Envío Digital
Central American University - UCA  
  Number 143 | Junio 1993



Introduction to this Edition

Envío team


At the center of Nicaragua's attention is an economy at the edge of collapse. Three years have gone by, with many promises but no economic reactivation, let alone an economic "takeoff." The only things reactivated on a daily basis are unemployment, the large land holdings and a rapidly expanding desert. Surrounded by social and ecological disaster, it is not easy to find space for hope, even with the beginning of a National Dialogue, convoked to encounter a common solution. The lists of demands from all sides increasingly concur in calling on the government to rectify its faulty economic policy or better, to remedy the irresponsible economic policies that the international organizations designed and imposed on us.

That is, in summary, a description of Nicaragua's current historical moment. In this edition, breaking with envío's editorial tradition, we analyze this moment from three different points of view all central to the debate in three complementary articles.

* Foreign aid. During 1992, the government's excuse for its dogmatic and inflexible application of the economic adjustment plan was the lack of foreign resources. The retention of US aid, provoked by far right sectors in Nicaragua and the US, gave a solid basis for that pretext. In April 1993, after meeting with international financial organizations and donor nations in Paris, the government proclaimed economic but particularly political victory, with the obtention of $750 million. Government representatives announced that the country would finally put the crisis behind it. Is this how things really happened? Did the government really get so much aid in Paris? Relative to other countries, has the Chamorro government received a lot of assistance, or a little? And if it is a lot, how is it being used and why are the majority of the people getting poorer?
* Alternatives. "We're in bad shape, but we're on the right path" is the government's mantra, repeated daily. "There is no other solution than to continue on this path," say the neoliberals of the world and of Nicara gua and they want us to believe it. Is there in fact no alternative? Yes, there are alternatives, and there are many. We have to consider them. But imagining and finding them depends on who you listen to and who you want to favor. In the second article, on the Farmer Program, we present a very concrete and inexpensive alternative.

* The FSLN. For the past three years, in name of the country's stability, the FSLN has passively accepted the social and economic instability wracking the country and most of its people. In April, when it seemed that the Sandinista leadership had finally distanced itself from that mistaken option and that the Sandinista Assembly was going to launch a frontal attack against the government's economic plan, all hopes suddenly went up in smoke.

According to our sources, Minister of the Presidency Antonio Lacayo was aware because the National Directorate had informed him of what was going to be discussed in the Sandinista Assembly session. "This is very radical and politically destabilizing; it would have serious consequences," warned Lacayo in disagreement. And consequently, the alternative economic proposal that had been developed and even commented on publicly by Henry Ruíz was tabled. In its place, the Assembly issued a repetitive, generic and unoriginal list of 18 "corrections" to the plan not so new patches on a worn out garment developed by Jaime Wheelock. What were the real reasons behind stopping the change at the helm that the people Sandinista or not need? And what were the serious economic changes that the FSLN was going to consider? This is the subject of our third article, with which we end our special focus on this critical moment facing the country.

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"Massacres in the Jungle"--Never Again?

Foreign AID: Where have all the Dollars Gone?

Reactivation: The Last Chance

Introduction to this Edition

The Farmer Program: an Alternative

Liberation Theology: Theology of the South
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