The Sandinista Government in Nicaragua celebrated its first birthday on Saturday (19 July).
GV Small plane on tarmac of airport with Vietnamese delegation arriving in Nicaragua. Crowd standing around and watching
GV Vietnamese met on tarmac by Nicaraguan officials and walk off along tarmac together (2 shots)
GV President Castro of Cuba arrives
SV President Castro walking up to Nicaraguan authorities and embraces delegation
GV Official cars leaving airport with public lining route
GV Carnival festivities and CU Of dancers in gay costumes in street (3 shots)
GV President Castro arrives on rostrum to applause of crowd
LS Crowd applauding on rostrum
SV President Castro making speech in Spanish with crowd applauding (3 shots)
GV Military parade
GV Military guns and tanks in march past and aircraft flying overhead (3 shots)
GV Public watching parade pass by
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Background: The Sandinista Government in Nicaragua celebrated its first birthday on Saturday (19 July). But the Central American nation's political future remains uncertain.
SYNOPSIS: Delegations from all over the world came to help the people of Nicaragua celebrate their freedom from more than forty years of dictatorship by the Somoza family. The Vietnamese Delegation was met at the Airport by Nicaraguan officials including Commander Tomas Borge, the only surviving founder of the Sandinist movement. It was begun in 1961 by four marxists.
One of the most important guests at the celebrations was President Fidel Castro of Cuba. The Sandinist revolution marked the first successful populist uprising in Latin America since Castro took power in Cuba in 1959. and the two countries have developed very close ties. The Sandinists take their name from Augusto Cesar Sandino who, like Castro, fought an American-backed regime. Sandino died while fighting General Anastasio Somoza in the 1930's
But the celebrations weren't restricted to left-wing delegations. Representatives of the United States also attended.
About one third of the country's two-point-five (2.5) million people were in Managua. And there was a definite carnival atmosphere.
But underneath the gaiety, there was also anxiety, particularly among Nicaraguan businessmen. As President Castro of Cuba reiterated the friendship between their two countries, the Sandinistas said they are not copying the Cuban model, They claim they are building their own form of socialism, which includes a private sector and independent political opinion. But the U.S. Congress is currently blocking aid to Nicaragua because of fears that the government will turn communist.
With shows of strength like this parade of some two hundred thousand troops, the West is interested in keeping an eye on the political development of Nicaragua.
But the Nicaraguans clearly enjoyed celebrating the end of the Somoza dictatorship.