President Reagan's farewell from office Friday produced celebrations by Nicaragua's Sandinista government, a gift horse from Canada and thanks from British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to a "true and perfect gentleman."

In the Soviet Union, the Communist Party daily Pravda published a lengthy article entitled "Reagan's Best Role" that credited Reagan with becoming more of a realist than an ideologue as his term progressed.Correspondent Gennady Vasiliev noted that Reagan, "according to the general view, was not distinguished by the strong intellect of Roosevelt, the broad education of Kennedy, or even Carter's capacity for work."

But his opponents time and again underestimated him, Vasiliev said, and Reagan was leaving office a popular and successful president.

The Japan Times hailed Reagan as the "man of the decade," and an Australian newspaper called him "a hard act to follow."

In the Netherlands, the Rotterdam newspaper Algemeen Dagblad said the United States "found a much-wanted anchor in Reagan's straightforwardly conservative ideology of patriotism, military might and economic recovery."

In Managua, however, the leftist Nicaraguan government planned street parties, parades and political meetings to usher out Reagan, whose administration financed anti-government rebels since 1981.

"The workers will show their ingenuity to mock imperialism and the reactionaries in this country," the state Voice of Nicaragua said Thursday.

The Nicaraguan government says it hopes normal relations with the United States can be restored after Bush takes office.

In Yugoslavia, the leading daily Politika said Friday that "Reagan will be remembered as an unmatched political seducer" whose rhetoric Bush will never be able to match.

While Bush takes over the reins of power, Reagan plans to saddle a gift from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.