Congress should evaluate the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua in its world context. It is part of an historical process advanced in 1968 when Czech leader Alexander Dubcek attempted to implement "socialism with a human face."

Dubcek's and three other similar experiments have been ended with help from the superpowers: Poland's Solidarity, Grenada's New Jewel Movement, and Salvador Allende's Chile.

"Human face" socialism seems to make superpowers nervous. (Though it may be too early to judge the post-Mikhail Gorbachev U.S.S.R. on this issue.) All the world has left of this kind of polity is Nicaragua. Nicaragua's new constitution combines the political guarantees of the West with the social and economic rights of the East, making the country an important bridge between the two systems.

Instead of trying to destroy it, we should declare the Nicaraguan government an endangered political species and take measures to preserve it.


Professor of Political Science

Cal State, Los Angeles

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