An Exclusive Interview in Rebel Territory

1 JULY 1979 — Moises Hassan, the only member of the five-person Junta of National Reconstruction already in Nicaragua while fighting still raged across the country, talks about the future during an exclusive interview with myself and colleague Leif Skoogfors. Leif and I were the only two American journalists to have gained access to Masaya […]

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Victory In Sight

30 JUNE 1979 — After their strategic retreat from Managua, Sandinista fighters and supporters occupy the nearby city of Masaya, one of numerous population centers slipping out of government control. For the first time since launching their “Final Offensive” against the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship, jubilant Sandinistas now see the possibility of victory. In the early […]

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Sandinistas Retreat From Managua

28 JUNE 1979 – This is what I witnessed as I drove over back roads early on the morning of 28 June 1979 to drop a colleague off at the airport. Hundreds of Sandinista fighters and supporters retreated from Managua because, as one of them said, the civilian population was being hammered by government forces’ […]

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Blood of Brothers

27 JUNE 1979 — Members of President Anastasio Somoza’s National Guard fire at Sandinista insurgents during heavy fighting along the contested northern highway leading from the capital of Managua to the international airport. As in too many of these conflicts, this war pitted neighbor against neighbor, family against family, brother against brother. While reviewing these […]

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And the Casualties Surge Again

26 JUNE 1979 — Casualties mount during a surge of fighting between Sandinista rebels and members of the Nicaraguan National Guard. Seen with a towel over his shoulder making pictures of a wounded man is John Hoagland, at that time a freelance photojournalist for the Associated Press (AP). John and I covered part of the […]

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… Doesn’t Last Long

25 JUNE 1979 — A tenuous lull in fighting erupts into gunfire between members of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) (above) and the National Guard of Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza. The image making and storytelling skills I acquired during this conflict are the foundation of my role today as backpack journalist. As we mark […]

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