ON Sunday, November 6, 72 hours ago, there was a general election in which Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega and the FSLN won an overwhelming victory.
Perhaps by chance, the following day was the 94th anniversary of the glorious Soviet Socialist Revolution. Indelible pages of history were written by Russian workers, peasants and soldiers, and the name of Lenin will forever shine among men and women who dream of a just destiny for humanity.
These issues are constantly more complex and efforts invested in educating new generations will never be sufficient. For that reason, today I am dedicating a space to comment on this event, in the midst of so many taking place every day on the planet and of which news arrives in a growing number of ways barely imaginable a few decades ago.
I must say that the elections in Nicaragua were in the traditional and bourgeois style, which has nothing just or equitable about it, given that the oligarchical sectors, anti-nationalist and pro-imperialist in nature, as a rule have a monopoly on the economic and publicity resources which – in general and particularly so in our hemisphere – are in the service of the empire’s political and military interests. This precisely highlights the magnitude of the Sandinista victory.
This is a truth which is well known in our homeland since Martí died in combat in Dos Ríos on May 19, 1895, “so that the independence of Cuba will prevent in time the expansion of the United States throughout the Antilles, and that nation falling, with even more force, upon our American lands.” We will never tire of repeating it, especially after our people have demonstrated their capacity to withstand half a century of that empire’s sustained economic blockade and brutal aggression.
However, it is not hatred which moves our people, but ideas. They gave birth to our solidarity with the people of Sandino, the General of free men and women, whose deeds we read about with admiration as students more than 60 years ago now, and lacking the marvelous cultural perspectives of those who, in a few days, together with high school students, will participate in what has become a beautiful tradition: the University Books and Reading Festival.
The heroic death of the Nicaraguan hero who fought against the yankee occupiers of his territory was always a source of inspiration for Cuban revolutionaries. There is nothing strange about our solidarity with the Nicaraguan people, expressed since the very first day of the revolutionary triumph in Cuba on January 1, 1959.
Yesterday, November 8, Granma recalled the heroic death in 1976, barely two and a half years before the FSLN triumph, of its founder Carlos Fonseca Amador, “the tayacán [daring leader] conqueror of death,” as a beautiful song written in his memory says, “bridegroom of the Red and Black Homeland, all of Nicaragua cries out for you ‘Present.’”
I know Daniel well; he never adopted extremist positions and was always invariably faithful to basic principles. Charged with the presidency, based on a collegiate political leadership, he was characterized by his respectful conduct in the context of the varying points of view of compañeros from tendencies which emerged within Sandinism at a certain stage of the struggle before the triumph. He thus became a promoter of unity among revolutionaries and he maintained in constant contact with the people. The great influence that he acquired among Nicaragua’s poorest sectors is due to that.
The profundity of the Sandinista Revolution earned him the hatred of the Nicaraguan oligarchy and yankee imperialism.
The most atrocious crimes were perpetrated against his country and his people during the dirty war that Reagan and Bush promoted by the administration and the Central Intelligence Agency.
Countless counterrevolutionary bands were organized, trained and supplied by them; drug trafficking became the instrument for financing the counterrevolution and the tens of thousands of weapons brought into the country resulted in the death or injury of thousands of Nicaraguans.
The Sandinistas maintained elections in the midst of that unequal and unjust battle.
This situation was compounded by the collapse of the Socialist camp, the imminent disintegration of the USSR and the beginning of the Special Period in our homeland. In these highly difficult circumstances and in spite of the majority support of the Nicaraguan people, expressed in all the opinion polls, a victorious election was made impossible.
The Nicaraguan people were once again forced to endure almost 17 years of corrupt and pro-imperialist governments. The indicators for the health, literacy and social justice implemented in Nicaragua began to fall painfully. However, under Daniel’s leadership, the Sandinista revolutionaries continued their struggle throughout those bitter years, and once again the people restored the government, albeit in extremely difficult circumstances which demanded maximum experience and political wisdom.
Cuba continued under the brutal yankee blockade, additionally suffering the harsh consequences of the Special Period and the hostility of one of the worst murderers who has governed the United States, George W. Bush, son of the father who had promoted the dirty war in Nicaragua, terrorist Posada Carriles’ liberty to distribute arms among Nicaraguan counterrevolutionaries, and who pardoned Orlando Bosch, the other mastermind of the Cubana passenger plane sabotage.
However, a new stage was beginning in our America with the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and the coming to power in Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay of governments committed to the independence and integration of the Latin American peoples.
With satisfaction, I can moreover affirm that Cuba’s solidarity with the homeland of Sandino never ceased in the field of political and social solidarity. In all justice, I should point out that Nicaragua was one of the countries which best utilized Cuba’s collaboration in health and education.
The thousands of doctors who have volunteered their services in that heroic sister country feel highly motivated by the Sandinistas’ excellent use of their efforts. The same could be affirmed in relation to the thousands of teachers who, once in the early phase of the process, went to the remotest mountain regions to teach campesinos to read and write. Today, educational experiences in general and particularly the practices of medical teaching derived from the Latin America School of Medicine, in which thousands of excellent doctors have been trained, have been transferred to Nicaragua. These realities constitute an excellent stimulus for our people.
These details that I am mentioning are no more than an example of the prolific efforts of Sandinista revolutionaries for their homeland’s development.
The fundamental aspect of Daniel’s role and in my opinion, the reason behind his overwhelming victory, is that he never moved away from his contact with the people and the incessant struggle for their well-being.
Today he is a veritably experienced leader who was capable of managing complex and difficult situations, starting with the years during which his country was once again under the aegis of rapacious capitalism. He knows how to manage complicated problems in an intelligent manner, what he can or cannot do, what he must or must not do to guarantee peace and the sustained advance of the country’s economic and social development. He knows very well that the resounding victory is due to his heroic and valiant people, through their broad participation and close to two thirds of votes in his favor. He was capable of achieving close links with workers, campesinos, students, youth, women, technicians, professionals, artists and all the progressive sectors and forces sustaining the country and contributing to its advance. I believe that the call to all democratic political forces prepared to work for the country’s independence and economic and social development is very correct.
In the current world the problems are extremely complex and difficult. But while the world exists, we small countries can and must exercise our rights to independence, cooperation, development and peace.