Dreams of the Heart: The Autobiography of President Violeta Barrios de Chamorro of Nicaragua

Violeta Barrios De Chamorro, Author, Vileta Barrios De Chamorro, Author, Guido Fernandez, With Simon & Schuster $24.5 (320p) ISBN 978-0-684-81055-3
Nicaraguan president Chamorro delivers a stinging critique of the Sandinistas' ""Cuban-Soviet model"" of communist rule following the downfall of the Somoza dynasty dictatorship in 1979. Her husband, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, outspoken editor of the liberal newspaper La Prensa, spent years in jail undergoing torture and solitary confinement. Upon his assassination in 1978, she became leader of the fledgling democratic opposition, then briefly joined Daniel Ortega's Marxist regime in 1980. But she quickly became disillusioned with the Sandinistas, whom she accuses of betraying the revolution by choking civil liberties, crippling the private sector, assassinating opponents, squandering public assets for personal gain and erecting a state monopoly that led to even greater inefficiency and corruption. Chamorro, who was elected president in 1990, defends her political course, equidistant from the CIA-backed Contras and the communists. She writes affectingly of being a widow, raising five children and of her recent efforts to conquer widespread poverty and unemployment. This is both a valuable historical document and a moving personal story. Photos. Author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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