The Atlantic Coast Of Nicaragua

Year Published:  1982  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX2533

Abstract:  This eight- page document presents a brief account of the history of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua, its experience of the Insurrection and how this differed from the experiences of the Pacific area, government actions since the Sandinista victory, a sketch of recent problems, and finally, a short reflection on the situation as it stood at the end of 1981. The materials were originally prepared and translated by Instituto Historico Centroamericano, Apartado A-194, Managua, Nicaragua, and subsequently edited and reprinted by the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice.
The Atlantic Coast area of Nicaragua differs from the Pacific Coast culturally, linguistically, ethnically, religiously, politically, and historically. The area comprises over half of the country, but contains only 10% of the population. The region's adjacency to Honduras and its natural resource potential make it of strategic military and economic importance.
The integration of the Atlantic area with the remainder of the country presents a formidable challenge to the Government of National Reconstruction, which is endeavoring to forge a new political, social, and economic reality in Nicaragua, and which is committed in principle to the establishment of a pluralistic democracy. The repression of the previous Somoza regime was not so brutally evidenced in most portions of this region as in the Pacific area, and identification with the goals of the Revolution has not been as strong among the inhabitants there. The very aim of integration is in some instances being questioned.
These difficulties, the authors note, have been worsened by a scarcity of resources with which to undertake reconstruction on all fronts simultaneously, the high level of expectations generated by the Revolution, the isolation of the Atlantic area resulting in problems in communication and provisioning, and a number of admitted mistakes on the part of government officials. Suspicion and lack of trust is evident on both side. In this complexity, differentiating between legitimate complaints and counterrevolutionary activities is of critical importance.
The authors of this supplement do not minimize the difficulties inherent in the situation. They do present a context within which to consider the responses of the Nicaraguan government.
These difficulties, the authors note, have been worsened by a scarcity of resources with which to undertake reconstruction on all fronts simultaneously, the high level of expectations generated by the Revolution, the isolation of the Atlantic area resulting in problems in communication and provisioning, and a number of admitted mistakes on the part of government officials. Suspicion and lack of trust is evident on both sides. In this complexity, differentiating between legitimate complaints and counterrevolutionary activities is of critical importance.
The authors of this supplement do not minimize the difficulties inherent in the situation. They do present a context within which to consider the responses of the Nicaraguan government.

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