Lede: The Grayzone reports from Nicaragua on the 42nd anniversary of the
Sandinista revolution. Nicaraguans discuss their improved quality of life,
President Ortega condemns the dictatorial US "empire that wants to dominate all
countries," and Vice President Murillo declares poverty an imperialist "crime
MANAGUA, NICARAGUA - 42 years after the victory of the Sandinista revolution,
Nicaraguans are still celebrating the gains of the leftist movement, and hoping
to take the transformative process to another stage.
This July 19, tens of thousands of Nicaraguans flooded downtown Managua, the
capital, to show their support for the revolution and the national government
that since 2007 has been led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).
An ocean of Nicaraguans filled the streets bearing red and black bandanas,
waving FSLN flags, and chanting revolutionary slogans.
The celebration lasted for an entire week, culminating with speeches by
President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo, who emphasized gains
of the revolution like free universal healthcare and education for all citizens,
new high-quality infrastructure, the empowerment of women and the youth, as well
as an assertive stance on the global stage.
Ortega used his speech on July 19 to announce a 5% increase in government
spending on social programs, and a corresponding 5% increase in the salaries of
Murillo vowed to accelerate the government's war on poverty, linking it to the
"diabolical imperialist threat" posed by US intervention. Stressing that
underdevelopment of the Global South is an "imperialist imposition that has been
used to dominate, divide, diminish," the Nicaraguan vice president called
poverty a "crime against humanity."
Highlighting Washington's decades-long war on the Sandinistas, Ortega railed
against US imperialism, calling the "yanqui empire" a global dictatorship
obsessed with destroying Nicaragua, Russia, China, and any country in its way,
led by "rulers who want to impose their hegemony, who want to make themselves
owners and lords of the planet, who even want to take over the universe."
While tens of thousands of Nicaraguans filled Managua to commemorate the
revolution, international media outlets blasted out fake news.
Spanish corporate news wire EFE falsely claimed, "Few celebrate Nicaragua's
revolution on its anniversary number 42." In reality, although they did not
receive any coverage in the mainstream foreign press, there were demonstrations
this July in support of the Sandinista Front all across Nicaragua, in most the
country's departments and major cities, including Masaya, Estelí, Boaco, Rivas,
Chinandega, Jinotega, Matagalpa, Granada, Leon, Chantales, Carazo, and beyond.
The onslaught of disinformation, spread shamelessly by Western corporate
outlets, is part of the unconventional warfare that has been waged against
Nicaragua and its leftist government, since the Sandinistas returned to power
through a series of democratic elections beginning in 2006.
In 2018, the United States backed a violent coup attempt aimed at overthrowing
the FSLN and the party's President Daniel Ortega. For months, right-wing bands
waged a campaign of sabotage to destabilize the country, erecting barricades
that battered the economy, while hunting down Sandinista activists in their
homes and on the street.
The putsch fizzled out in July 2018. But just when it was on the path to
recovery, Nicaragua encountered a new series of stumbling blocks.
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged the world, further damaging Nicaragua's
economy. The US-funded anti-Sandinista opposition exploited the health crisis to
launch another bid to sabotage the government.
As if this were not enough, that November, Central America was hit by not one
but two hurricanes, Eta and Iota.
Despite the many obstacles, Nicaragua is still moving forward. The Sandinista
government guarantees free, socialized, high-quality healthcare and education
for all of its citizens.
And while Nicaragua is the second-poorest country in the western hemisphere
(after Haiti), it has some of the strongest social programs in the region, as
well as excellent public infrastructure, on par with that of much richer Latin
The Sandinistas have also heavily emphasized the role of women in leadership
positions. It passed laws requiring government offices to be split at least
50-50 between men and women, leading to the fifth-highest level of gender
equality in the entire world, and the highest in Latin America.
The government's gains are especially impressive when considering that
Nicaragua's neighbors in the so-called Northern Triangle - Honduras, El
Salvador, and Guatemala - are wracked by catastrophic violent crime rates,
making them some of the most violent nations on Earth that aren't officially at
Compared to its neighbors, Nicaragua is an oasis of stability and peace. And
many Nicaraguans attribute their relative security to the Sandinista Front.
According to a survey taken this May by the mainstream polling firm, M&R
Consultores, 76% of Nicaraguans feel their country has progressed in the 14
years of rule of the Sandinista Front. 73% say the government gives them hope,
69% personally approve of President Daniel Ortega, and 63% believe their
families will have better lives and jobs with the FSLN staying in power.
When I walked around downtown Managua on the week of July 19, the wellspring of
popular support was palpable.
"Thanks to the Sandinista Front and Comandante Ortega, my children can go to
college for free, and the public schools are excellent," said a middle-aged
woman. "When I was a child, in the neoliberal period, we had to bring our own
desks to school, and there were holes in the walls."
"We have various new hospitals, and they're free," a man effused. "Before you
would go and pay a lot, and they would just give you a pill."
As I strolled down Avenida Bolívar a Chávez (the main street in the capital,
where monuments to Venezuelan anti-imperialist leaders Simón Bolívar and Hugo
Chávez had been erected), I spoke with dozens of people who had gathered to
celebrate the revolution.
"The roads were horrible before Comandante Ortega returned," recalled an elderly
man. "It was just earth and mud outside my house. Now I have good roads all
around my neighborhood."
"I remember the neoliberal era. We had nothing. They privatized everything. They
pillaged the country," a woman lamented. "Before the Sandinista Front came back,
we didn't even have electricity or water. It went out every day."
Many women emphasized the role the Sandinista Front has played in empowering
them and their family members.
Several Nicaraguans also recognized me and stopped to show gratitude to The
Grayzone for reporting on their struggle. "Thank you for telling the truth about
what is going on," a young Sandinista activist said. "The other media outlets
say so many lies. They are all lies."
-- Cont'd at https://thegrayzone.com/2021/07/24/nicaragua-sandinista-revolution-42-anniversary/