The Nicaraguan contras (was Re: Chavez and Fighting Back History)

Sam Pawlett rsp at
Wed Aug 2 01:01:37 MDT 2000

"Jose G. Perez" wrote:
>     If only it had been so!
>     The contras were never "soundly defeated."

Jose, thanks for this excellent post. Much better than most I've read on
Nicaragua in English.

That was what I was told by  FSLN veterans, one contra that I met (who
would only speak to me on condition that we speak english. This guy was
trained *inside* the USA and was even angrier than the FSLAN veterans.
If he had known what he was fighting for, he would never have joined the
contras) and  an
American expat who moved to Nicaragua in August 79 and still lives there
today, so my evidence is anecdotal. The American did some time as an
ambulance driver and  only left the
country for 1 month in '92. This was is 1996 and,boy,  was the country
in rough shape and that is compared to Honduras and El Salvador.
Electricity is rationed in
Managua. There is 50-80% unemployment depending on the area. There is
little fuel for public transport.  Desperate unemployed men in rags
standing on
street corners. Complete and utter demoralization of the public in every
aspect of life. Massive alcoholism. The American said that the only
post-FSLN improvements are the stable currency and low inflation.
Everything else is a disaster especially including the serious public
demoralization. The budget comes from International Aid funds.
Interestingly there were some Bulgarian volunteers still there.

 My point was just that the Contras were a product of imperialism had no
physical or social base in the country to start off with. The FSLN did
make policy errors but the fault of the war and in turn the serious
economic problems (which are worse today) lies with American
imperialism. I think
this has been amply documented by many writers like William Robinson and
Alejandro Bendana so I won't repeat it. BTW, what do you think of  James
Petras' critique of the FSLN? That they should have gone the Cuban
route? Or was there not enough int'l support?

Sam Pawlett

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