Nicaragua: We'd Like to Help You, But . . .

We'd Like to Help You, But . . .

In Managua, gasoline lines stretched for blocks last week as drivers rushed to service stations before the pumps ran dry. The panic buying followed an order by the Marxist-oriented Sandinista government that nearly tripled gas prices and sent the cost of basic goods soaring. Managua acted after announcing three weeks ago that the Soviet Union, which provides virtually all of Nicaragua's oil directly or through Eastern Europe, could supply only 40% of the country's petroleum needs. The Soviets have been surprisingly candid about their aims. Said a high-ranking Mexican official after meeting Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze last December: "He made...

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