San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Managua Movement

The day after Christmas is always sad … even when Christmas lasted for 21 months. After nearly two years of celebrating the festive glow of the Sandinista Christmas trees that were lit gaily each night in downtown traffic circles in the spirit of eternal yuletide cheer, the grinchy government has apparently decided that Christmas is finally over.

Yes, the trees have come down. They were thrown on the top of the family Lada and taken to the dump at La Churecha. Well, not exactly. The Christmas lights, illuminated candy canes and twinkling sugarplums have been taken down, but the concrete “tree trunks” remain.

Only now they are being festooned with giant billboards announcing the Sandinistas’ 2011 presidential campaign – an event that will probably look a bit like Christmas, as the ruling party hands out gifts to potential voters.

In any event, the good news is that the real Christmas is only six months away! In other quasi-public works news, the government is also redoing the downtown “Plaza de las Victorias” in front of the Hotel Hilton Princess. The intersection is being reconstructed with a small new park featuring a prominent statute celebrating three-time world boxing champ and former Mayor of Managua Alexis Argüello, who committed suicide last year.

The Sandinistas hope to have the work done in time for the party’s July 19 rally to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the triumph of the Sandinista Revolution.

–Mike DeFazio

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