Book Reviews of the Program of Economic Reactivation
An important model for developing countries to examine as they move beyond neoliberalism
Thomas Paine once wrote “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” It was written shortly after the Declaration of Independence and is applicable now in this and any country. It was particularly applicable in the days that followed the triumph of the Sandinistas against the American-backed dictator Somoza. This is a document that serves to remind us of the complexities involved in beginning anew, out of ashes, out of a war-racked country that had nothing but the people to carry out ways of healing the damage. The need for public, private and foreign investment was there but there were twists and turns at every step towards improving the lives of Nicaraguans. Many in the U.S. have forgotten these days and prefer to focus on disappointments and letdowns that occurred during and after the Contra war against Nicaragua and the Sandinistas. The introduction gives us a bracing insight into the realities of those early days and reminds us of how neo-liberalism went on to invest this country for a very long stretch, betraying the principles laid out in the booklet as neo-liberalism is apt to do. There is still far to go as elites continue to repress and subject people through Latin America to support their banks and control methods. The ideals of Sandinismo, as laid out in 1980, are packed into this little booklet, with obstacles in full view, with only service to the people of the country as its mandate.
This is an important historical document, crucial for understanding the Sandinista Revolution.
This is an important historical document that lays out the utopian economic plan proposed by the Nicaraguan government to address the centuries of inequality and oppression they had faced. This plan is a must read for students and scholars of Central America to understand what the Sandinista government intended to do in its first years before the U.S. support for the Contra insurgency forced them to follow another path.