February 8, 1996 in Nation/World

Pope Celebrates Nicaraguan Peace

Compiled From Wire Services

Celebrating Mass before 150,000 worshipers, Pope John Paul II expressed happiness Wednesday at political changes that have brought peace here but tossed barbs at the former Sandinista government that spoiled his last visit.

At one point, he alluded to the Sandinista period as “a long, dark night.”

Nicaraguans cheered and waved flags - both national and papal - at a dusty plaza on the shores of Lake Managua. President Violeta Chamorro, a cross dangling over her long white dress, escorted the pontiff hand-in-hand.

Chamorro, a devout Catholic, called the pope’s visit a dream come true and “a blessing from God.”

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