Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza has indicated that he knows his days are numbered. The president?
LAS ESQUINAS, SAN MACROS, JINOTEPE: NICARAGUA 9 JULY 1979 (REUTERS - JOHN CHAPMAN)
LV & CU National Guard outpost on southern highway, 15 km from Managua, with national guardsmen in front of Somoza statue (2 shots)
CU Sandinista patrol in Las Esquinas
SV & LV Sandinista patrol boarding lorry and drive away (3 shots)
SV PAN Sandinista base with flag in Jinotepe
TOP AND SV Sandinista approaching and guarding barricades (2 shots)
CU & SV Line of people with buckets receiving water from fire truck (2 shots)
SV Sandinista building and manning barricades on outskirts of town
LV Street scenes of Jinotepe (2 shots)
LV & CU Sandinistas on guard in church tower in San Marcos (2 shots)
SV Sandinista manning fortified position on pavement
SV Red Cross nurses talking with Sandinista
LV People outside Red Cross hospital
SV INT Child on hospital bed
LV Armed Sandinistas at gates of Somoza's clothing factory
LV & CU Workers packing clothes into bags (2 shots)
SV & CU Merced Jerac Somoza (Nephew of President) surrounded by his family on porch speaking in Spanish (5 shots)
SV Sandinista guarding broken statue of Somoza (2 shots)
Background: Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza has indicated that he knows his days are numbered. The president told a United States television reporter, "my case is sealed". Immediately after that statement President Somoza imposed rigorous press censorship.
SYNOPSIS: This National Guard outpost is only fifteen kilometres (9 miles) from Managua, and it is the last one along the southern Highway. President Somoza's statue still stands at Las Esquinas ... but for how much longer. The Sandinistas occupy the town and are preparing to attack Managua.
The rebels have gained control of so many towns that thinly stretched government forces cannot contain them. But President Somoza is adamant about retaining power. Celebrating the 86th anniversary of the foundation of Nicaragua's ruling National Liberal Party, Somoza told party members on Tuesday (10/7), that he would fight on to establish peace in his war-torn country. He promised to defend Nicaragua against what he called "international communism without any truce or let-up."
The guerrillas are trying to secure their positions before the final attack on Managua. Its a fight the United States want to prevent by putting Somoza under increasing pressure to resign. Those suffering because of the continuing battles are the civilians, left without food, water or shelter.
Somoza has said he will only concede power to a democratic parliament in which his party holds some seats. For the guerrillas such a compromise is unacceptable. Their provisional government is already installed in the areas of Nicaragua. They describe as liberated.
Here like in every other civil war help for civilians is inadequate. The Red Cross provide some medical aid, despite chronic shortages.
This is the San Marcos clothing factory, once owned by the Somoza family who have interests in virtually all of Nicaragua's key industries. Now the Sandinista have taken it over. They say that their provisional government will use Somoza's massive personal fortune to rebuild the country. And this man agrees -- he's General Somoza's nephew who has called his uncle an assassin and victim of the United States. Merced Jerac Somoza says he supports the Sandinista because of the suffering of the people.