The Nicaraguan government announced tighter rationing of basic goods and urged citizens to unify to overcome the U.S. trade embargo that took effect last week. Vice President Sergio Ramirez said in a televised speech that the embargo "gives us the opportunity to break the dependence that we have had on the United States. . ." by increasing trade with other countries. Under the new system, basic foods will be distributed through commissaries, and wage payments in food and bartering of rationed items will be prohibited, he said.