Nicaragua’s Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government has an active support base in the United States, particularly in Los Angeles.
Recently, at the Communist Party USA‘s Los Angeles Workers’ Center, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) celebrated its 32nd anniversary of the revolution and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the guerilla movement-turned political party. Nearly 200 people attended the celebration.
From the Communist Party USA’s Peoples World:
Representatives of the FSLN and the Salvadoran Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) addressed the crowd including Francisco Mayorga, FSLN’s political secretary of Southern California.
Mayorga said he was honored to celebrate the group’s anniversaries – 50 years since the founding of the FSLN and the 32 years since the FSLN “took down one of the most perverse dictatorships in Latin America at that moment.”
Mayorga noted all the former guerillas in attendance and reflected on the armed struggle paying tribute to all those that fought in the revolution.
Augusto César Sandino led the first armed uprising against the U.S. military intervention in Nicaragua in the 1920s and 30s. He led battles against the U.S.-allied Anastacio Somoza García’s regime. Those struggles later inspired Nicaraguans to lead a second wave of revolution against the Somoza’s sons – Luis Somoza Debayle and Anastacio Somoza Debayle. Carlos Fonseca, a Marxist, and a small group of Nicaraguan socialists help found the FSLN in 1962.
Fonseca had traveled to Cuba and Russia in his early 20s and was heavily influenced by both socialist nations.
He once said, “It is not our job to discover the universal laws that lead to the transformation of a capitalist society into a society of free men and women; our modest role is to apply these laws, which have already been discovered, to the conditions of our own country.”
In 1976 the National Guard eventually killed Fonseca during combat. But on July 19, 1979 the Somoza dynasty was ultimately toppled.
In 1984, the FSLN called for elections and won.
During this time the Contra War had just started. The Contras, supported by the U.S., were remnants of the Nicaraguan National Guard. The Contras coupled with the U.S.’s economic blockade against the new socialist-leaning government, devastated Nicaragua.
Because of these factors-among others-the Sandinistas lost the elections in 1990 to the right-wing United National Opposition (UNO) led by Violeta Barrios de Chamorro.
After a 16-year Neoliberal rule that reversed several revolutionary government programs, Daniel Ortega and the FSLN won back the presidential seat in 2006. Prior to the 1979 revolution Nicaragua suffered more than 40 years of military right-wing rule.
Back at the Los Angeles Workers’ Center, Carlos J. Flores, youth secretary of the FSLN in Southern California, spoke in support of the Sandinistas in this year’s election.
Next Nov. 6 Nicaragua will hold presidential elections with its candidate and current president, Daniel Ortega, running on the FSLN ticket.
According to Flores current polls show FSLN ahead, just slightly over 50 percent.
“But,” Flores warns, “We cannot think that we have it made and rest on our laurels-
Because that’s what the right-wing wants.”
Flores recalls in 1990, similar polls said the FSLN was ahead but the revolutionaries ended up losing the elections.
“There has been 16 years of Neoliberal rule which pretty much messed up the country,” said Flores. “Venezuela and ALBA are helping Nicaragua. Cuba sends doctors. We send them our resources. It’s a mutual cooperation,” he added.
And it’s not just the poor people of Nicaragua that understand this, notes Flores. The right-wing forces have subtly admitted to the vast improvements the Sandinista government has brought to the country, he said.
“Right now-we’re in transition toward socialism. You can’t go from capitalism to socialism right away,” Flores said.
Clearly, the outcome of the Nicaraguan elections will depend on the level of aid received from Cuba, Venezuela and the United States.
Why is the FBI not moving against these people?