Magazine article Insight on the News

Sandinistas Use Terrorism to Finance Stale Agenda

Magazine article Insight on the News

Sandinistas Use Terrorism to Finance Stale Agenda

Article excerpt

A May 23 explosion in a Sandinista arms cache in Managua destroyed more than an arsenal of terrorist weapons and alias documents; it also exploded the left-wing myth that the Sandinistas are authentic revolutionaries. The ties that have been revealed -- with international criminals, terrorists, arms merchants and kidnappers for ransom -- have exposed a Marxist political party in the depths of moral and ideological bankruptcy.

The Sandinistas, who still control the military intelligence apparatus in President Violeta Chamorro's government, remain sponsors of terrorism for their own purposes and supporters of international terrorism by mercenary groups.

The trail of murder, of course, began early in Sandinista rule with kidnappings and assassinations of opponents, including an Argentine military attache in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in 1983. The Argentine terrorists, the Montoneros, no longer exist as a group, but their infamous chieftain, Enrique Haroldo Gorriaran Merlo, is still killing people with Sandinista support. Gorriaran, who led an attack against an Argentine army barracks in January 1989, killing 39 people, was given personal protection in Managua by Sandinista Interior Minister Tomas Borge. Arms used in the attack came from the Sandinista terrorist arsenal.

After the election that voted them out of office, the Sandinistas carried out revenge murders against their opponents, including former Contra leader Enrique Bermudez.

A partial list of terrorist organizations supported by the Sandinistas includes the Italian Red Brigades, the Basque ETA, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Cuban-sustained Latin terrorist groups such as M-19, MRTA, FARC, CNPZ, MPL and the Lautaro Youth Movement. There are others. During the years of Sandinista political control in Managua, virtually every radical Palestinian and anti-American terrorist group in the world had representation in Managua and could count on clandestine support from the government.

Terrorist cooperation was sometimes a two-way street for the Sandinistas. For example, Popular Front chief George Habash, through his control of a Danish criminal network, provided support to Borge in his various assassination operations against perceived enemies. Habash, a personal friend of Borge's who had a permanent office in Managua, shared a terrorist cadre with the Nicaraguans and benefited through the use of authentic Nicaraguan documents bearing false names. Borge, whose assertions that he was a "born again" Christian appealed to some of the more credulous missionaries in Latin America, was a maestro of clan-destine terrorist operations.

When Eden Pastora conducted a news conference at La Penca on May 30, 1984, a briefcase bomb exploded, killing a number of journalist as well as Contra rebels. Pastora, a popular former Sandinista comrade with authentic social-democratic credentials, was wounded but recovered fully.

The Sandinistas put their propaganda machine to work, attempting to direct blame onto the Contras and the United States government. It was a solidarity effort espoused in the United States by a number of radical left-wing adherents.

The truth of La Penca, however, appears to be quite different. Borge was able to call on the resources of terrorist comrades living in Managua to carry out an assassination attempt against the enemy whom the Ortega brothers -- top Sandinista leaders Daniel and Humberto -- feared the most. …

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