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A SYMPTOM CALLED MANAGUA
In a famous essay entitled ‘An Illness Called Managua’, the Nicaraguan poet Pablo Antonio Cuadra contended that the city was paradigmatically ‘the reflection of [Nicaraguan] society, of its grace and its bitterness, of its vice and its beauty, of its history and its community’.  Pablo Antonio Cuadra, ‘Una enfermedad llamada Managua’, cited in La Prensa, 13 December 2002. Managua’s recent development also provides a perspective on the dramatic transformations that the country has undergone over the past decades: from corrupt dictatorship through popular insurrection and social reconstruction, rapidly choked off by Cold War intervention and economic crisis, to a Miami-style restoration and a new growth model led by narco-trafficking and Free Trade Zones. A study of Managua’s changing morphology and socio-economic trajectory suggests that the city is less an ‘illness’ than a symptom of this pathologized development path.
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