Nicaragua: Broadsides in a War of Nerves

Washington and the Sandinistas take turns crying wolf

Once again the familiar tremors swept through Nicaragua. In the streets of Managua, the capital, dozens of Soviet-made T-55 tanks clattered into defensive positions. Antiaircraft crews manned their batteries, while zealous neighborhood defense committees scurried to dig air-raid trenches. Some 20,000 volunteer coffee pickers were reassigned to local militia units as the Sandinista government announced a "state of alert" affecting the country's 100,000-member military and security forces. For the third time in two years, the Sandinistas were loudly convinced—or so they said—that U.S. troops...

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