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exports is that they are perishable items and must move quickly from the fields of Nicarakets in North America or Western Europe. The infrastructure is simply not in place in rural areas to enable individual peasant farmers and small cooperatives to profit from growing non-traditional crops. All this leads to the current crisis in Nicaragua. The national general strike was pivotal for both UNO and the Sandinistas. S THE PARTY out of power. the Sandinistas have to learn how to be the “loyal opposition. This means they must develop a clear strategy of what aspects of their economic program they will negotiate, and what points they will defend without compromise. The Sandinistas are by far the largest political party in the nation, having received 40.8 percent of the popular vote and 39 seats in the National Assembly. Within UNO’s 14-party coalition, the largest number of seats went to one conservative party which holds six seats in the National Assembly \(the coalition holds in the Assembly to prevent UNO from amending or writing a new constitution. Within UNO two major camps have developed. One, headed by President Violeta Chamorro’s advisors, is politically moderate and willing to compromise with the Sandinistas: They kept Daniel Ortega’s brother commander of the military. The second faction is called the Godoyistas ., after Vice President Virg ilio Godoy. This faction is extremely right-wing and uncompromising. Relations between President Chamorro and Vice President Godoy are so strained that she refused to give him an office; the Vice Presidents cur —rent office remains in the UNO coalition campaign headquarters. Godoyistas are said to be supported by the old economic oligarchy, contra leaders, the U.S. Embassy, and the traditional wing of the Catholic Church. Their strategy is to use the current crisis to destroy the Sandinistas’ base and “wipe the Sandinistas off the political map of Nicaragua.” The Godoyistas would like to exert enough pressure on Chamorro to force her to resign, allowing Godoy to as-. sume the presidency. In fact, on July 11, Vice President. Godoy went to President Chamorro and proposed that she resign and name a “national reconciliation committee” to govern during the crisis. Not surprisingly, not one person in was included on Godoy’s list. The independent newspaper El Nuevo Diario, reported that the Godoyista strategy originates with U.S. Ambassador Harry Slaudeman. The basis for this argument is the American ideological obsession to break the back of the Sandinistas. In Nicaragua, rumors abound that U.S. military forces are prepared to land in Nicaragua if invited by the Nicaraguan government. While it is unlikely Chamorro would request U.S. military assistance, it is 14 AUGUST 17, 1990 far more likely a government headed by Godoy would. Another illustration of the division within UNO occurred on July 10. when the head of new devaluation of the currency, from 385,000 cordobas to the dollar to 420.000. President Chamorro’s advisors criticized the political timing and announced that the president had overruled the devaluation. Mayorga responded by stating that. the next devaluation would simply be “twice as large. Finally, in the puzzle called Nicaragua, there is the issue of the contras. Originally the contras requested a region of the country, south of Managua, which they would control, The Sandinistas refused to negotiate on this point, However, the UNO government has begun to create a new rural police force in the country. The strategy in a few areas has been to disarm the contras and immediately make the same. individuals the new rural police. UNO hopes ultimately to create a new police force nationally. Under Sandinista Minister of Interior Tomas Borge, the police had been taught for 10 years that they are to defend rather than repress the people. Thus, when President Chamorro called on the police to forcibly \(if ers from government buildings and factories they had occupied, the police responded that they would request that people leave but they would not use force against the workers. Similarly, the Sandinista army announced they would take down barricades to keep major transportation arteries open, but would not use force against the workers. Thus, there is the irony of a police force and army refusing to obey government orders to use force against the people. There has been fighting, however. Former contra members, heavily armed, swept through one barrio, Ciudad Jardin. and also occupied the Managua bus terminal. As negotiations reopened at noon on July 11, the government agreed to move the contra units to a local seminary, and striking unions agreed to open major traffic arteries and the airport. The action of contra units, however. illustrates why the Sandinistas are determined to retain control of the military. President s Chamorro has assumed the post of Minister of Defense as a compromise with the Godoyistas and U.S. State Department, which vehemently opposed retaining Humberto Ortega as commander of the military. However the current crisis is resolved, the long-term struggle will determine who is going to control the economy. 1 believe that an overwhelming majority of Nicaraguans will not allow the economic oligarchy to reinstate the pre-1979 structures. The slogan for the general strike is Ni un paso atrcis \(Not health clinic in an extremely poor and marginal area of Managua said the people there had voted for UNO for two reasons. Violeta promised to end the draft, which was very unpopular. and Violeta and the U.S. State Department both said that if UNO won, the contras would he disbanded and the U.S. economic embargo would be lifted, When asked if the people felt they had made a mistake. the doctor replie “Yes.” He and others our group met said that many of the poor who voted for UNO wanted peace and an end to the economic blockade. But they did not want the gains made by peasant farmers. cooperatives, workers, and unions to be reversed, he said. They did not understand that the economic plan of UNO was to return the economy of Nicaragua to the old economic oligarchy. Ominously, some people have begun to use the term “neo-Sornocistas,” referring to UNO. The UNO government, it seems, will not be able to reverse the major gains made during a decade of Sandinista rule. As we drove around Managua on a Monday in early July, the attitude of .some Nicaraguans became evident. Most of the streets of Managua are made of concrete blocks from the cement factory once owned by Somoza. During the final insurrection in 1979, Managuans dug up the blocks and built walls across the streets, paralyzing the city. Our group saw the same tactic again being used. We passed one barricade after another, as we wound our way from the house in which we had stayed to a hotel across from the airport. The trip normally takes less than 20 minutes; on July 9 that journey took more than three hours. One blockade away from the hotel. the strikers men, women, and children -pushed back a bus they had used to partially block the highway and allowed us to pass. As we drove through the blockade they shouted “Ni un paso atras! Ni un paso atras N TUESDAY morning, July 10, a few members of our group were standing in front of the hotel by the highway, when six young men carrying tires appeared. The tires were used to burn, as a symbol of strike support, and, where blocks were not available, to build blockades As the Mai rolled the tires onto the highway a few soldiers stationed at the airport began to roll them back. There was the potential for conflict. But the army will not repress the people, arid the people likewise do not seem to want to place the military in a difficult situation. The soldiers told the men they could burn the tires but the tires would have to be burned in a grassy area separating the north and southbound lanes, or on the side of the road. The men agreed and there was no confrontation. The military had orders to keep the highway open and the people understood. One of our group members, Edna PerezVega, spoke to the men, asking them why they were striking. The strike was not primarily over wages or jobs. The men explained that, “We are obligated to strike. We have a responsibility to our children. We are talking about the future of Nicaragua. We cannot turn the country over to the neoSomocistas Ni un paso arras!’: 0