Wednesday, June 10, 2015

4/16/86, Wednesday

4/16/86, Wednesday

We had a charla with a representative of the FSLN who told us more stories of what it was like to live under Somoza. He also gave us some background on Carlos Fonseca, which I will recap here: Fonseca is considered the founder of the FSLN. His father was from a rich family and did not recognize Carlos as his son because Carlos was born out of wedlock. Carlos was raised by his mother, a poor washer woman, so class distinctions affected him from the moment he was born. 

Carlos Fonseca

Carlos was in his early twenties when Fidel Castro and Che Guevara overthrew the Batista dictatorship in Cuba. He was inspired by that country's revolution because he saw many similarities between Cuba and Nicaragua, namely, minority ownership of the vast majority of the country’s assets and resources; foreign intervention to prop up an unpopular government, political repression of dissenting views. He, along with two friends, created the Frente Sandinista to fight against the Somoza regime. On November 8, 1976, Carlos Fonseca was shot and killed during a battle against Somoza's military guard but not before igniting a revolution in this country. The charla ended with the same words we've heard over and over again: the Sandinistas want freedom and peace but they want a peace that dignifies, not a peace that enslaves and they're willing to die fighting for it.

Escuela N.I.C.A. presente! Me on the right.

When I got back home, some of the students from the school were waiting for me to help them create a banner for a big march protesting U.S. intervention taking place that afternoon. We made a banner reading, "The People of the United States join the struggle of Nicaragua" - en espaƱol, of course.  I outlined the letters and we all grabbed markers and colored them in. We held up our banner proudly and I was ready to leave it at that when Francie suggested we add "¡viva el internacionalismo proletario!" I have to confess that I hadn't really thought of myself as an internationalist until that moment, but I realized that what I've been doing with my expressions of solidarity and my support of the revolution are actions consistent with proletarian internationalism. How strange. I thought I was just supporting people who were trying to improve their way of life.

Upon Reflection

I don't think I truly understood the idea of proletarian internationalism while I was in Nicaragua. It wasn't until years later when I saw the power of multinational corporations that I came to understand that the working class must unite and work as a global entity in order to protect the rights and interests of workers around the world.

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