[Marxism] Nicaragua 25 years later

Jurriaan Bendien andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Sat Jul 24 05:08:56 MDT 2004

Lüko Willms wrote:

"But the defeat of the Sandinistas in the election was seen as another proof
that socialism is not viable, and so played against the socialist currents
in the mass movement."

This is an interesting comment, I've never heard of that argument. What was
specifically socialist about the Sandinista government, in your opinion ?
Land reform ? The cooperatives ?

In New Zealand, we supported the FLSN as a popular, anti-imperialist
movement against the murderous Somoza clique, which aimed at land
redistribution and improving the condition of the working population. But
half the population, one of the poorest in Latin America materially
speaking, couldn't even read or write, and at least 1 in 5 were

Admittedly, in New Zealand the Socialist Action League (Barnesite) hailed
Sandinist Nicaragua as a "beacon of socialism", while at the same time
apologising for the neo-liberal programme of the NZ Labour Government.
Obviously we couldn't agree with that. That was political miseducation.

If the Sandinistas ceded governmental power, that just meant that they knew
they had no hope of winning against US aggression, subversion and boycotts.
It would be silly to think though that this was "another proof that
socialism is not viable". If anything, it proved that US foreign policy is
rabidly anti-socialist.

The main point to note I think is that the economic position of Nicaraguans
is now worse than it was under the Sandinista government, whatever progress
has been made in regard to health and education meantime.

Actually, after poisoning Nicaraguan banana workers with pesticides, Dole,
Shell and Dow Chemical are now suing the banana workers and their medical
examiners ! (see the article by Sasha Lilley at
http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/inequal/labor/2004/0614pesticide.htm ).


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