Nicaragua reports Nov. 13 & 15
Joe Courter
November/December 1996

Wednesday, November 13, at 8:00pm the Civic Media Center will be hosting two North Americans who have been in Nicaragua for the past four years doing aid work. Pat and Kathy Floerke were in Nicaragua until just prior to the election, but by then the writing was on the wall for the Sandinista's second place finish to conservative Arnaldo Aleman in the general election October 20.

Indeed, reading the September/October issue of NACLA Report on the Americas coverage of Nicaragua just prior to the October elections, it accurately assessed what was happening in Nicaragua now that we know that Arnaldo Aleman's Liberal Constitutional Party (PCN) prevailed without a runoff. Aleman, whose father was an official in the Somoza government, has become a slick selfpromoter who built himself a powerhouse through first working within the Sandinista system in the coffee growers association in the 1980s, then as the 1990s approached, became more openly anti-Sandinista, when he contested for and won the mayorship of Managua. From here, according to the NACLA, he used his access to public works money, the power for patronage positions, and financial help from Miami Cubans, who liked his strong anti-Sandinista stance, to build the power base for his party, the PCN, a name not unlike the National Liberal Party (PLN) of dictator Anastasio Samoza, and, in fact, the same name as a splinter party of the PLN, the PCN which formed in 1967 as a party "tepidly opposed" to Somoza's dictatorship.

As he ascends to the presidency, it's expected Aleman will bring into his government a number of former Somoza officials and sympathizers, who may continue to tear down the gains made by the Sandinistas, and move forward "property reacquisition" for Somoza period owners who lost materially with the Sandinista revolution.

The viewpoint the Floerkes bring is a continuation of the solidarity work done by volunteers during the Sandinista period and what it bodes for the future.

Pat is a marriage and family therapist by profession and Kathy is a professor of classics (Greek and Latin), though in Nicaragua she has done more teaching of English. They come bringing news, inspiration and handicrafts from Nicaragua.

It is short notice based on our print time, but we'll have a tape of the presentation at the Civic Media Center too, following their November 13th visit. The Civic Media Center is at 1021 W. University Ave.. (3730010).

On Friday, Nov. 15, the Floerkes will speak at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 100 NE 1st St. from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

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