Fighting has increased in Nicaragua since the government took strong action on Monday (August 28) to prevent a coup by part of the National Guard.
GV Soldiers on foot and in jeep patrolling streets of Managua (3 shots)
CU & SV Norman Wolfson (Somoza spokesman) talking with newsmen. (2 shots)
CU Wolfson speaking (3 shots)
GV Soldiers on guard at street corners (two shots)
SV Pan men riding on horse-drawn cart.
CU President Somoza enters room for press conference (two shots)
CU Somoza speaking in English.
FRANCIS: "Security has been tightened around President Somoza, but apparently the threat of a military coup is over. President Somoza confirmed the coup attempt last night, which government sources say involved about one hundred men, at least twelve of them officers in the army. Norman Wolfson, a New York public relations man hired by Somoza when Nicaragua's troubles began, said last night Somoza moved on conspirators before they could attempt the coup."
WOLFSON: "There was a group of military officers who felt that President Somoza was tempted to resign. Rather than have anybody else take over the country if he resigned they decided to push him out of office and take over the country themselves. I think it certainly was an attempted coup, yes. they didn't move but they were planning to move."
FRANCIS: "The President is trying to demonstrate to his troops that he can control Nicaragua's many problems. He has moved decisively to break the general strike that began yesterday. He announced that he ordered the country's central bank to call in all loans to businessmen who participate in the strike. A very determined President Somoza said today he would not be forced from office by guerillas, similar people, or national strikes."
PRESIDENT SOMOZA: "The Sandinista National Liberation Front will not stop its campaign of terror if I step down. And now, they say, "Well it;s the rifle that's gonna make Somoza go." I say, "It's the votes that's gonna make me go."
Initials RM 0100
REPORTER: FRED FRANCIS
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Fighting has increased in Nicaragua since the government took strong action on Monday (August 28) to prevent a coup by part of the National Guard. The worst fighting has been in Matagalpa eight miles (130 kms) north-west of the capital Managua. At least ten people have died there in pitched battles between anti-government demonstrators and loyal National Guardsman. Disclosure of the planned coup came in the midst of a national strike aimed at bringing down President Anastasio Somoza. President Somoza, whose family has ruled the Central American country for forty-five years, says he intends to defy the national strike and stay in power until elections in 1981.
This report from Fred Francis, of the National Broadcasting Company Incorporated.