Nicaragua: Now You See It, Now . . .

Now You See It, Now . . .

More than seven years after the Sandinistas took power in Managua, President Daniel Ortega last week unveiled a new constitution -- and then promptly curtailed many of the charter's guarantees. His reason: the simmering war between the Marxist-oriented Sandinistas and the U.S.-backed contras.

Since 1982, civil liberties in Nicaragua have been sharply curbed by a state of emergency called to meet the contra threat. The 202-article charter champions many of those suspended liberties, including freedom of speech and assembly and the right to strike. Immediately after the signing of the constitution, Ortega reimposed the state of emergency. Erick Ramirez, leader of...

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