Sandinistas, Moreno, etc

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Sat Feb 16 17:55:02 MST 2002

On Sat, 16 Feb 2002 17:12:44 -0800, Carlos wrote:
>2. But there was not military pressure from the
>US in the first period

This is a mischievous lie. Somoza fled Nicaragua in July of 1979.
Elements of the Argentine military were already organizing the
contras in late 1980 on behalf of the CIA, even before Reagan took

>3. The FSLN did make some very important
>mistakes from the go: forcing Spanish on native
>aborigines and Blacks, jailing left wing

Who are the left wing critics that were jailed? Names and dates,

>an agrarian "solution" that was neither a proper
>land reform nor something that improved

In fact, the Nicaraguan land reform was partially responsible for the
economic malaise that undermined the revolution. By freeing peasants
from onerous tasks on plantations formerly owned by Somocistas, there
were fewer crops being shipped to the cities for export. The agrarian
question, despite facile assurances by people like yourself, is
fraught with contradictions.

>made too many concessions to the Robelo-Chamorro
>wing of the bourgeoisie and imperialism and
>asserted a burocratic and iron-fisted control of
>the party, the mass organizations, etc

What's missing here is a class analysis of the Nicaraguan revolution.
Unlike Cuba, Nicaragua had a preponderance of petty proprietors in
the countryside. Maintaining an alliance with them meant taking
positions that stopped short of what ultralefts like Carlos demanded.
By contrast Lenin said in 1920 that "expropriation even of the big
peasants can in no way be made an immediate task of the victorious
proletariat, because the material and especially the technical
conditions, as well as the social conditions, for the socialization
of such farms are still lacking."

>4. Ideologically, the FSLN was bankrupt even
>they started to make mistakes and the mistakes
>were, to a certain degree committed by their
>ideas of how a revolution was to be conducted,
>some additional mistakes were committed because
>their inexperience, but ...

While it is important to study FSLN mistakes, it is also useful to
study their successes. They built a genuine vanguard. Their method
was different from the one that you advocate, I presume.

>5. There was and it is rampant corruption among
>the cadres of the FSLN from the very beginning
>and even before they took over.  How do you
>explain the houses with swimming pools, the
>privileges and now the fact that 150 of their
>commanders are an intrinsic part of the
>bourgeoisie with the means the appropriated for
>themselves during the revolution?

If the FSLN leaders were genuinely interested in privilege, they
never would have become revolutionaries. Tomas Borge had his
testicles beaten so many times in prison that he became sterile.
Daniel Ortega drank his own urine to survive in the hills. Either one
of them could have become a social democratic lawyers or professors
and lived in big houses with swimming pools under Somoza. In painting
them as PRI-like bureaucrats, you demonstrate a remarkable ability to
twist things for ideological purposes. There surely must be a better
use for your talents.

>6. The FSLN were also excessively pragmatic.
>Whatever works is OK.

It is hard for me to figure out whether you are simply ignorant of
the Mariategui-ist roots of the Nicaraguan revolution or are sweeping
them under the rug. If you are ignorant, I'd recommend studying his
works which are online at It might help to clear out
the sectarian cobwebs in your skull.

>Trying to justify the FSLN nowadays by blaming
>everything on imperialism would not help to
>resolve the question of a revolutionary process
>and leadership in the next round of the class
>struggle. Will only set us up to commit the same
>mistakes, over and over again.

Thank you, old man, for these words from Coyoacan.

Louis Proyect, lnp3 at on 02/16/2002

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