By Dennis Gilbert
July 1, 1990
"The formal outlines of Sandinista organization and theory suggest monolithic force driven by a rigid ideology - a Leninist organization imposing its Marxist vision of history on Nicaraguan Society. But this stark image is clouded by contradictions when the Sandinistas are examined in action. Socialists, they promote petty capitalism in the countryside and preside over a mixed economy in which half of production remains in private hands. Marxist materialists, they accept believers into their ranks, even into the leadership of the party, and preside over a national religious revival. Anti-Yankee nationalists, they seek an accommodation with Washington and negotiate with people whom they previously described as Washington's mercenaries. A second image begins to merge: a party of pragmatists, sometimes stubborn but finally open to compromise."