The Battle for Democracy in Nicaragua

Report Americas

The Battle for Democracy in Nicaragua

March 14, 1984 21 min read Download Report
Greerson G.
Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs
(Archived document, may contain errors)

I 335 March 14, 1984 THE BATTLE FOR DEMOCRACY IN NICARAGUA INTRODUCTION Much has been said and writte n about the Sandinista government and its efforts to change the economic and political system of Nicaragua and women who fought alongside the Sandinistas to overthrow Anastasio Somoza, because they believed that they were building a new democratic order. U sing methods all too familiar, the militar ily powerful Sandinista party has imposed on Nicaraguans a worse tyranny of violence and repression. This has driven many one time allies of the Sandinistas into opposition once again--this time against the 'gove r nment run by the Marxist-Leninist FSLN Sandinista National Liberation Front This opposition includes the freedom fighters or the. IIContras, the Catholic Church, the one nongovernment newspaper, La Prensa, the private sector, and the Indians, who are call i ng for a democratic system and freedom from oppression Little has been noted of the many disillusioned men Nicaraguans' freedom of speech, assembly, and private property have almost ceased to exist Yet some nonsupporters of the San dinistas, who have not o verlooked or rationalized Sandinista repression, portray the democratic opposition in Sandinista terms as lfSomocistasll or "the right-wing opposition,Il when in fact the representatives of this opposition are primarily liberal democrats who for years opp o sed the Somoza reg1me.l An example of a common perception of the militant opposition is Carlos Fuentes' statement to The Washington Post on June 12, 1983, that Nicaragua is being "invaded by counterrevolutionary bands led by former commanders of Somoza's N ational Guard who are out to overthrow the Revolutionary Guard and reinstate the old tyranny." 2 The elections announced by the Sandinistas and scheduled for November 4, 1984, have brought about a greater cohesion to this diverse but democratic opposition , who have questioned the fair ness and legality of an election under a government that controls the media, the army, 60 percent of the economy, and the councils recently created to supervise the electoral process Many fear that, through such a mock electi o n, the Sandinistas will obtain the international legitimacy they need to pursue their foreign and domestic policies without the formidable pressure of the U.S and neighboring democratic states. The opposition knows that, if this happens, there will be les s likelihood of restoring to Nicaragua the original liberal democratic goals of the revolution.

EXPLOITING THE MODERATE DEMOCRATS In 1978, the Sandinista forces (FSLN) began to ally with various anti-Somoza groups, while carefully retaining tight control o f the military wing of the insurrection They presented themselves as champions of a democratic program that included free elections a pluralistic society, and a mixed economy.3 The Nicaraguan Political Parties Law of September 1983 prescribes the legal st atus of the political parties tils that govern the electoral process and the legal rights of the parties.

Representation on these boards is, however, weighted heavily in favor of the Sandinistas. The Council of State, one 0.f the bodies created, consists o f 11 members from the nongovernment parties and 40 from the Sandinista party FSLN. Another important governing body, the National Assembly of Political Parties is also dominated by the Sandinistas.

Formal written commitments were made by the FSLN .on' Jun e 23, 1979, to the Organization of American States' 17th Meeting of Consultation, to plural ism, human rights, respect for private property, and other democratic guarantees that, although it was no secret that the hard core of the FSLN was Marxist-Leninis t , the non-Marxists were comforted not only by the "plural istic spirit" but also by the assurances made that certain democratic elements be part of the revolutionary system which followed the creation of nonpolitical armed forces; democratic elections to be held at a reasonable time after victory; the promotion of pluralism and the preservation of legitimate private property; and national self determination. Arturo J Cruz,."Nicaragua's Imperiled Revolution,"

Foreign Affairs, Summer 1983, pp. 1031-1047.

The deliberate deception of the Sandinistas is further confirmed by an October 5, 1979, report issued by the Sandinistas in which the FSLN stated: the Government of National Reconstruction composed of moderates as well as FSLN was "an alliance of convenie n ce organized by the Sandini stas to thwart Yankee intervention (and) it was not necessary to negotiate with the bourgeoisie, just to give some representation to people with a patriotic reputation It also creates electoral coun In addition, exiled leaders s uch as Arturo Cruz have stated These were: 3 This garnered international legitimacy for the revolution as well as considerable amounts of financial and military assistance from Western democracies. Further, the formation of this front made it nearly impos s ible for the U.S. and other governments to continue support to Somoza In 1979, he was forced to turn over the governme.nt to the Sandinista-led coalition. recognized by the Organization of American States, after it received a letter .from the Sandinista g overnment that promised free elections and democratic procedures Its legality was By 1981, the Sandinistas had emerged as the dominant power.

The democratic members of the Government of National Reconstruction that was formed in 1979 were methodically bein g eased out of any meaningful role in the government. Meanwhile, the Sandinista gov ernment was aligning itself with Cuba's Fidel Castro and the Soviet Communist Party. Increasing numbers of Eastern-bloc personnel were given managerial roles in the recons t ruction of Nicaragua and Social Emergency Law in September 1981, effect gave them total power to make laws, imprison people without due process confiscate property, censor the press, and restrict the right of a~sembly.~ Moderates like Arturo Cruz , Violeta Chamorro, and Edgar Macias resigned their government posts in protest and went into exile. From there they are continuing to struggle for the democratic goals of the revolution The final blow came when the Sandinistas imposed the Economic THE MIL I TARY OPPOSITION The armed opposition to the Sandinistas operates on two fronts: The Nicaraguan Democratic Forces (FDN),are based in the north near the Honduran border, and the Democratic Revolutionary Alliance (ARDE) is in the south near the Costa Rican b order.

Indians from the Sumo, Rama, and Misquito tribes, belong to one of two organizations. One, under Steadman Fagoth, is called the Misura. It is independent of AF!DE and FDN although it cooperates with the FDN. The other, Misurasata, under Brooklyn Riv era, is within ARDE. I Under the leadership of Alfonso Robelo and Eden Pastora ARDE has about 4,000 armed soldiers and claims to have considerable support from the local populace and army militia having difficulty collecting supplies and medicine for its f orces although they have been receiving foreign assistance from Western European and Latin American countries as well as the U. S ARDE has been The Sandinistas have attempted to use U.S. support for the Contras as a justification for the promulgation of t he Emergency Decree despite the fact that the September 1981 Emergency Decree preceded by several months the November 1981 decision by President Reagan to support the Contras.

Assistance received by ARDE has not come directly from the governments of these countries, at least not publicly, but from organizations which are nominally autonomous but which receive government assistance. ARDE also receives undisclosed amounts of aid from the CIA. 4 Because he was a hero of the anti-Somoza,revolution and cannot b e accused by the Sandinistas of being l1Somocista,l1 Eden Pastora ensures ARDE's political legitimacy in Nicaragua and abroad ly embarrassing to them. Subsequently, he and his followers have been excluded from the amnesty decree included in the peace propo sals announced by the Sandinista government last December.

Together with the FDN leaders, they have been refused participa tion in the upcoming 1985 presidential elections.

Another important leader, AFtDE's Alfonso Robelo is also widely respected in Nicar agua. He was the founder and leader of the political opposition front, the Movimiento Democratic0 Nicara- guense (MDN), against Somoza. After the overthrow of Somoza, he became a member of the Sandinista government his position in the junta and joined Pas t ora the ideological and political objectives of Robelo's MDN have been adopted by ARDE democratic party, MDN refused an offer to join the Socialist International, preferring a nationalist autonomy.6 His early, split 1980) with the Sandinistas was politica l In 1981, he le,ft For the most part Although often described as a social I The FDN has a force of approximately 10,000 armed combatants and receives much publicized aid from the U.S. government. Large powerful, and militarily effective, the FDN is seen b y some as politically weakened by the presence of ex-National Guardsmen in its military command structure. Although not created as such, the National Guard came to be perceived as Somoza's special army and was. unpopular among most Nicaraguans because of i ts heavy handed treatment of Somoza's opponents and its support of his repressive policies. However, they represent barely 2 percent of the FDN and they have no political role.

Rank-and-file FDN are mainly peasants, small landowners, and shopkeepers who became disaffected with the government after the Sandinistas seized their property or confiscated most of their crops. Others have joined because 4 of religious persecution.

The election of Adolph0 Calero Portacarrero as FDN Chairman and Commander-in-Chief has done much to offset the political lia bility from the inclusion of ex-Guardsmen in its ranks was a highly respected political leader in Nicaragua and for many years an outspoken critic of Somoza, who jailed him twice 1982, Calero left Nicaragua for Te g ucigalpa, Honduras, from where he now directs his forces j Calero In The FDN's political ideology and objectives reflect Calero's philosophy. And as one of the leaders of the Conservative party Certain notable participants in the Socialist International, s uch as Mario Soares of Portugal, have long been critical of Sandinista government policies. 5 in Nicaragua, he has given FDN a more conservative democratic platform than that shaped by his counterpart in ARDE, Alfonso Robelo. Although much has been made o f their differences, there are many areas of agreement. It would seem that the two fo'rces could unite, particularly now that the FDN seems to have removed the ex-National Guardsmen from its military command. Both Calero and Robelo hold strong democratic v i ews, and neither represents an extreme. The democratic opposition in Nicaragua, though diverse, has never been characterized by the kind of polarization that afflicts other countries in Central America THE INDIAN FORCES Although the Misura and Misurasata f orces fighting the Sandinista armies in the north and south of Nicaragua consider themselves part of the nationalist struggle and often cooperate with the FDN and ARDE, their major aim is to return to their ancestral lands from which they were driven by t he Sandinistas.

Brooklyn Rivera, leader of the Misurasata coalition of Indian forces, has joined the ARDE alliance. Last summer he publicly condemned the systematic discrimination by the Sandinista regime against the Misquito, Sumo and Rama Indians, who ar e now kept in detention camps. He said During more than four years of totali tarian government by the Sandinista in Nicaragua, the Indian people and other low income sectors of the population have suf fered the tragedy of this police state. As a result, t hey have been sub] ected to systematic extermination.

Because of international concern with its Indian policies December. So far, there has been only minimal response to this offer and other promises for resettlemknt and improvement of the conditions of th e camps, which have been consistently revealed as desperate at Berkeley, who has studied the Sumo, Rama, and Misquito tribes since 1968 and recently visited detention camps, has protested the conditions in the camps. In a letter to The Times of London he w rote I the Sandinista regime offered amnesty to Indian rebels last Professor Bernard'Nietschmann of the University of Cal'ifornia The Indians are not mercenaries nor have they been duped into resisting. The significant point is what they are fighting for, not what they are fighting with.

They are fighting for an indigenous cause, Indian FBIS, December 15, 1983, p. 14.

Separate interviews with Bishop Salvador Schlaefer and Jim Steiglitz, an American ex-medic who is still working among the Misquito camps, T he National Catholic Register, January 5, 1984 6 lands, Indian autonomy, Indian self-determination. To liberate their lands and villages, to bring the people home from the refugee and relocation'camps, they would take arms from any source more politically acceptable to some if they obtained arms from China, Libya, Israel, or Angola's UNITA force Would their struggle be As the influx of thousands of Indian refugees into Honduras indicates, the Sandinistas have not been successful in gaining the cooperation o f these people, despite their repeated assertions to the contrary. c 1NTERNAL.POLITICAL OPPOSITION An important political organization inside Nicaragua is the Democratic Coordinating Board. Under the leadership of Eduardo Rivas Gasteozoro, internationally recognized for his human rights campaign against Somoza,g the Coordinating Board is composed of several political parties, businessmen, and union representatives.

Its function is to negotiate on behalf of its members for the right to continue their work and to participate in the elections November 4, 1984 Like many other groups and individuals in Nicaragua, the Democratic Coordinating Board hopes that, by staying a n d fighting within the system created by the Sandinistas, they will make democratic gains. But this hope is fading. The elections will be under Sandinista control; the February 22 electoral law does not guarantee free and equal participation. Emergency law s now in place effectively prohibit political rallies, access to the media, and criticism of the "Revolutionary Government. Signifi cantly, the Sandinista regime has refused to review or lift these emergency laws that potentially could be used to negate th e more liberal electoral law. For this reason, the reaction to the promise of elections in 1985 is pessimistic. Democratic Coordinating Board, Rivas Leiva stated: "We can only view the so-called (political) opening with skepticism if press Speaking for the Eduardo Rivas Gasteozoro was one of the leaders of the Nicaraguan Perma nent Commission for Human Rights, which was instrumental in bringing world attention to the human rights violations in Nicaragua under Somoza.

The Commission is banned inside Nicaragu a and has been moved to San Jose Costa Rica, where it is under the direction of Nicaraguan exile Jose attention it once enjoyed, has repeatedly asserted that the human rights situation under the Sandinistas is much worse than under Somoza.

Richard Araujo, "The Sandinista War on Human Rights," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder No. 277, July 19, 1983 Estaban Gonzales. The Commission, which no longer receives the world See 7 censorship is not lifted, and if we are not allowed to participate in the collective c ommunications media.1f10 The Private Sector Important as a political opposition group is COSEP, the Nicaraguan Higher Council of the Private Sector. COSEP repre sents those Nicaraguan businesses that have not been fully nationalized. Like other opposition groups and organizations COSEP is allowed to exist, but is denied access to the media and attacked in the government newspapers, television and radio stations. Many of its members have been physically assaulted by mobs, and in numerous cases, imprisoned w i thout being charged.ll Although the government recently invited the representatives to participate in a dialogue, COSEP's demands and criticisms were barred from distribution, and the efforts of the one independent newspaper, La Prensa, to print the deman ds were stopped by the government.

COSEP, nevertheless, has responded to the promise of elections with specific proposals, which have been endorsed by the Democratic Coordinating Board and the Conservative Party. They closely resemble the proposals put for th by FDN, ARDE, and Misura. Calling for "authentic elections, COSEP proposes a separation of party and state; elimination of politics from education and other cultural activities controlled by the state; suspension of the September 1981 and March 1982 Em e rgency Laws; full freedom of expression and information; respect for freedom of worship; free independent labor unions; autonomy of the judicial branch; national dialogue among all the political parties and movements including the rebel groups; and superv i sion of the elections by either the Contadora or the Organization of American States ed permission from the Sandinistas to sponsor programs daily on the radio and weekly on television to discuss political and economic topics. Skeptical that his request wi ll be granted Bolanos observes There was a time when we thought we could make the Sandinistas come fairly close to their original programs.

But now they have made very clear that they are Marxist-Leninists who are moving towards creating a totalitarian sta te I COSEP's newly elected president, Enrique Bolanos, has request Asked by an American reporter why he stayed in Nicaragua, Bolanos responded We have the moral credibility to speak out lo FBIS, January 11, 1984, p.18 l1 Several union and business leaders who are members of COSEP were imprisoned for criticizing the economic policies of the Sandinistas immediately following the institution of the September 1981 Emergency Economic and Social Law which, among other things, prohibited any criticism of the gove r nment's economic policies. a because we have remained here We are setting an example for many people who might otherwise give up hope.1112 The Catholic Church Just as the Catholic' Church in Nicaragua under the leadership of Archbishop Obando y Bravo oppo sed the repression of the Somoza dictatorship it now opposes the repression under the Sandinistas.

As a result it has become a major tar et of Sandinista propaganda and government sponsored mob attacks l9 In the last three months 22 churches have been atta cked by gangs, who set tires afire outside the churches and threatened those trying to enter to pray. The Bishop himself has been harassed and attacked on his way to services The new Archbishop Pablo Antonio Vega Mantilla was expected to be less political . is] not a political opposition, we are believers in any regime based on Christian values an excessive control and are unable to realize their full potential He added,."much of the creative dynamism of the revolution has been lost it has been replaced by scheme imposed from the outside.I Yet he has stated that the Catholic Church In Nicaragua today people feel The Sandinistas appreciate the church's powerful influence.

They have tried to undermine this power by creating a IIPeoplels Church.Il But this 'lis more fiction than reality Arturo Cruz an ex-member of the junt.a, writes in Foreign Affairs.14 The Catholic Church is prohibited from receiving funds or contributions from abroad. The Archbishop's Sunday Mass no longer is televised. The' People's Church, on the other hand, is heavily funded from abroad, particularly by Protestant and Catholic churches in the United States, and has its own television and radio stations.15 Most recently, the Catholic Church has protested the Sandini- sta's efforts to take o ver the nongovernment Catholic schools.

The Episcopal Conference of Bishops, which governs the Catholic Church in Nicaragua, is backing fully the La Salle Order of Teachers' refusal to replace the traditional curriculum with l2 The New York Times. December 18. 1983. l3 l4 Foreign Affairs, Summer 19

83. See also The Subversion of the Church in The Wall Street Joknal, December 9, 1983.

Nicaragua Religion and Democracy, December 1983.

Centro Valdivieso and CEPAb are the organizations through which consider able funds Dass to the Sandinistas for the "Peoole's Church In 1981 an Interview with Miguel Bolanos Hunter The Institute For l5 for example: the World Council of Churches concributed $176,000 to Valdi vieso. 9 I Marxist-Leninist teachings.16 La Prensa, w h .ich tried to report the story on January 27, was closed down by the government. Arch bishop Pablo Antonio Vega, President of the Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference, has stated that "at this time in Nicaragua there is not a state of law, or basis for liberty and democracy."17 Like the other groups in the opposition, the Episcopal Conference has demanded of the government fulfillment of its original promise of nonalignment, popular sovereignty, suggesting that "the people be the subject not the object of the r e vo1ution.I The Press La Prensa, the only remaining nongovernment newspaper, is censored daily In fact, the Sandinistas have set up a special office exclusively to censor La Prensa, according to editor Violeta Chamorro, who was a member of the Junta until 19

81. The Sandinistas cannot shut the paper down completely. It would cost too much politically not only because La Prensa still symbolizes after many years of struggle against Somoza, the fight against tyranny to Nicaraguans and much of the world, but al so because the Sandinistas would no longer be able to credibly assert that freedom of the press exists in Nicaragua. La Prensa is interna tionally known for its opposition to Somoza, and the assassination of its editor Edgar Chamorro, Violeta's husband, w as the turning point of world opinion against Somoza.

Most of the attacks, according to the editors, occur outside the editorial offices. Distributors are often attacked by government mobs, some have been jailed by the government, their families threatened , and their houses painted with derogatory slogans.18 The Sandinistas do not limit their press control to censorship I La Prensa's editorial council has taken an active political stand before the Sandinista Government. It recently demanded fulfillment I o f points 4 and 5 of the Contadora Group's proposals, which call for the establishment of pluralistic democratic regimes in Central I I I i I America In recent weeks, the Sandinistas claim to have eased the censorship of La Prensa. Yet the paper has been cl o sed down twice more since it attempted to print the statements of the Episcopal Conference of Bishops l6 The following statement was issued by the Episcopal Conference We oppose any form of monopoly over education because it is contrary to the natural rig hts of men, to progress and knowledge of men's culture and heritage, to peaceful coexistence of citizens and the plurality of beliefs that prevails in many other societies 1984, p. 6.

Wall Street Journal, December 9, 19

83. Furthermore, the Sandinistas are proposing a new law which will grant the government permanent control over the media in Nicaragua. Diario Las Americas, March 3, 1984, p. 6 Diario Las Americas, January 28 l7 l8 Labor Unions 10 Nearly extinct, the rema i ning nongovernment labor unions are struggling to stay alive with the help of the Nicaraguan Higher Council of Private Enterprise and the Democratic Coordinating Board. These free unions, the Workers Central (CTN) and the Confederation for Labor Unificati o n (CUS both of which opposed the Somoza government, have suffered from an unrelenting govern ment campaign of repression. Their members have been assaulted by mobs, arrested and beaten, and their families are threatened. The leaders have been forbidden to hold meetings, collect dues bargain without government intervention, hold seminars, organize or leave the country without explicit permission from the Council of Ministers l9 Although the members of the various opposition groups inside Nicaragua have not p ublicly endorsed the armed opposition of the E'DN and the ARDE, they have not condemned it Many of their spokesmen concede that, with the focus of the Sandinistas constant ly diverted to the external opposition, the internal opposition has more room for m a neuvering. Many feel that, without external pressure, the Sandinista government never would have been com pelled to issue its peace proposals last December, which promised more freedom and political and economic opportunities-to the opposition groups and other members of Nicaraguan society as well as announced elections. In addition, the various opposition groups have unanimously asserted the right of the leaders or representatives of FDN and ARDE to participate in the upcoming elections.

IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S POLICY The ruling Sandinista directorate was never elected came to power only by its alliance with the truly democratic and popular opposition to Somoza through force. By aligning itself with the Soviet bloc, where free elections never are held and po w er is maintained through terror, the Sandinista regime has made clear the undemocratic path it has chosen. And were it not for the large and growing presence of Soviet and Cuban personnel and armaments in Nicaragua the armed opposition of the Contras woul d not need U.S. assistance opposition It It has maintained its power only The U.S. government should continue supporting the armed Through this pressure and through diplomatic channels l9 The Washington Post, letter to the editor from Robert W. Searby, Dep uty Under Secretary of Labor for International Affairs, January 1984.

AFL-CIO and the American Institute for Free Labor Development have taken similar positions with regard to labor union freedom and other human rights violations.

AIFLD executive director William C. Doherty on Nicaragua The See, for example, the February 1984 Memorandum from 11 the U.S. can support the democratic demands of the internal oppo sition as well opening of Nicaragua by publishing opposition demands at the United Nations and the Organization of American States as a counterpoint to Nicaraguan demands on the U.S.

Costa Rica, which has no army, is especially vulnerable to Sandinista and Mexican pressure to cease supporting the Contras who receive supplies and find refuge inside Costa Rican borders.

Costa Rica's insecurity should not be exacerbated by a wavering U.S. policy. U.S. support for the democratic Contra forces should be continued as part of a firm U.S. stance. So should ;k financial aid, and military aid when requested, to Nicaragua's increasingly apprehensive neighbors. Without U.S. strength behind them, the choice will be narrowed to those forces inside their respective governments that of fer "peace" only through accommodation.

Sandinistas' the OAS in July of 1979 that have never been fulfilled and as a result are now the basis of the opposition's demands As the Sandinistas were able through those democratic commitments to receive the recognition of their legitimacy as a government, then this legitimacy, at t h e very least, should be called into question by the representatives at the OAS and other international organizations The U.S. government can aid in the democratic Finally, the OAS and the world should be reminded of the CONCLUSION Although politically div erse, the several elements of the Nicaraguan democratic opposition share the principal objective of achieving the democratic goals of the revolution of 1979 that overthrew Anastasio Somoza.

The Sandinista government's charge that the opposition represents the old Somoza regime is unfounded. of ex-National Guardsmen active within the FDN are not politic ally important and are not part of the leadership. fact, former members of the Somoza government now in the Sandinista regime and many former National Guard smen in the Sandinista security forces. Most important, substantial progress has been made toward an .alliance between the Nicaraguan Democratic Forces and the Democratic Revolutionary Alliance.

In 1979, international support of the anti-Somoza revolution was made possible through the presence of the democratic opposition within the Sandinista movement. The Sandinistas rode to power on their backs. Now this same opposition, divided into political and military camps, is fighting the takeover of their countr y by totalitarian forces. The struggle is not between Somocistas and the people; it is between democracy and communist totalitarianism By supporting the opposition forces, the United States is squarely on the side of democracy I I The small minority There a re, in Esther Wilson Policy Analyst 12 J C aJ ou E u aJ Q d a Q u aJ P V aJ d E n d a z h I Q d 3 M 3 a m U d aJ C oca e3 9 cn X wc om u*c orl e aJ u M aJ 4 m u U k m u 0 u rn cn rl m 0 C V m u LI k aJ m rn M 0 m r, w 2 0 d m u u m aJ P 0 p N u u a vi aJ U 0 c, rn m PI 0 rn 0 0 z4 $1 2 0 U aJ u ccc rl 4 0 V l-l 0 LI m X 0 U u 4 2 C 91 m w r 13 a E i 0 u m 04 a ml a C m m b m V c 0 c M w C '0 L h aJ PI 0 3 n PI P 0 u V V PI 0 fl fi n 0 00 'Q v 00 m H V 0 I I 0 m 0 d 0 L rn 0 rl L 0 c 0 u V rn cp .d u E 4 1 m m 0 m b n 0 L u 0 a 1 0 w rl 0 73 4 14 rn m aJ d I4 X aJ 00 m 3 3 rn 30 z E zz rn 0 U C H m a cn rl a I n wwn ni m rn 2 m 3 v1 I4 C A a E 0 d 3 Q C u 3 rn rn 3 rn 3 V 8 5 uo El w 0 Ll aJ m ro +J 0 C rl X 2 3 a m m rn 0 C 4 rl 0 Lc L1 0 I4 C 0 3 C 4 P m z 0 p A aJ M C 4 aJ a M z aJ rn 0 CJ 15 APPENDIX I1 Excerpts from Written Statements of the Opposition Summary of main points DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTIONARY ALLIANCE To promote understanding among the anti-totalitarian forces To unify efforts to accelerate the ov e rthrow of totalita To guarantee the establishment of a democratic system of rianism in Nicaragua justice, fre.edom, and social progress, and self-determina tion through elections THE NICARAGUAN DBMOCRATIC FORCES To inviGorate civic resi,stance and armed i n surrection against the Sandinistas in defense of the essential values of Nicaraguan Nationalism and Christian culture To promote respect for life, liberty and human dignity Respect for family rights and their primary role in society, particularly the righ t s of parents to choose the education of their children Freedom of religion The right to pursue happiness, the right of private property Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, abolishment of all forms of censorship and state control over the media to gua r antee the establishment of authentic democratic system, representative .and pluralistic, based on the will of the people as expressed through direct, free and periodic elections Freedom of social, political, labor and professional organizations, and auton omous universities Separation of party and state, party and army, party and national police.

MISURA (MISQUITO, SUMO, RAMA) NICARAGUAN INDIAN ORGANIZATION Misura supports the Democratic Movement so that the right ful restoration of the political, social and economic system in the Atlantic Coast can be realized. 16 Misura seeks a pluralistic Republic through which the social transformation of Nicaragua can be achieved with a meaningful respect for Human Rights.

The Sandinista regime has violated systematical ly human rights in Nicaragua applying its policies of racism, apartheid and neo-colonialism against the ethnic groups of the Atlantic Coast which constitutes a crime of GENOCIDE The people of Nicaragua cannot act in self-determination under the Sandinista s The Sandinistas must dismantle ,the internal security apparatus of the Sandinista regime, the Security Forces of the State, the Sandinista police, the Sandinista Army rationing cards, the Sandinista Defense Committees, the centralization of internal comm e rce, the international forces, many of which have been given a nationalist disguise. It is imperative that the process of change in Nicaragua which was betrayed by the Sandinista Liberation Front FSLN) in July 1979, be put back in the hands of the Nicarag uan people in order to establish a government which truly represents the different sectors of Nicarguan society.

The promises made to the Organization of American States in the' resolution at the 17th meeting of Consultation of Ministers in July of 1979 mu st be fulfilled THE NICARAGUAN HIGHER COUNCIL OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE Statements made regarding the proposed elections in Nicaragua scheduled for Noverriber 4, 1984 State-Party separation A general restructuring of the state and para-state apparatus to put a n end to the identifying of state and para-state organizations with the political party in power (the FSLN) and its ideology. This means transforming state organizations (such as the Sandinista Peoples Army, the Sandinista Police, the Sandinista Air Force , Sandinista Television Network) which now have a political nature.

Repeal laws that violate human rights..:as pointed out in studies prepared by the Nicaraguan Permanent Committee for the Defense of Human Rights since October 1982.

Suspension of the State of Emergency and the institution of the full exercise of freedom of expression and infor- mation 17 Promulgation of an amnesty law pertaining to political crimes Respect for freedom of worship and the exercise of the 1 i !i churche s ' ethical and religious principles Labor union freedom repeal of the laws that restrict full exercise of labor union freedom Signed by Democratic Unions, Central Organization of Nicaraguan Workers (CTN Confederation for Trade Union Unity (CUS the democrat i c political parties, Democratic Conservative Party Social Christian Party, Authentic Popular Social Christian Party COSEP, Nicaraguan Chamber of Industries, Nicaraguan Chamber of Construction, National Confederation of Professional Associations Confederat ion of Chambers of Commerce of Nicaragua, Nicaraguan Institute of Development, Agricultural and Livestock Producers Union of Nicaragua.)


Greerson G.

Senior Fellow and Director of Government Finance Programs