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Nicaraguan Radio Stations Prepare to Reopen With AM-Central America, Bjt

January 28, 1988

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) _ Newscasters kept off the air for six years said Wednesday they will resume broadcasting soon despite economic problems and periodic electricity blackouts.

The leftist Sandinista government announced Tuesday it was allowing the resumption of seven radio news programs and six publications it abolished in March 1982 under a state of emergency.

Five of the newscasters said they would resume broadcasting next Monday. Many news programs in Nicaragua were privately owned, by individuals or companies that rented time from stations and provided their own staffs and sponsors.

President Daniel Ortega lifted the emergency Jan. 19 to comply with a peace plan whose provisions include restoration of civil liberties by the five Central American nations.

Jose Castillo Osejo, director of independent Radio Corporacion, called the end of restrictions ″a good measure″ and added: ″We are ready to work for reconciliation and national reconstruction.″

Newscasters ″will be pluralistic, and above all objective,″ he said.

Marcos Jiron, assistant director of independent Radio Fabuloso 7, said the station was preparing to start broadcasting three news programs at a date not yet determined.

He mentioned problems with scheduling the El Atabal news show, which originally was transmitted at night ″at an hour when the daily emergency rationing of energy begins, which lasts five hours.″

Cesar Vivas said he will return Monday with his ″News and Commentary.″ Vives directs Church Radionews of Radio Catolica, the Roman Catholic church station closed Jan. 1, 1986. It was allowed to resume broadcasting in October, but without ″News and Commentary.″

Independent newscasters probably will have economic problems, Vivas said, but the government has said its businesses and institutions would be permitted to advertise on the independent programs.

Lt. Alicia Torres, director of the Interior Ministry news media bureau, said other news programs shut down in 1982 would not be allowed because ″they do not meet the requirements or their owners are outside the country.″

Current regulations require news program owners to live in Nicaragua, and Ms. Torres said those in exile cannot return until they apply for government amnesty. That requires them to sever all ties with U.S.-supported Contra rebels, who have been fighting the government for six years.

To receive a broadcasting license, a news program owner also must meet several bureaucratic requirements that include providing the names of editors and reporters and posting a cash bond.

La Prensa, the only opposition newspaper, has been permitted to publish without prior censorship since October.

Ms. Torres said the three magazines allowed to reopen are El Reportero, Bolsa de Noticias and Cosas de Farandula. Other publications permitted to resume are the Communist Party’s Avances, El Pueblo of the Marxist-Leninist Popular Action Movement and Solidaridad of the Labor Unification Federation, an opposition workers’ group.

Both television stations, Channel 6 and Channel 2, are part of the Sandinista Television System.

A group of businessmen applied for a private television channel months ago. When asked during a news conference whether the request would be granted, Ms. Torres said none had been received.

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