19 July 2006


I've just put on the Clash album Sandinista! to celebrate the anniversary of the Popular Revolution in Nicaragua, spearheaded by poets and novelists Daniel Ortega, Tomás Borge, Daisy Zamora, Sergio Ramírez, and other Sandinista combatants. Where did that revolution go, anyway?

I've spent two July 19's in the Plaza de la Revolución in Managua, at the celebrations. Both times I was in the VIP section, sitting on a nice folded chair, drinking bottled water, while tens of thousands of Nicaraguans were crammed up against each other in the plaza in unbearable heat. The first time, in 1989, my friend Anne Maclean was in the crowd; the second time, in 1996, my friend Joe Grengs was in the crowd. Both times, I felt guilty.

¡Nos venceremos!

Over and out.


At July 19, 2006 4:06 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the major contributions to Nicaraguan society during the Sandinista rule was the 1980 Literacy Campaign, which was the most prominent event with regards to the new education system. Illiteracy was significantly reduced from 50.3% to 12.9%, which resulted in a major impact on the youth and development of the country. One of the government’s major concerns was the previous education system under the Somoza regime which did not see education as a major factor on the development of the country. As mentioned in the Historical Program of the FSLN of 1969, education was seen as a right and the pressure to stay committed to the promises made in the program was even stronger. 1980 was declared the “Year of Literacy” and the major goals of the campaign that started only 8 months after the FSLN took over. This included the eradication of illiteracy, the integration of different classes, races, gender and age, more political awareness and the strengthening of political and economic participation of the Nicaraguan people.


At July 20, 2006 1:32 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

on the other hand, under the sandinista rule, they left a mountain of reports and documentation of widespread political and religious repression, censorship, thousands of executions, inhumane torturing of prisoners, seizure of private property, and numerous autrocities against the Indian population...but hey, at least surviving citizens could read moby dick!

At July 21, 2006 12:19 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the last thing i want to be is a mouthpiece for reaganistas, so i'm not so sure one can trust the wikiapeda entry on all this stuff. i mean, we need to be vigilant (buddha's last words) and skeptical when it comes to revisionist history or ultra spin doctoring that's become the norm on our media stupored world. where do historians get their information? from truth or rumour? or a combo of both? just another reminder to reread orwell. hell, i don't even trust the truth. who's truth? who holds the definitive version?


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