The leftist Sandinista government today celebrates the ninth anniversary of its revolutionary victory as prospects for a permanent truce with U.S.-supported rebels appear to be fading.
The anniversary marks the day Sandinista guerrillas arrived triumphantly in Managua, the capital, after a 11/2-year civil war that ended four decades of dictatorial rule by the Somoza dynasty.Troops on Monday conducted searches at roadblocks along the road to the site of the festivities in Juigalpa, 85 miles east of Managua. Also, the Interior Ministry banned alcohol sales for 24 hours in Chontales province, where anniversary festivities also are being held.
The measures followed three days of military exercises tied to the anniversary that ended on Sunday. The armed forces, using tanks, helicopters and guns, joined civilians to act out air strikes and land attacks.
Also Sunday, thousands of youths attended dances to celebrate the "Day of Happiness," marking the day in 1979 when President Anastasio Somoza left the country.
The celebrations come as a quick and permanent end to the government's 7-year war with the U.S.-supported Contra rebels remains elusive.