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  Number 90 | Enero 1989
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Nicaragua

The Last Word

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“Bush’s victory is good for the opposition,” said Ramiro Gurdián, head of the opposition group, the Coordinadora Demócratica. “This keeps alive the threat of the use of force against Nicaragua.”
The Miami Herald, November 10, 1988

Contra spokesman Bosco Matamoros, responding to the announcement by Daniel Ortega that contra forces attacked an ambulance near Nueva Guinea while evacuating people in the face of Hurricane Joan: “This is a typical charge that reflects the sick mind of a dictador.”
The Miami Herald, October 30, 1988

“There’s no Nicaraguan government prohibition against receiving US aid for the homeless. It's just cynicism to talk of refusing aid. We can't make any pronouncements about the supposed aid because they simply haven't offered us any."
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, speaking to the ecumenical group CEPAD, November 16, Managua

Report on El Salvador death squads in The Miami Herald of October30, 1988: "A new report of the London-based Amnesty International says most of the death squads are within the security forces apparatus. The government says they are extreme elements outside their control." Perhaps both statements are true.

Nicaragua is not alone — Today the average Latin American has a standard of living barely above that of 1978. We will end 1988 with a ten-year lag in economic growth." Enrique Iglesias, President of the Inter-American Development Bank,
Newsweek, November 7, 1988

"I'm not saying the armed forces are angels in disguise. There are some human rights problems, but they're certainly not the fault of the army. We apply the law and apply it fairly. If somebody violates it, they have to pay the price, even if they are part of the army." Colonel Luis Arturo Isaacs Rodríguez, chief spokesman for the Guatemalan army, on the rise in political killings in his country, especially of peasants and student and union leaders. Colonel Isaacs blames leftwing extremists for the murders. There were 203 people killed between July and September.
The New York Times, November 13, 1988

"[The Democrats] who will be sitting down with George Bush were also winners in the election. He is one of us, someone with whom we can deal."
—Tony Coelho, the Democratic whip in the US House of Representatives. The New York Times, 14 November, 1988

Democratic strategist tells The New York Times (14 November 1988) about the party's approach to the Bush presidency: "We have to find our voice. We don't know the pitch yet, the timber or the tune." How about one of the Woody Guthrie standards?

Florida resident Patricia Munson reminisces about George Bush during his Yale years: "A regular guy from a lovely family and a nice background with plenty of money."
The New York Times, November 14, 1988

William Safire on the funeral for the late lamented US Attorney- General John Mitchell: "We knew Richard Nixon would attend — he goes to the funerals that matter." Like the Shah of Iran's.
New York Times, November 14,1988

"I'm not interested, I mean I would not jump at an opportunity to have a bilateral chat, meeting, with Daniel Ortega.... [T]here's no point in having a bilateral meeting and giving them a certain standing that I think is uncalled for until they go forward and do that which they pledged to do, and which everybody wants democracy and freedom." George Bush talking to
journalists on a Florida beach.
New York Times, November 15, 1988

Gilbert Cuadra, secretary general of the big business council COSEP, assesses the damage from Hurricane Joan: "When we talk about people needing clothes, though, it isn't like the US or rich countries where people have four sets of clothing, one for each season—and they need those clothes, of course—and fashions change there every year, it's true. But here, well, people sometimes have the same clothes for 15 years, and people don't have as many.... And our members in Granada and Masaya, they were also hurt. Their haciendas were damaged—what are they going to do?"
Interview with Update, Managua, October 28,1988

A feminist in a bathing suit? Miss Sandinista Youth 1988, María Inés Bland6n Marenco, daughter of prominent Managua feminist Auxiliadora Marenco, speaking after her beauty contest triumph: "In Nicaragua women are winning greater opportunity to struggle for their rights." Then referring to the current campaign to get young men to sign up for the draft, to be "legal," she added, "For a young woman to be truly legal means to comply with all the tasks of her country and to defend the revolution."
Barricada, November 27, 1988.

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