The assassination of her husband, journalist Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Cardenal in 1978, who exposed the corruption and atrocities of the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle, thrust Violeta Barrios de Chamorro into the political spotlight. A housewife and mother of four, she resumed her husband's fight and found herself highly coveted by the Sandinistas once they had replaced Somoza. Though she joined them for a brief time, she eventually ran against their candidate for president in 1990 in the first country's first democratic election since Somoza took over and earned a surprising victory. Dreams of the Heart
, a memoir, recounts Chamorro's rise from homemaker to statesperson and illustrates how she led her country through an important transition better than anyone could have expected.
From Publishers Weekly
Nicaraguan president Chamorro delivers a stinging critique of the Sandinistas' "Cuban-Soviet model" of communist rule following the downfall of the Somoza dynasty dictatorship in 1979. Her husband, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, outspoken editor of the liberal newspaper La Prensa, spent years in jail undergoing torture and solitary confinement. Upon his assassination in 1978, she became leader of the fledgling democratic opposition, then briefly joined Daniel Ortega's Marxist regime in 1980. But she quickly became disillusioned with the Sandinistas, whom she accuses of betraying the revolution by choking civil liberties, crippling the private sector, assassinating opponents, squandering public assets for personal gain and erecting a state monopoly that led to even greater inefficiency and corruption. Chamorro, who was elected president in 1990, defends her political course, equidistant from the CIA-backed Contras and the communists. She writes affectingly of being a widow, raising five children and of her recent efforts to conquer widespread poverty and unemployment. This is both a valuable historical document and a moving personal story. Photos. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.