“Terrible and Glorious Days”

1 SEPTEMBER 1979 — Only weeks after the Sandinistas seized power, Interior Minister Tomas Borge gave an address in Managua’s Plaza de la Revolucion, warning that “dias terribles y gloriosos” – terrible and glorious days — were ahead. I remember the speech well because of its ominous tone. The only living founder of the Sandinista […]

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The End of the Beginning

20 JULY 1979 — Of all the images that I’ve selected and scanned for this blog, this is the only one for which I cannot find the print that was actually transmitted to UPI. Perhaps the transmitted version got lost in the urgency and tumult of those heady days. We worked long hours. Slept short […]

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They Took Their Dead

19 JULY 1979 — As is so often the case in the period between the violent overthrow of one government and the assumption of power of its successor, chaos reigned in much of Managua after Somoza’s departure prior to the Sandinistas’ taking control. (Remember Baghdad after the March 2003 U.S. invasion?) In the photograph above, […]

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A New Nation Celebrates

19 JULY 1979 — Nicaraguans tore down remnants of the Somoza regime as they celebrated the birth of a new nation. It was an extraordinary scene. Relatively few journalists have the opportunity to witness and to report on watershed events such as this. I feel privileged for having been able to do so. The image […]

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A New Nicaragua

18 JULY 1979 — With President Anastasio Somoza Debayle having fled Nicaragua just ahead of a tidal wave of violent opposition, his supporters still in the country jockeyed for power. The Sandinistas called any alternative to their rule “Somocismo without Somoza,” and rejected it as “unacceptable.” Above, Sandinistas and their supporters marched victoriously and defiantly […]

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Rumors of No More War

17 JULY 1979 — The national convulsion had nearly ended. As the caption of the above picture states, it was rumored that Somoza had fled the country. American and Nicaraguan politicians maneuvered to fill the vacuum. Maneuvered for power. But the opportunity for negotiation had long evaporated. Having exhausted all the peaceful means for change, […]

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