You would hardly know there had been an election and a change of government from your recent Nicaragua reporting. Might we be treated to some information and analysis of the governing party in that country?

Naturally we are interested in Sandinista tactics to challenge the government of President Violeta Chamorro. But U.S. taxpayers also invested more than $10 million in support of the February 1990 elections, which brought the Nicaraguan Opposition Union to power, and we'd like to follow the evolution of this coalition. Yet hardly a word have we read on the extraordinary divisions that beset UNO -- including the rivalry between Chamorro and her vice president -- nor the debilitating effect those splits are having on her ability to govern.

I get the impression that you blame the Sandinistas for all of Nicaragua's many problems. -- John Burstein The writer is with the Washington Office on Latin America.

As usual, William Branigin blamed the Sandinistas for Nicaragua's societal and economic woes {news analysis, Aug. 7}. To do this is to ignore the military and economic war the United States waged against Nicaragua during the 1980s. According to the World Court, that war, by the mid-'80s, had caused $12.26 billion in damages.

Even more unfair was Branigin's comparison of Nicaragua's military to those of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The only parallels that can be made are among those three -- all are U.S.-backed and all are responsible for massive human rights abuses. The Salvadoran military, equipped, trained and funded by the United States, is responsible for the deaths of more than 70,000 civilians during the past decade. These crimes have gone unpunished. The Guatemalan military has massacred more than 75,000 of its citizens since 1978 (again, no one has been punished), and the Honduran military is rapidly developing a similar policy of genocide. Comparatively speaking, since the Sandinista victory in 1979 the Nicaraguan army has shown great respect for the lives of its citizens.

Your analysis suggests the Nicaraguan military was out of line last month for its refusal to take stronger action against striking workers. Are you suggesting that Nicaragua take arms against its civilians, particularly trade unionists and students, in the name of restoring order? -- Phillis Engelbert