The Sandinistas' 'Pinata' and the Threat From the Right

There is error as well as illusion in the article "Sandinistas Opt for Stability," July 24. The writer says the measures introduced in Nicaragua's National Assembly in June were "to overturn two laws that facilitated the handout" which earlier is referred to as "the last-minute handout of land titles and government property by the Sandinistas prior to Violeta Barrios de Chamorro's assumption of power in April 1990."Law 85 (which protected the homes) and Law 86 (which protected the right to the land itself) were passed by the National Assembly after the election, but they protected no "last-minute handout." They applied to land and houses distributed before the Sandinistas' electoral defeat, for which they had never delivered titles, assuming there was no hurry to do so. As many as 1.2 million Nicaraguans may be affected by these laws. These laws are not the so-called "pinata" in which a small number of government officials may have benefited personally from distributions of houses and vehicles after the election and before the new government's inauguration. "The right's offensive" of which your writer speaks is as much a threat to Chamorro's government as it is to the Sandinistas, as demonstrated in Assembly repeal of accords reached between Chamorro and workers' and farmers' unions. The struggle symbolized by the Sandinista Revolution in the last decade continues in Nicaragua, and continues to be misunderstood. Grant Gallup, Managua, Nicaragua

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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