If Not the Sandinistas . . .

The alternative is Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, widow of the venerated Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal, the La Prensa newspaper publisher whose assassination by the right-wing Somoza dictatorship in 1978 touched off the uprising that led to the Sandinistas' elevation to power. Since winning the nomination of the United Nicaraguan Opposition (U.N.O.) coalition last September, she has managed to improve on a thoroughly inept start. But her campaign still lacks both substance and imagination. Dona Violeta does not discuss issues. She appears. She smiles. She presses flesh. She departs. Her stump speeches are long on teary references to her late husband and...

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