Nicaragua: A historic opportunity lost?

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Apr 29 06:56:09 MDT 1996

On Sun, 28 Apr 1996, Rahul Mahajan wrote:

> You have
> in the past stated categorically that the Sandinistas were not like the
> Popular Front in Spain. While conceding that they certainly were not with
> regard to authoritarian suppression of alternative currents, I still would
> like a clearer formulation or understanding of what the other differences
> were. Could you briefly sketch them for us?

Louis: Put in the most simple terms, the Popular Front was an electoral
bloc between workers parties and bourgeois parties, while the Sandinista
government included no bourgeois parties. With respect to land reform,
Nicaragua had the most extensive expropriations in Central or Latin
America since the Cuban revolution. This came in two stages. First, all
Somocista land was nationalized in 1979. These properties were exactly
the types of massive agribusiness holdings that were ripe for seizure.
The next wave of nationalizations took place in 1982 and 1983 when
underutilized land became the target. If Spain had the type of land reform
that Nicaragua did, it is entirely likely that Franco would have never
become dictator.

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