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Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08
Page 12
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Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08 - Page 12. July 1979 - August 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 20, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1537/show/1521.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(July 1979 - August 1979). Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08 - Page 12. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1537/show/1521

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08 - Page 12, July 1979 - August 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 20, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1537/show/1521.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1979-07 - 1979-08
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date July 1979 - August 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 28 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 12
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_552al.jpg
Transcript Cilia Teresa grew up in Bluefields, a coastal city in Nicaragua. She was Cilia Fleming then, the daughter of the port's British consul. Her mother is Nicaraguan. The oldest of six daughters, she was 16 when her father died and she was sent to the United States to live with relatives. Her mother still lives in Nicaragua. Teresa is 49 years old now and for as long as she can remember, a Somoza has been president of Nicaragua. The father of Anastasio Somoza, the recently deposed leader, came to power in the early 1930's. He was assassinated in office. A son succeeded him and when he died his younger brother, Anastasio, took power. Twenty-seven year old Major Tachito Somoza was the heir apparent to the Somoza dynasty before his father's recent fall from power. "Power corrupts, " Teresa says. "In Nicaragua people say each generation of Somo- zas was more ruthless than the last. "There is so much hatred for Somoza that the people do not want to claim him as Nicaraguan. The Sandinistas called him "the last U.S. Marine in Nicaragua." This refers to the presence of U. S. Marines in Nicaragua during political shifts of government in the 20's and early 30's. Guerillas fought against the U. S. occupation. Somoza's father came to power pledging he would take care of the rebel leader, Cesar Augusto Sandino. Somoza brought the exiled leader back from Mexico, pretended to honor him and soon after Sandino was assassinated. The marines left the country, but "the Somozas have retained the power and established an empire through the power of the United States," Teresa says. Somoza was "militarily trained" in the United States (at West Point) and the people saw his loyalties more to this country than to Nicaragua. When they got rid of him, they felt they would also be rid of foreign occupation. Hence "the last marine. " Nicaragua Anastasio Somoza Debayle, "the last U.S. Marine in Nicaragua," finally left that country on Tuesday, July 17, 1979. In his private jet with an entourage of 45 people, he landed at Homestead Air Force Base near Miami. His motorcade was then escorted by the Florida highway patrol to his estate on Sunset Island. As I watched the news reports on television, I thought: this man is being welcomed as a hero, he is using U. S. tax- supported facilities such as the air force base and the highway patrol, and even perhaps the three jets which transported his party to Florida. And then I thought: he will probably become a much respected resident of the state of Florida. Somoza left Nicaragua bankrupt and with a huge national debt—over $1.3 billion. I watched on TV the aerial views of his American landholdings and saw the exclusive network interviews with him in the luxury of his island estate, and I wondered whether Somoza is not regarded by Americans as a western movie hero—the bad guy in the black hat who takes all. People seem to admire Somoza for the power he had to do all this—and get away with it. How different it is for those Mexicans, Nicaraguans, and other Central Americans who cross the border to come to the United States. But, then of course, they do not come with a fortune ($500 million, a conservative estimate) and they are not dictators who have plundered a country for some 40 odd years. All they are doing is crossing the border to seek employment. But then, of course, they come empty- by cilia teresa handed. They probably have little schooling. They are certainly not West Point graduates. They are humble, unpretentious refugees. If you ask them why do you come here, they say simply buscamos trabajo. No one welcomes them. As I write this, it hurts to think of the pain of the Nicaraguan people. It is hard to imagine until pain becomes part of one's own experience. What I feel as I watch Nicaraguans suffering is a deep sadness. The neighborhoods that suffered the most were the poor ones. That is where the Sandinistas drew their strong support. The lower strata had nothing to lose. The revolution started with them and with the students, artists and intellectuals. During the guerilla war people were forced to stay close to home. They were afraid they'd be killed. And with martial law imposed, everyone walking down the street was suspect. They ran the risk of being questioned and arrested with no right to trial. People were terrorized. My mother lived in Leon. During the September 1978 seige on that city my sisters and I lost all contact with her. We tried to reach her through the Red Cross. Finally, a relative who worked in Managua (50 miles away) found her. She had gone into hiding at the home of friends. They lived on staples, mainly rice and barley, for over a week. We brought her to the states for her safety. My mother wanted to return home before the second outbreak of fighting in May. This time the Sandinistas declared they were fighting to the end. And Somoza insisted he would not step down. She is still waiting to return to Nicaragua. It has been so difficult for her. Whenever I call her she is very sad. One day last June she said, "I feel like Nicaragua is going to disappear and that nobody cares." It has been difficult for me and my sisters, living around the country, to find out what was really going on in Nicaragua over the past 18 months. We felt helpless. We could not get any real news over the phone from Managua; our relatives were always worried that someone was listening. Most of our family left Nicaragua for other central American countries or the United States. Because first-person accounts were so difficult to come by, we had to depend heavily on the media for news. The media never pursued it until the fighting escalated. When Iran was in the news there was nothing on Nicaragua. Iran was the big event. After Iran, Nicaragua was in the news. I don't understand the mentality of the news media. I still do not know if it is true, but someone told us that the University of Leon was destroyed by Somoza's troops. They say he drove tanks and demolished the buildings because his national guard believed the Sandinistas had strong backing from the University element. The university is the pride of Leon. It is a jewel of Moorish architecture. I am afraid to return and see that the reports are true. I ask myself how could a Nicaraguan himself destroy a center of learning? It wasn't a foreign invader. It was a Nicaraguan. It is like an act of punishment against the people—because they wouldn't HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 12 JULY/AUGUST 1979