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New Left Review I/164, July-August 1987


Fredric Jameson

Introduction to Borge

The interview was conducted at the Comandante’s residence, over breakfast, with the help of an old friend, Ileana Rodriguez, and a new friend, Daniel Alegría, whose stories—instructively different from the life trajectories of North American intellectuals—I hope to tell in another place. It was not a particularly propitious moment for a theoretical interview, being among other things the first week of the Hasenfuss affair. Contragate had not yet been disclosed; but clearly Nicaragua was living under the anxiety of invasion, and suffering daily from desperate economic conditions. The visitor was also reminded that week of the reason for Managua’s strange landscape: a basin filled with foliage and vacant lots, from which a few buildings emerged at intervals. For San Salvador had just been struck by a devastating earthquake, which recalled to Nicaraguans their own experience in 1972. ‘This is the beginning of the end in El Salvador’, they said; since Somoza’s pocketing of the relief funds for the 1972 disaster had spelled the real beginning of the final revolutionary process in Nicaragua. ‘Duarte will never be able to rebuild either!’

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