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Changes in the historical center of Managua | Jun 7, 2007

The image of historical center of the city of Managua was affected this week by a presidential order, which was not publicized. The removal of the lights, ornaments and the northern perimetric wall of the National Palace of Culture was finished with the intention of bringing back the ambience of the “Plaza de la Revolución”, which it had in the 80`s.

The works on demolition and changes started last Monday, 4th of June, without any public notification and the main part of the work was done at the following day. This action consternated the population in general, according to the national Medias. Later it was clear that the order was given by the office of the government party FSLN.

According to government functionaries, the light spots are going to be transported to the Parque Rubén Darío, various dozens of meters to the north. The current president of the Nicaraguan Institution for Culture articulated in a national channel that the change has two objectives: reinstallation of the historical Plaza de la Revolución to be a point of celebration of the triumph of the revolution of 1979 and to offer a better and more attractive ornamentation to the small neighboring park, which honors the international Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío.

In 1999 the antique Plaza de la Revolución, flanked by the antique buildings of the old Cathedral of Managua and the National Palace of Culture, was eliminated because of the construction at the former empty northern flank, a modern government building in front of the Plaza and in the center of the Plaza light spots.

The light spot, of 25 meters of diameter, was throwing water spirals accompanied by varied illuminations, which were moving in the rhythm of the national music under control of a computer. Only the installation cost 120 thousand US$, according to national newspapers.

Reviews on the fact

The action, which was not counting with the participation nor the agreement of the city council of Managua, and which was taken without any public notification, was strongly criticized by the national Medias, who blame the government for authority, waste of public funds and destruction of antique investments, and for following a political revenge versus the actions of former governments.

At this place, on the 20th of July of 1979, took place the entering of Managua and the take over of the new government and the fighters of the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), Guerrilla organization which overthrew the dictator Anastacio Somoza Debayle. That day the plaza was full of people celebrating the triumph of the revolution.

During the posterior decade, Nicaragua was finally governed by the conformed party FSLN. This same place was opened again every 19th of July by thousands of people, who arrived to celebrate the anniversary of the triumph of the revolution, in a act which combines artistic and political poetic presentations.

From the 90`s on, the party FSLN lost election three times. The second government, led by the polemic Arnoldo Alemán, started in 1999, financially supported by China Taiwan, the construction of the modern light spot at the plaza. In these times people said that this action was taken to steal the historical meaning of this place from the rival FSLN.

The Sandinista party came back to power in 2006 and suddenly the ornamentation of the historical place changes again. At the moment, only the moved dirt and soil and no ornamentation is visible, but speculations say that the new Plaza de la Revolución has a defined ornamentation soon, the government of FSLN wants to finish it soon, so they can celebrate the next anniversary of the revolution, this 19th of July.