had no way of knowing whether they'd meet any resistance. It was deserted. Soon this column of Sandinistas, led by this young woman, marched into the area which used to be the home of the man they hate the most -- former President Anastasio Somoza.
"Commanders tried to keep military discipline, but that became impossible as guerrillas who had lived in the hills and woods for a long time broke into military barracks to take guns ammunition and clothing. This boy is thirteen. He says this is the first pair of boots he's had in the years he's been a Sandinista.
"Then the guerrillas stormed into the former office and home of Anastasio Somoza. A rebel flag was placed over his bed. In the war room, Somoza had left a large photograph of Pope John Paul and a poster of a cartoon character. Roughly translated, she says 'This thing is tough isn't it?' Apparently, that was the ex-President's feeling towards the end. Outside, a painting of him was destroyed. The victory celebration continued and no-one could stop it. With the old government in exile and the new one not yet here, there is no law in Nicaragua. That will change when the Sandinistas' Provisional Government comes to Managua to take power -- and that should be soon. Ike Seamans, NBC News, Managua."
SOMOZA: "Mr. Urcuyo mentioned 1981 without consulting anybody. And then they make me part of this action. So, I rather take a trip, so I will not be in the middle of negotiations."
REPORTER: IKE SEAMANS
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Nicaragua's bitter civil war has ended with the disintegration of the National Guard and complete victory for the left-wing Sandinista guerrillas. The streets of Managua took on a carnival atmosphere on Thursday (19 July) as thousands of people celebrated the end of 43 years of authoritarian rule by the family of former President, Anastasio Somoza. He fled to the United States on Tuesday (17 July). The eleven-month war came to a decisive end shortly after his successor, Dr. Francisco Urcuyo, also fled the country. President for just over a day, he flew to Guatemala with his military chiefs - leaving the National Guard to fend for themselves. From Managua, Ike Seamans of NBC News, reports.
SYNOPSIS: At his new home south of Miami, in Florida, former President Somoza has denied any responsibility for the actions of interim President Urcuyo, during the final hours of the country's government.
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