The Sandinistas' Greedy Goodbye

Whatever the shortcomings of the Chamorro government, they pale in comparison with the Sandinistas' shameless pillaging of the country during the two months between their electoral defeat and the day Violeta Barrios de Chamorro took the helm. Nicaraguans refer to those rapacious weeks as "la pinata," after the papier-mache animals that children whack with a stick so they can plunder the candy stuffed inside.

While estimates of the booty go as high as $700 million, the full extent of Sandinista looting will never be known. By order of the outgoing government, Central Bank, Treasury and comptroller records from February to April...

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