Nicaragua Jittery Mood

Arms buildup, civil crackdown

As he waited for a traffic light to change in Managua, a hotel driver named Andres Garcia idly furled and unfurled a tiny American flag that he had been given while making a delivery to the U.S. embassy. A passing policeman, seeing the flag, pulled Garcia, 45, over to the curb and searched him. He discovered U.S. dollars in the driver's pocket and promptly threw him in jail.

Garcia's fate is a telling sign of the nervous mood in Managua these days. The Sandinista regime is repressing any activity that may be construed as disloyal. In the process, the nine-man Sandinista...

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