DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE OCTOBER 1985 CENTRAL AMERICAN MONTHL

Created: 10/1/1985

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCES CENTRAL AMERICAN MONTHLY

PERSPtXriVE

In mid-October, iha Sandinistas expanded their three-year old Matt ot emergency,egal framework to tighten controls over opponents who have bacome Increasingly outspoken. Th* new restrictions include broadened press censorship, limits on public assemblies and internal travel, and bans on political organiilng by tho opposition parlies. The Sandinistas havt used tht war to juatify the decree, statins that It Is ilmsd solely at counter-revolutionaries. The pro-regime press haa emphsslied the rights Still In force--primarily those pertaining to criminal judicialhat tried to demonstrate that the restrictions have Impacted little on daily life.

Sthe Catholic Church hierarchy's

Increasingly intense attacks on the regime precipitated the decree. Cardinal Obando had been drawing large crowds during his domestic tour and many ol his masses were only thinly veiled anti-government ralliesseries of otherthe

renegepromises noi to draft seminan'aiis and threats toforeign priests who supported Obando--turthet heightened tensions Just before issuing the decree, the regime confiscated the lust Issuehurch-aponsored newsletter, comprised primarily of ariti-govcmmcnt

In the wake of the decree, the Sandinistas occupied the curia offices and interior Minister Sorge summoned the Cardinal to his office for questioning about the Church's ties to the opposition political parties. The pro-regime press

This memorandum was prepared by

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|ALA. It was coordinated with the Directorate of Operations. II coMairis Inforrnaiion available asovember IMS- Questions end comments are welcome and should be addressed to

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nprecedented attacks on Obando. ey. Despite these attacks, the Church The Nicaraguan Bishops/ Conference

alto Issued accusing htr

ut iL-ppiirnmj ire m* has continued to criticlie regime policies

ildly defiant communique reiterating callsational dialogue to InclUde the armed insurgents. In addition, (he Cardinal dclied th* government's requirement thai he obtain permission for outdoor masses, end/

t thai he obtain permission for outdoor masses.is first mass following the decree attractedoTr

orST-ppe'

Th* regime Intensified attacks on civilian opponents as welt. Thethat the Sandinistas warned two leaders ol the Democraticthe mein opposition coalition, not to publish any protests or analysesgovernment decree. At least one member politicel party was also warnedpublish Its newsletter. In addition, in late October security officials raidedof an independent labor federation and arrested three union leadersthe emergency decree, according to press reports. The Sandinistasto herass some private sector leaders

The Sandinistas' Western supporters expressed cnagrln over the emergency decree, but appear disinclined to er'tticii* the regime harshly French President Mltterand. for example, "lamented" the tough measures, but also criticised US policy In Central America. The Swedes also criticiied the restrictions.

lno planseduction In Swedish

assistance""^

The state-of-emergency. in our view, demonstrates the heightened sensitivity of the regime to Interne) criticism. While it gives the Sandinistas broad powers to control Internal dissent, we believe they will continue their policy Ol selective implementation to avoid charges that they Intendliminate the entire opposition, Managua probably calculates that this strategy will also defuse broad popular resistance lo the law and induce key leaders to go into exile withoutamaging mass exit. The Church, as the regime's most formldible opponent, will remain its, pnmary tarrjet. in our view. The Cardinal Is likely to be able to defy aome of the restrictions, but the regime has already used the travel ban to limit attendance at his masses. More vulnerable second echelon clerical and lay officials could alao pay the price for Obandos resistance. They could be detained end Interrogated by the security services or. in the case of foreign priests, be expelled by the government. The government suspended the hierarchy's radio broadcasts for two days in late October, and publishing facilities could also be closed down permanently The inability to meet and publish communiques will further Isolate and fragment the political opposition, in our view Urban-based opposition political parties and labor unions, for example, will probably have difficulty continuing only recently renewed organizing efforts ouuide the cities. | |

Western and Latin American countries will probably remain critical of the state of emergency, but will likely keep their displeasure out of the public eye. The Sandinistas probably believe they are more vulnerable to internal dissent

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GUATEMALA

Trie strong showing by centrist parties in tne electionovemCer androte ol the military In the voting process suggest the: Guatemala'sCivilian rule remains on track Tho cenlar-loflist Christian Democratic ParlyNational Centrist Unionoo vote-gelleM--willresidential8 December Moderate sanies willejO'ity in the new Congress,lignum maytrong minority

election was conducted rionoilly anil elheierill,.

The election marked the endampaign which largely Ignored substenirve Issues and focused on personalities Oespite seriously worsening economic conditions, none ot theompeting parties went beyond offering vague economic panaceas Christian Democratic Party leader Vinicio Cerezooderate center-leftist who has taken care to cultivate good relations with thefavors moderate economic reforms, but is unlikelymplement more extensive and politically risky austerity measures at least in the near lerm.

Jorge Carpro Nicolie of the National Centrist iTe

TogfeaSW moaeraM wltn no coherent economic platform--promisedthe country's unemployment rate by creatingew jobs, bul tailedhow he would fund the increase.

fronwunners favor closer ileaheof

economic and miliiary aid arter ihe new government tokos office In January

For its pan, the armed forces largely remained above the partisan politicalstuck, to its refusal topecific candidate. I

"lhe military went so far as to mount an information campaign camngiriernl)<r'i df ine Civilian oeiense Forcesote fo' tha candidate of irtoir choice,effort to counter allegations of Interference On Ihe economic front,continued to pursue temporary measures to stave off even moredectino Moija. for

assurances from Veneiuela end Mexico lhat ihey would meat petroleum needs at least Ihrougn January.

Recent guerrilla tenons--designed in pan to disrupt electrons--were confined largely to hit-and-run tactics, roadblocks and propaganda The military responded aggressively andumber ot casualties In clashes in western departments

officers and at least six soldiers died In a

mid-October ambusn In il uuicne Dap

jartment.

a plansorwegian official and three other passengers toilMeanwhile, gnarrilas in Ihe Peten

burned iha Ocutiancamp and continuedccupy farms and distribute propaganda. Oespite anebel activity, the guerrillas have failan short of their announce" gout of disrupting the elections Nevertheless, they ire likely 10

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