Nicaragua’s Economic Plan for the Benefit of the People: 1980

Program of Economic Reactivation for the Benefit of the People: 1980

Forthcoming bilingual title from Estuary Press

Cover with frame smallFrom theĀ Editor’s Introduction: “In 1979, the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FLSN) aimed to reshape the economy and society of Nicaragua for the benefit of the people. It took a long and bloody insurrection against the United States-backed Somoza family’s rule of Nicaragua which lasted from 1936 to 1979. During the Somozas’ reign, they acquired 1/5th of the nation’s land, most of the industry in the country and held a monopoly of power. The Sandinista victory wiped out all of that. Somoza fled the country, his National Guard disbanded. The major institutions of government were abolished. But what would replace them? The Junta of the Government of National Reconstruction drew up the Program of Economic Reactivation for the Benefit of the People: 1980. It was their blueprint, putting together the ideas and hopes of the main factions in the country who had supported the insurrection. It was the program of the Government that came to power after Somoza fled.

“The Program was published as a pamphlet by the Center of Publications of the National Secretary of Political Propaganda and Education of the FSLN. Ten thousand copies were printed. One of the copies came home to San Francisco, California, with Nina Serrano after a visit to Nicaragua in 1980. With her future husband, Paul Richards, she put together a team of translators and translated it into English in 1982. As an activist in the Non Intervention in Nicaragua support movement in the United States, she received permission from the Ministry of Planning to translate and publish the Program. However, the rush of history and the grim events in Nicaragua under-siege overtook the translators’ attention and the translation went into a drawer.

“Today, 34 years later, the Program is headed to the press. Discovered again in our files, it speaks to us in a time of corporate megalomania and endless war. These times demand hard thinking about alternatives to the neoliberal vision put forth by Ronald Reagan and his followers ever since. Corporate rulers have monopolized the press, distorted our schools and submerged growing numbers of people here in the US and around the world in poverty and propaganda. This is a good description of the situation that Nicaragua faced under the Somoza regime, a microcosm of what is still happening around the globe.

“The revolutionary Nicaraguan worldview, with its plans and optimism, needs to be rediscovered and understood as part of the movements to restore democracy and control the reign of unbridled wealth. This is the spirit motivating the publication of the Program now, so many years after it was written and so far downstream from those hopeful years of triumph.”

To find out more about the forthcoming publication of the Program (Spring, 2016), check back here at the Estuary Press Blog.

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