In Nicaragua, the long task of rebuilding a war-torn nation is only just beginning. The?
LV Panamanian soldiers waiting at airport PAN TO aircraft
CU Former Panamanian Foreign Minister Hugo Spadafora addressing soldiers
MV Panamanians waiting
CU Panamanians queueing to board aircraft (2 shots)
CU Junta member Alfonso Robelo giving press conference
CU U.S. Ambassador Lawrence Pezzullo being greeted by Nicaraguan Interior Minister Tomas Borge
MV Minister and Ambassador accompanied by officials and guards departing from airport building (2 shots)
CU Tomas Borge giving press conference
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Background: In Nicaragua, the long task of rebuilding a war-torn nation is only just beginning. The Sandinistas are laying down their arms to start rebuilding road and railways, refugees who fled to neighbouring countries are returning home and foreign soldiers who came to the Sandinistas' aid are leaving Nicaragua.
SYNOPSIS: Several countries sent volunteers to help the Sandinistas defeat the Somoza regime. Now the two-month civil war is over and this Panamanian battalion, led by former Foreign Minister Hugo Spadafora, is free to go home. The new regime is now building up a new army to be called the "Sandinist Popular Army" to replace Somoza's National Guard which was disbanded when the Sandinistas took over.
Alfonso Robelo is the Junta's financial expert. Although he's generally regarded as a moderate conservative, he joined other junta members in Cuba for celebrations marking the twentieth anniversary of Fidel Castro's revolution. On his return he told reporters that Nicaragua would open its doors to any country willing to help the nation rebuild democracy. We need all the help we can get, he said.
The United States and Nicaragua's new leftist government have agreed to maintain full diplomatic relations. U.S. Ambassador Lawrence Pezzullo who arrived in Managua on Friday (27 July) to present his credentials said the United States would be supplying massive aid. Interior Minister Tomas Borge was at the airport to meet the ambassador. Borge told Mr. Pezzullo that he wanted good relations with the United States and made a formal request for weapons to rebuild the Nicaraguan Army.
In their first press conference since the defeat of somoza's forces, leaders of the Sandinist National Liberation Front (FSLN) announced on Friday (27 July) that Commanders Tomas Borge Humberto Ortega and Luis Carrion had been appointed to head the new army. They represent three factions of the FSLN. Borge belongs to the popular war faction which advocated rural guerrilla warfare against the Somoza regime. Ortega represents the insurrectional faction which favoured urban military action and Carrion belongs to the proletariat faction which advocated political and industrial organisation. A ten-member General Staff will assist the new army chiefs.