Sandinistas Close Church Radio Station

Associated Press

The leftist Sandinista government Thursday closed the official radio station of the Roman Catholic Church after the station failed to broadcast most of a year-end message from President Daniel Ortega.

A notice from the government communications office did not say how long Catholic radio would be off the air.

Msgr. Bismarck Carballo, director of the radio station, said Ortega's message was not broadcast because of "human failure on the part of the shift controller who forgot to link" the radio station to the national network to receive the statement.

"We consider . . . that the measure taken by the (communications office) is out of proportion, because we didn't do it on purpose," he said.

In his year-end message, Ortega strongly attacked the United States and said that 1986 will be declared in Nicaragua as the "year of all the arms against the aggression of the Yankee invader."

"The imperialist enemy will try in 1986 to launch new military and economic blows to destroy our revolution," Ortega said, reading his message from the town of Pancasan in Matagalpa Province, about 125 miles north of the capital of Managua.

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