Nicaragua, the Sandinistas, and the Changed Anthem

cwellen cwellen at
Wed Sep 11 23:41:18 MDT 1996


Comradely Greetings from Wei En Lin,

It has been argued that:

'There are few organisations who had a
correct analysis of events in
Nicaragua and the FSLN. Those are
the only ones who saw through some rather
orthodox Trotskyist eyes this movement
which was based on guerrilla warfare
along the lines of the Cuban experiment.
In one case we got a deformed
workers state and in the case of Nicaragua
and the FSLN a deal with the
Nicaraguan Bougeoisie and imperialism.'

I find it difficult to see how the Sandinista
government 'made a deal with imperialism'.
They fought a bloody war against the
US-CIA-backed Contra-revolucionarios, and
were prepared to continue to fight that
war, if the election had returned them
to office.  As it was, about 60% of the
electorate decided to vote for Violeta Chamorro
rather than continue the war.  It had
gone on long enough.  After all, what can
a nation of 3 million do against the
largest imperialist power?  The Sandinistas
could have ignored the election results,
but that would have ruined their credibility
in the eyes of most of the people.

As regards the charge that the Sandinistas
made a deal with the Nicaraguan Bourgeoisie,
we must examine the issue in all of its complexity.
What the Sandinistas did was forge a policy
not unlike the early Soviet NEP, which allowed
the business classes to pursue some of their
interests.  Lenin and Trotsky both saw the
reasonableness of this course, given the level
of development in Russia at the time.  How much
more appropriate for the Sandinistas to make
adjustments, given their far lower level of
economic development.

The change of the anthem has some positive
significance.  No anthem should contain attacks
against other nationalities.  Sandinismo is ideologically
anti-US for perfectly understandable historical reasons.
But anti-US government is not the same as anti-United
States people.  A subtle point like this cannot be
made in an anthem.  Thus all references to particular
enemies should probably be omitted from the anthem.
The elimination of the anti-US phrase does not
indicate that the Sandinistas have become co-opted
by imperialists or by the bourgeoisie.

Sincere regards,

Wei En Lin.

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