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NICARAGUANS celebrated the 42nd anniversary of the Sandinista revolution today, vowing to defend the country from renewed imperialist aggression ahead of November’s elections.
Thousands gathered in the capital Managua, which became a sea of black and red, the colours of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FLSN,) which governs the Central American country.
They were marking the anniversary of the 1979 overthrow of the US-backed Somoza dictatorship, a brutal regime characterised by executions, mass poverty for the people and political corruption.
It ushered in a period that transformed the lives of Nicaraguan people, introducing free education, free healthcare, land reforms and human rights that they had previously been denied.
But the socialist government faced hostility from the United States, which supported the Contras, right-wing counter-revolutionary death squads, as they sought to overthrow the FSLN and replace it with a more compliant regime.
Nicaragua was subjected to blockades, targeted assassinations and the bombing of ports and key infrastructure, acts for which the International Criminal Court held the US responsible in a 1986 ruling. Washington dismissed the ruling, blocking its enforcement by the United Nations security council, and has refused to pay the $17 billion (£12.4bn) in reparations awarded by the court.
In 2018 Nicaragua faced down a violent right-wing coup attempt that also had US backing, and has faced increased sanctions as the country’s government is deemed part of Washington’s so-called “troika of tyranny,” along with Cuba and Venezuela.
Attempts to oust President Daniel Ortega have intensified ahead of November’s elections, with the US funding a number of opposition media organisations and non-governmental organisations dedicated to sowing discord in the country.
Western media have reported on the arrest of opposition figures, portraying Nicaragua as a dictatorship, but they fail to mention that those detained have committed serious crimes, including calls for the assassination of Mr Ortega and collusion with the US over the imposition of sanctions.
Speaking at a meeting in Managua on Sunday, Asociacion de Trabajadores del Campo (agricultural workers’ union) spokeswoman Yorlis Luna said there was “a narrative being reproduced that is completely contradictory to what’s happening here.
She accused the “colonialist” international media of promoting lies about the jailing of candidates and hit out at the US funding of opposition media inside Nicaragua.
In fact, Ms Luna said, Nicaragua was merely applying national laws against corruption and money-laundering “against attacks on national sovereignty.”
Solidarity greetings were sent from across the world, including Cuba, which paid tribute to the Nicaraguan people and its government for “their incessant work for social welfare and their anti-imperialist struggle.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel said he “continues to march alongside the brotherly Nicaraguan people,” who continue to make progress despite “the constant interfering hostility of imperialism.”
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