Front Sandinista de Liberación Nacional
|Front Sandinista de Liberación Nacional
Socialism , Marxism-Leninism , Liberation Theology (formerly) ,
Left Nationalism , Authoritarianism (Today)
|COPPPAL , Foro de Sao Paulo
The Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional ( FSLN ; German Sandinista National Liberation Front ) is a politically left-wing party in Nicaragua that emerged from the guerrilla organization of the same name that led a broad resistance movement on 19 July 1979 that led the Somoza dictatorship, which has existed for 43 years . Dynasty under President Anastasio Somoza Debayle overthrew and then ruled Nicaragua until 1990. With Daniel Ortega , she has again been the President of Nicaragua since January 2007.
The FSLN was founded in Nicaragua on July 23, 1961 by Carlos Fonseca as a revolutionary movement in opposition to the dictatorship of the Somoza family. Its founders derived the name of the movement from the general of the Nicaraguan resistance against US troops, Augusto César Sandino (1895-1934).
Background and time as a guerrilla
Nicaragua was ruled from 1967 by the dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle. Under Somoza, whose power relied mainly on the National Guard and who had long been supported by the US, political assassinations and the clandestine " disappearances " of opposition members by the National Guard were the order of the day. The FSLN was acting as a guerrilla organization at the time .
On December 27, 1974, the FSLN tried to occupy a party of government members of the Somoza dictatorship in the house of the government minister José María Castillo Quant in the Colonia Los Robles in Managua; the minister died in the storm. The takeover enabled the FSLN to spread its communiqué among the population via radio. The communiqué was also printed in La Prensa newspaper, known for its independent reporting. Anastasio Somoza Debayle then declared a state of emergency, which lasted until September 19, 1977, for 33 months. During the search and pursuit of supporters and members of the FSLN by the Guardia Nacional de Nicaragua , the FSLN founder Carlos Fonseca was shot in November 1976. The FSLN split into three tendencies in the same year (Guerra Popular Prolongada, Proletaria and Tercerista) and only reunited in 1979.
After the murder of the opposition leader Pedro Chamorro (owner of the daily La Prensa ) in January 1978 by a pro-government death squad , the growing opposition, consisting of business people, trade unions and student groups, was united in the opposition alliance FAO (Frente Amplio Opositor). The occupation of the National Palace by units of the FSLN on August 22, 1978 and strike calls by the opposition led to a wave of arrests shortly afterwards. During a strike on September 8, 1978, the Sandinista group called for a general uprising, whereupon the government reinstated martial law, which had been repealed since 1977, on September 12, 1978. Retaliatory strikes by the National Guard crushed the uprising until early October, killing around 5,000 people and injuring 10,000. According to employees of Amnesty International , which in refugee camps in Honduras and Costa Rica established, it came while numerous executions, torture, rapes and mutilations by units of the National Guard. In response to demands from the opposition, the government suspended martial law on December 7, 1978 and instituted an amnesty for political prisoners on December 16, 1978, as a result of which a number of prisoners were released.
Ideologically, Sandinism ( Sandinismo ) encompasses a broad spectrum of opinions, ranging from revolutionary Marxism to liberation theology and reformist agendas of broadening peasant property . Sandinism differs from the Cuban left in its explicit criticism of the politics of traditional communist parties and in its emphasis on the democratic and socialist character of the Nicaraguan revolution. During the revolution , the Sandinista found great support from the peasant and parts of the indigenous population of Nicaragua as well as from many new social movements overseas , especially from the " New Left " in Europe , from which international brigades sometimes set out to support Nicaragua.
The international brigades supported the social and development infrastructure on the part of the Sandinista and created international attention and a counter-public to the critical image that the US government and parts of the western media were painting.
The Nicaraguan Revolution led to economic losses for powerful, above all US American corporations , which had exploited Nicaragua during the Somoza dictatorship , and politically endangered US interests in the region . The support of the Sandinista by states allied with the USSR, for example Cuba and the GDR , as well as the effect of the FSLN on guerrillas in neighboring Nicaraguan states, such as the support of the left revolutionaries in El Salvador, caused the USA to defend the opposing " contras " , which operated from bases in neighboring Honduras , supported with financial, secret service (see Iran-Contra-Affair ) and military means. Nicaragua remained the scene of civil war-like conditions for a long time after the revolution (in the so-called contra war ).
Establishment of the Sandinista government
After several years, the FSLN finally took power in Nicaragua on July 19, 1979. Somoza had to flee to Miami . The office of president was filled by Francisco Urcuyo Maliaños on the same day , but he had to resign the following day. Power was subsequently taken over by a five-member government committee, which included Daniel Ortega , Sergio Ramírez , Moisés Hassan Morales , Alfonso Robelo Callejas and Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (the widow of Pedro Chamorro ). On July 20, 1979, the Government of National Reconstruction was set up, headed in turn by the five-member government committee. On the same day, the Basic Law was passed, which replaced the constitution that had existed since 1974. The Basic Law regulated the organizational structure of the government, the re-establishment of the legal system and the dissolution of the National Guard and the military investigation service.
On July 21, 1979 the Law of the Rights and Guarantees of Nicaraguans (Estatutos sobre Derechos y Garantias de los Nicaragüenses) was enacted, which includes the right to life, physical integrity, legal security, freedom of expression, protection from slavery, conscience and freedom of religion, guaranteed labor, union membership and the right to strike, as well as the death penalty and torture. On September 25, 1979, the government ratified the American Convention on Human Rights , and on March 12, 1980, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights .
To secure rule, two partially competing institutions were founded in 1979, the Ministerio del Interior (Interior Ministry = MINT) under Tomás Borge , to which the Policía Sandinista and the domestic secret service Directorio General de la Seguridad del Estado (DGSE) were also subordinate, and the Ministry of Defense under the Supreme Commander of the Sandinista People's Army (EPS), Humberto Ortega . Through massive Soviet and North Korean arms deliveries and Cuban military advisers, the EPS was expanded to become by far the largest armed force in Central America in the course of the 1980s . Both the EPS and the MINT including the DGSE were organized according to their Cuban models, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias and the MININT; logistical support was provided, among others. both the National People's Army and the Ministry of State Security .
Economic and social policy
The Sandinista agricultural reform after Socialist model conducted a structural change in the previously-based bulk property industrially operated monoculture a. A third of the arable land was redistributed in the form of smaller leases and community farms. The latter often organized themselves as agricultural cooperatives . However, many cooperatives soon failed due to internal conflicts and / or lack of productivity. In order to supply the population, the cultivation of maize , rice , beans and plantains was also introduced . With the income from the nationalized Somoza lands (the overthrown Somoza clan owned about 15 percent of the arable land), on which coffee was still produced for export , the revolutionary government bought grain , which is very difficult to grow in the country for climatic reasons to sell it to the population at subsidized prices.
The FSLN government introduced compulsory schooling for children between the ages of 6 and 13 and free schools in 1979. The nationwide literacy campaign that followed in 1980 and 1981 reduced the proportion of illiterate people from 50 percent (1979) to 12 percent. However, many highly qualified people left the country during the Contra War, so that despite the intensified educational policy, there was still a shortage of skilled workers in Nicaragua.
Within the framework of this “mixed economy” (both public and private property), the country became self-sufficient with traditional staple foods in just a few years and, for the first time, the supply of all Nicas with affordable bread grain was ensured, but also at the expense of higher national debt. This led to increased problems in particular when the IMF and World Bank, on the initiative of the US government, increased the interest rates on Nicaragua's existing loans and refused to grant Nicaragua further loans.
In addition, the country was exposed to US economic sanctions as early as 1979, which were intended to disrupt the country's economy. This led to a significant decline in exports, as the economy was still almost exclusively geared towards exports to the USA from the Somoza period, as well as to raw material import problems after, among other things, Mexico stopped its oil deliveries. The increased interest on the increased foreign debt could be paid less and less from the reduced export income and new loans had to be obtained from the Inter-American Development Bank (BID) and the Central American Bank for Economic Affairs (among other things to cover grain and meat imports and to enlarge the fishing fleet) Integration (BCIE) will be included. From the mid-1980s, the shortage of foreign currency in connection with the destruction caused by the Contras (see below) led to supply shortages.
From 1981 the US trained military units in Honduras and provided large-scale military and financial aid (see Iran-Contra affair ) for the opposition (the Contras ). Also known as the Contra War, around 60,000 Nicaraguans, mostly civilians, were killed and much of the country's infrastructure was destroyed. The USSR and the GDR supported the Sandinista with aid deliveries and, after the beginning of the Contra War, with arms deliveries. On September 9, 1981, the Nicaraguan government declared a one-year national economic emergency. A state of emergency was declared on May 15, 1982, which the government justified with the surge in armed attacks in the border area between Honduras and Nicaragua and the numerous US military operations. Strikes and work stoppages were banned from that point on. As a result of the contra attacks from 1984 onwards, among other things, there was an annual decline in industrial production of five percent and major damage to the coffee plantations. To ward off the contras, the government increased military spending significantly to 60 percent of GDP in 1985, which led to a sharp rise in the country's inflation rate. In 1988 the government managed to contain inflation through an anti-inflation program. However, the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Joan in September 1988 thwarted the program.
In 1987 the constitution included an upper limit on weekly working hours of 48 hours and a ban on forced labor.
In preparation for the elections, the government issued a decree in July and August 1984 restoring the right to political assemblies and demonstrations, as well as some other rights. The date for the November 4, 1984 election, which was open to all parties and candidates, was announced on February 21, 1984. The deadline for registering parties was set for July 25th. Before the election, the Nicaraguan government relaxed the censorship of the opposition newspaper La Prensa and granted the opposition airtime on national radio and television. Despite around 400 election observers from 40 countries who confirmed the proper conduct of the elections, the US government criticized the election boycott of the opposition Democratic Coordinating Alliance (DCA). According to the DCA, led by Arturo Jose Cruz , the preparation time would not have been enough for an election campaign. The DCA missed the enrollment deadline (six other parties had already registered) and made a request to extend the deadline. After an initial refusal, the registration period on September 22, 1984 was extended to October 1, 1984. The DCA also missed this deadline and requested a further postponement to January 1985. Supporters of the DCA admitted that this tactic was intended to discredit the election and obtain concessions of the Sandinista. Two right-wing parties got out a few days before the election under pressure from the USA. Daniel Ortega finally won the election with around two thirds of the vote.
Human rights violations from 1979 to 1990
Shortly after the Sandinista came to power, around 7,000–9,000 people were arrested and imprisoned by revolutionary troops. The detainees were mainly former members of the National Guard , local police officers, political police officers, former government officials and shareholders in Somoza family businesses. As the then Interior Minister Tomás Borge confirmed in November 1979, around 100 executions of national guards by members of the revolutionary troops took place during this time . As a result of the strict measures taken to end the violations, several hundred revolutionaries were arrested.
In the trials before the special courts that followed until February 1981, significant procedural violations came to light, and in the following years there were repeated arbitrary arrests of critics and opposition members such as representatives of the Communist Party and its affiliated trade union CAUS. Many of the detainees were in incommunicado custody -haft. However, Amnesty International indicated that no cases of systematic ill-treatment or torture of prisoners could be identified.
After violent attacks in the border area with Honduras from November to December 1981, 160 members of the indigenous peoples of the Miskitos and Sumos were arrested. From January to February 1982 these were rushed to trial in Puerto Cabezas of the attack on a hospital, the kidnapping and rape of medical personnel, the occupation of the city of San Carlos on 20/21. He was charged with the mutilation, torture and killing of seven members of an army patrol and the kidnapping and killing of twelve other militia members, and 135 of them were convicted. Amnesty International has estimated that many of those arrested have been arbitrarily arrested. In a later trial, all 135 judgments were revised and in almost all cases drastically reduced or rejected. After attacks and violence in Zelaya Province in late 1981, there were mass arrests and evictions of many Miskito settlements. The evacuations, initiated at the end of December 1981, served to defend the border region, as there was fear of support from anti-government forces. Further violent actions by opposition groups led to further mass arrests among Miskitos and Sumos after March 1982, many of which are believed to have been arbitrary. 307 Miskito or Sumo were released on December 1, 1983 as part of an amnesty. After Amnesty International's mediation talks, many of the resettled indigenous people were able to return to their areas in 1984.
The then US Secretary of State Alexander Haig publicly accused the Sandinista in 1982 of having committed massacres of the Miskitos. It later turned out that the photo of burning corpses he used was from 1978 - the time of the Somoza dictatorship.
Free elections were prepared in 1989 through the mediation of the Central American states . The Sandinista were defeated on February 25, 1990 by Violeta Barrios de Chamorro , the candidate of the Unión Nacional Opositora (UNO), a coalition of political parties, with 54.7 percent of the vote. The Sandinista had to give up power.
Paul Reichler, a lawyer who represented the government of Nicaragua in the USA, commented on the result: "Whatever revolutionary fervor the people once might have had was beaten out of them by the war and the impossibility of putting food in their children's stomachs" (to German: "The war and the impossibility to feed their children beat all revolutionary zeal that once existed out of the people"), referring to the ten-year economic and terror war by the USA-supported Contras .
FSLN after 1990
The FSLN has struggled with its image since its 1990 election defeat. Internal conflicts between the camps threatened to split the FSLN, but Daniel Ortega managed to stay in power. In 1994 and 1995, numerous famous intellectuals left the FSLN, including Gioconda Belli , the brothers Fernando and Ernesto Cardenal , and former Vice President Sergio Ramírez . They criticized the lack of democracy within the FSLN and the fact that Ortega should not be criticized. The dissidents founded the Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista in 1995 , which only found a small electorate in 1996. Large parts of the population were deeply disappointed by the party's scandals. On the political level, the "betrayal" came in the late 1990s through the pact with the Alianza Liberal by Arnoldo Aleman. Many Sandinista saw their ideals betrayed when the FSLN made significant concessions to the party, which for many was the epitome of corruption . Besides, the pact was seen as a weakening of democracy.
Furthermore, some hidden activities of the FSLN from the 1980s became known during the 1990s. In addition to large parts of the population, former ideological supporters also turned away from the FSLN.
In November 2000, the Sandinista won local elections in almost every major community, including the capital, Managua . Daniel Ortega presented himself as the proud winner and took the opportunity to present himself as a presidential candidate for the FSLN. However, many did not attribute the victory of the Sandinistas to Ortega. Some of the nominated candidates had clearly distanced themselves from Daniel Ortega and the party leadership circle devoted to him. The newly elected Sandinista mayor Herty Lewites had even rejected the party colors. Instead of the traditional red and black, he posted posters in neutral yellow.
After the last election defeat in 2001, there was speculation as to whether this would be the end of Ortega's political career. That could be an opportunity for the FSLN to become the People's Party again that it once was. There are forces within the FSLN that are trying to open the party towards social democracy. Ortega's victory in the 2006 presidential election put an end to this speculation.
The local elections in November 2004 brought the FSLN not only the election of José Dionisio Marenco Gutiérrez as successor to Herty Lewites as Mayor of Managua but also a total of 44% of the votes compared to 35% for the PLC and 11% for APRE, the FSLN received the majority of the votes in the regions of Chontales, Boaco, Nueva Segovia, Madriz, Jinotega, Estelí, Chinandega, León, Managua, Masaya, Carazo, Matagalpa, Región Autónoma Atlántico Sur and Río San Juan. Furthermore, the FSLN received almost 90 of the 152 mayor positions in the country.
The former mayor of Managua, Herty Lewites, announced in early 2005 that he would run as a presidential candidate for the FSLN in the 2006 elections. The leadership of the FSLN, including Daniel Ortega, responded to this endeavor by expelling Lewite from the party. Despite the rejection from the ranks of the FSLN officials, Lewites declared at a rally on March 13, 2005 that he wanted to run again as a candidate for the FSLN in the elections. In the following, Herty Lewites was elected as a candidate for the Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista , but died in the summer of 2006. Daniel Ortega, on the other hand, was appointed as the new presidential candidate of the FSLN for the 2006 elections after Lewites was expelled from the party leadership.
In October 2006, under pressure from the Catholic Church, the Sandinista supported the legislative proposal of the conservative-liberal government for a general ban on abortion, for which they were criticized within the party.
CID Gallup Latinoamerica polls in February and March 2005 showed that Herty Lewites was more popular than Daniel Ortega. After Lewite's death in the summer of 2006 and the split in the liberal-conservative opposition, Ortega was able to win the presidential elections in November 2006 against the candidate Montealegre with a good 38% of the votes in the first ballot and was sworn in on January 10, 2007. The first official acts of the new president included the introduction of compulsory education and the right to receive this education free of charge.
In January 2019, the FSLN was expelled from the Socialist International at a conference in Santo Domingo .
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