Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Nicaragua Information Center Records
BANC MSS 92/807 cz  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
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.
37 linear feet (27 cartons and 1 oversize box)
Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For additional information about the University of California, Berkeley Library's permissions policy please see: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/about/permissions-policies
Collection is open for research.