Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Still from the film Utopia 79

The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for 40 years.The people of Nicaragua, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in 1979 a breathtaking popular revolution.
The Sandinistas were not perfect. They had a fair share of arrogance and their political philosophy contained a number of contradictory elements. But these were intelligent, rational and civilized. They set out a stable, decent, pluralistic society. The death penalty was abolished. Hundreds of thousands of poor peasants were brought back from certain death. Over 100,000 families were given title to land. Two thousand schools were built.A quite remarkable literacy campaign reduced illiteracy in the country to less than one seventh. Free education was established and a free health service. Infant mortality was reduced by a third party. Polio was eradicated.
The United States denounced these achievements as Marxist / Leninist subversion.From the standpoint of the United States government, was setting a dangerous example. If Nicaragua was allowed to establish basic norms of social and economic justice, if it was allowed to increase levels of health and education and achieve social unity and national self respect, neighboring countries will ask the same questions and do the same. At that time there were of course a fierce resistance to the status quo in El Salvador.
1984 Bulgarian postage Sandino stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of Sandino's assassination

I recall then President Reagan, made the following statement: "The Contras are the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers..."

1 comment:

  1. The US government was probably most worried that Americans would start demanding these same standards of social and economic justice. Look at the Affordable Care Act, aka "Obama Care". The major effort against providing Americans with affordable health care was that it is "socialistic" and therefore bad. Bad only for the rich and insurance companies.