NICARAGUA: The Shrewd Apothecary

In Managua's sun-baked plaza, cadets from the military academy paraded one day last week in spotless white uniforms. Bands tooted the national anthem and the drums beat out a salute as President Victor Roman y Reyes and his boss and nephew, General Anastasio Somoza, drove down from their hilltop palaces in bulletproof sedans.

At the National Palace, Nicaragua's Constituent Assembly awaited them with the product of five months' labor—a new constitution. President Roman solemnly accepted it, then watched nephew Anastasio sworn in as a lifetime Senator, under a tailor-made constitutional provision that...

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