On Sunday, November 6th, 72 hours ago, there was a general election in which Daniel Ortega and the FSLN of Nicaragua obtained an overwhelming victory.
As fate would have it, the other day marked the 94th anniversary of the glorious Soviet Socialist Revolution. Unforgettable pages in history were written by Russian workers, peasants and soldiers and the name of Lenin shall always be shining among men and women who dream of a just future for humankind.
These topics are ever more complicated and the efforts poured into educating the new generations shall never suffice. Therefore, today I dedicate some time to comment on this event, in the midst of so many occurring on a daily basis on our planet and the news of which arrives by a growing number of channels that were barely imaginable just a few decades ago.
I must say that the Nicaraguan election was held in a traditional and bourgeois style, having nothing fair or equitable about it, since the sectors of the oligarchy who have an anti-national and pro-imperialist character have, as a norm, the monopoly on economic and publicity resources which, generally speaking, and in a special way on our hemisphere, are at the service of the political and military interests of the empire; all that underlines the magnitude of the Sandinista victory.
It is a truth that our Homeland knows well from the time Marti died at Dos Ríos on May 19 of 1895, to “timely prevent, with the independence of Cuba, that the United States could expand over the Antilles and fall with additional force over our American lands”.
We shall never tire in repeating it, especially after our people have been able to steadfastly stand up to half a century of sustained economic blockade and the most brutal aggressions of that empire.
However it is not hatred that moves our people; it is ideas. From these ideas our solidarity with the people of Sandino, the general of free men, was born; we read about him with admiration when, more than 60 years ago, we were university students and without the marvellous cultural outlook of those who, in a few days and along with the students in secondary education, shall be taking part in something that by now is a beautiful tradition: the University Festival of Books and Reading.
The heroic death of the Nicaraguan hero who fought against the Yankee occupation forces in his territory was always a source of inspiration for Cuban revolutionaries. Our solidarity with the Nicaraguan people is not surprising; it was expressed from the very first days of the revolutionary triumph in Cuba on January 1st of 1959.
Yesterday, on the 8th, the newspaper Granma was reminding us of the heroic fall in November of 1976, just two and a half years before the triumph, of the founder of the FSLN, Carlos Fonseca Amador, “tayacán victor over death”, as the lovely song written in his memory “sweetheart of the Red-Black Homeland, all of Nicaragua shouts ‘Present!’”.
I know Daniel well; he never adopted extremist positions and was always invariably faithful to basic principles. Given the responsibility of the presidency on the basis of a group political directorship, he was characterized by his respectful conduct in terms of the points of view of his comrades coming from within the Sandinista movement at a determinate stage in the struggle before the triumph. He thus became a unifying factor among the revolutionaries and sustained contacts with the people. This was due to the great ascendancy he acquired among the more humble sectors of Nicaragua.
The depth 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 in the Dirty War that Reagan and Bush promoted from the presidency and the CIA.
Many counter-revolutionary gangs were organized, trained and supplied by them; drug trafficking became the instrument for funding the counter-revolution and tens of thousands of weapons brought into the country caused the death or injury of thousands of Nicaraguans.
The Sandinistas held elections in the midst of that unequal and unfair battle.
The fall of the Socialist bloc is added to this situation, along with the imminent collapse of the USSR and the beginning of the Special Period in our Homeland. Such difficult circumstances and despite the support of the majority of the Nicaraguan people, expressed in every opinion survey, made an electoral victory impossible.
The Nicaraguan people were forced to once more put up with almost 17 years of corrupt and pro-imperialist governments. The rates of health, literacy and social justice installed in Nicaragua began to painfully go downhill. Nevertheless, the Sandinista revolutionaries, under Daniel’s leadership, continued their fight throughout those long, bitter years and again the people recovered the government even though it was in greatly difficult conditions that demanded a maximum of experience and political wisdom.
Cuba was continuing under the brutal Yankee blockade and suffering, moreover, the rough consequences of the Special Period and the hostility of one of the worst murderers that has governed the United States, George W. Bush, son of the father who had promoted the Dirty War in Nicaragua, freedom for the terrorist Posada Carriles to distribute weapons to the Nicaraguan counter-revolutionaries and reprieved Orlando Bosch who was the other author of the Barbados Crime.
However, a new phase 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 Latin American peoples.
Furthermore, I can state with satisfaction that the solidarity of Cuba with the country of Sandino never ceased in the field of political and social solidarity. I must point out with total fairness that Nicaragua was one of the countries that best used Cuba’s cooperation in health and education.
The thousands of doctors who have provided their services in that heroic sister country feel really motivated by the excellent use the Sandinistas made of their efforts. The same can be asserted about the thousands of teachers who, during one day in the first phase of the process, were sent into the most remote mountain areas to teach the peasants to read and write. Today the education experiences in general and especially the practices of teaching medicine coming from the Latin American School of Medicine where thousands of excellent doctors have been trained have been transferred to Nicaragua. Such realities constitute an excellent stimulus for our people.
These details I am mentioning are nothing more than an example of the prolific effort of the Sandinista revolutionaries in favour of the development of their Homeland.
The fundamental nature of Daniel’s role and the reason for my opinion about his overwhelming victory is that he never distanced himself from contact with the people and the never-ending struggle for their well-being.
Today he is a truly experienced leader who has been capable of handling complicated and difficult situations from the years when his country was once more under the aegis of rapacious capitalism. He knows how to intelligently handle complex problems; he knows what he can and cannot do, what he should and should not do in order to ensure peace and the sustained advance of the economic and social development of the country. He is very much aware of the fact that he owes the overwhelming victory to his heroic and courageous people, because of their broad participation and almost two-thirds of the votes cast in his favour. He was able to establish close ties with the workers, peasants, students, young people, women, technicians, professionals, artists and all progressive sectors and forces that sustain and carry out the advances made in the country. In my opinion, it is very right to call on all the democratic political forces willing to work for independence and the economic and social development of the country.
In today’s world, problems are extremely complicated and difficult. But while the world exists, we, the small countries, can and must exercise our right for independence, cooperation, development and peace.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 9, 2011