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The Region

July 21, 1986

Nearly 1,000 supporters of Nicaragua's Sandinista government held a rally at Los Angeles High School to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the overthrow of dictator Anastasio Somoza, while about 30 anti-Sandinista protesters gathered across from the school, chanting "Somoza was first, Ortega is next." Somoza was overthrown on July 19, 1979, and a military junta was set up headed by Daniel Ortega, who is now president of Nicaragua. One speaker at the pro-Sandinista rally was newspaper columnist Alexander Cockburn, who blamed U.S. policies for unrest in the Central American nation and denied that the Nicaraguan revolution was engineered by the Soviet Union or Cuba. But across the street, anti-Sandinista speaker Benjamin Cuadra took an opposite view, accusing the Sandinistas of having "sold out the Nicaraguan revolution to Soviet imperialism."

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