The records of the Nicaragua Information Center span the decade of its operation, beginning in 1980 through its closure in
1991. They consist primarily of NIC's operational, working files, including information about other organizations and political
events of the decade, and its resource library, which was available for public use.
Between 1980 and 1991, the Nicaragua Information Center played a leading role in coordinating activities in support of the
Sandinista government and the people of Nicaragua and in opposing the policies of the United States government, which supported
the Contra insurgency. During the 1980s, Nicaragua support work was a key focus of progressive political activity in the Bay
Area and throughout the United States. The Nicaragua Information Center began as a student organization at the University
of California, Berkeley. The organization moved off campus in 1981, and eventually grew large enough to support a full-time
paid staff of five, in addition to many volunteers. NIC published Nicaraguan Perspectives, an important national magazine on Nicaragua between 1980 and 1991. NIC also formed the Berkeley-Leon Sister City Association
in 1985. The Center provided alternative information about Nicaragua, coordinated opposition to U.S. policy in the Bay Area
and much of the west, and played an active role both in raising material support for Nicaragua and facilitating travel by
individuals to and from Nicaragua. In addition, the Nicaragua Information Center served as the Pacific Southwest Regional
Coordinator for the Nicaragua Network from 1983 through 1992. In this role, NIC played an influential role in developing and
coordinating national policy for the movement in support of the Sandinista regime. This included anti-Contra aid agitation
and person-to-person exchanges. Through delegations and work brigades, the Center helped hundreds of people travel to Nicaragua.
Working with various coalitions, the Nicaragua Information Center played a central role in the political struggle against
aid to the Nicaraguan Contras and raising material support for Nicaragua. The elections in Nicaragua in 1990 brought about
a transfer of power from the Sandinistas to a more conservative regime. This shift had a dramatic impact on the Nicaragua
support movement, severely reducing financial support for organizations such as the Nicaragua Information Center which had
been identified with the Sandinista movement. In June 1991, the Nicaragua Information Center closed its doors. While NIC continued
to operate on a reduced level after this date, its lack of office space and funding have made its resources unavailable to
the public.The Berkeley-Leon Sister City Association (BLSCA) was formed in 1984 after Mayor Gus Newport traveled to Nicaragua and declared
a sister city relationship with this university town. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, substantial work was done to
expand this relationship, including numerous tours of Nicaraguans to Berkeley and delegations from Berkeley to Leon. In addition,
tens of thousands of dollars in aid was raised and sent to Leon. This relationship is well documented in the files, including
flyers for events, background on material aid efforts, and documentation on the tours and delegations. Efforts continued at
a reduced level through the mid-1990s. The last events took place in 1996 and the BLSCA ceased to operate in 1998.
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