The Triumph of the Sandinistas with Dan Kovalik (feat Ben Rubenstein)

The Triumph of the Sandinistas with Dan Kovalik (feat Ben Rubenstein)

The Sandinista Revolution and how it improved the lives of the Nicaraguan People

Perhaps no country has been subjected to the whims of US imperialism as much as Nicaragua. In the 1800s, it was seen a new breeding ground for the Monroe Doctrine, and sent mercenaries over there to fight wars. In the early 1900s, during the quest for colonies, the US marines invaded again, and through the efforts of Agosto Sandino, they were pushed out, not before establishing a foothold in the form of Anastasio Somoza and his sons who ruled the country with an iron fist. Somoza and his allies grew wealthy while most of the peasants starved and impoverished. Somoza, even took blood from the Nicaraguans and sold it to the US.

However, the Sandinistas began their resistance in 1961 to the Somoza dictatorship. It was a David vs Goliath fight. Somoza had bombers from the US, while Sandinistas merely had their guns. Through their determination, the successfully defeated the Somoza dictatorship not before Somoza absconded with over $3 billion of aid.

However, even victory was bittersweet as the US decided to train one of the most horrific militias known to man: the Contras.

No action was deemed off-limits for the Contras. They beheaded children, they gouged out eyes of peasants. As one activist puts it, “The contras don’t win the hearts and minds of the people. They take the arms and limbs”

However, the Sandinista Revolution improved the lives of the Nicaraguan people in unprecedented ways. Within just 5 short months, the literacy rate rose up from the 50s to the 80s. But, they were fighting a brutal civil war with the Contras for the next decade, while under US sanctions.

Being under the axe of imperial sanctions, and tired from the constant civil war, and under the pressure from the US, the Nicaraguan people voted out the Sandinistas for a US-backed leader: Violeta Chamorro.

Once again, the gains from the revolution were rolled back. Literacy went down, many essential services were privatized. But, the Sandinistas did not give up. They continued to organize for the next 16 years and finally, their efforts paid off. Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas came back to power in 2006.

However, they Sandinistas have been under attack by the US through organizations like the NED that fund the violent opposition including the coup attempt in 2018 where 100s of innocent civilians in Nicaragua were killed. The US put Nicaragua under economic sanctions.

The Sandinistas and Ortega skillfully navigated through this minefield using caution. For example, they did not immediately recognize the one-china policy because of all the factories Taiwan had put in. Only when the opportunity came forward did they do that.

Finally, we walk about Ben and Dan’s experience in the latest Nicaraguan elections and compare it with the US elections. We also discuss the US propaganda campaign against Nicaragua. In the end, Dan says “ God Bless the Sandinistas”

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