Operacion Calipso: La Guerra Sucia de los Estados Unidos Contra Nicaragua 1979-1983

Fabian Escalante, Author Ocean Press (AU) $17.95 (263p) ISBN 978-1-920888-57-2
Recent years have seen numerous retrospectives and memoirs of the Nicaraguan Revolution, such as Gioconda Belli's El pa\xEDs bajo la piel and Sergio Ram\xEDrez's Adios muchachos. Escalante adds his perspective here, drawing from his own experiences as a Cuban counterintelligence agent after the fall of the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua in 1979. The author draws on his own memories, as well as those of Nicaraguans involved in resisting the U.S.-backed contra war in the early 1980s. He also relays the personal and political motives of people who joined the Sandinistas. Escalante unapologetically condemns U.S. actions in Nicaragua, citing widely accepted facts regarding U.S. involvement, including the mining of harbors and financing of contra bases across the Honduran border. Conveniently, the book stops in 1983 with the defeat of a contra unit and other setbacks to the United States, failing to pursue the revolutionary period to its close in 1990, when the Sandinista government left office after being defeated at the polls. This is not a scholarly, carefully footnoted work, and it is best read as a memoir or testimonial of the contra period. Complicated, partisan, and intriguing, it will be of interest to students of the revolution in Nicaragua, though it lacks the historical analysis and background information needed to make it accessible to a general audience. Recommended for academic libraries, especially those with solid Central American collections.-Laura Barbas-Rhoden, Wofford Coll., Spartanburg, SC
Reviewed on: 10/01/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
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