Jose Figueroa does not understand why the Plaza de Espafia supermarket sells frozen Minute Maid orange juice imported from the United States when a dozen poor Nicaraguans hawk bags of sweet oranges in the supermarket’s parking lot. He is bewildered that Nicaragua now has only eight movie theaters, when on the eve of the country’s revolution in 1979 there were a hundred and thirty-six. And Jose is confused when leaders of his party, the Sandinista Front for National Liberation (FSLN), say that the party “remains revolutionary, but in the modern sense of the word.” He asks, “What does that mean?”
Like many talented young Nicaraguans of his generation, Jose entrusted twenty years of his life, his youth and more, to a politically charged set of ideals: revolution, equality, progress, and socialism. Now his memories are unsettling, disorienting, and bizarre. Aside from its abject poverty, Nicaragua shows next to no sign of its traumatic revoluti...
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