Nicaragua: New Regime, Old Methods

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The Sandinistas fired off an accusation of their own last week. This one was aimed at Francisco Fiallos Navarro, who quit his post as Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S. last month after the Sandinistas banned the publication of an interview with the Managua newspaper La Prensa in which he expressed growing disenchantment with the revolutionary regime. Nicaraguan officials now claim that Fiallos, 36, embezzled $618,000 from the embassy's account at Riggs National Bank before his resignation, and vowed to take legal action against the onetime diplomat. Fiallos, who returned to Washington last week after conferring with anti-Sandinistan Edén Pastora Gómez in Costa Rica, proclaimed his innocence. "I deny I stole the money, completely and absolutely," he said. The former ambassador contended that the Sandinistas had trapped him into withdrawing the funds, but he was notably fuzzy about the whereabouts of the cash. At week's end a lawyer representing Fiallos was busy trying to reach an out-of-court settlement.

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