Envío Digital
Central American University - UCA  
  Number 297 | Abril 2006



Why We Joined the Movement to Rescue Sandinismo

The reflection below by the legendary FSLN guerrilla commander and member of the FSLN’s Democratic Left ttendency opened with this: “We call on all Sandinista militants, all who share the dream of a different Nicaragua, to join this effort to rescue Sandinismo.” We publish it here because we believe it also enriches the current debate about the Latin American Left as a whole.

Mónica Baltodano

Our Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) was that of Carlos Fonseca and we first knew about it through the mysterious paintings that appeared on the walls of homes in the early sixties. It was an FSLN of values and a convincing mystique, drawing us into the fight and even the challenge of death. It was an FSLN of hope that has now been transformed into just another political party, usufruct of an economically and politically dominant group in the party structures whose fundamental aim is to dispute arenas of power. This transmutation didn’t happen overnight. It has been a long and continuous process not without its share of resistance. A politically conscious grassroots membership is still resisting the intent to annul their historic role as a transforming force committed to the excluded.

The Democratic Left:
Critical consciousness and grassroots struggle

Many of us have been involved in the struggle to maintain the original vocation of this political force, trying to form small groups, movements, organic tendencies and currents of opinion within the Sandinista Front under various names. The most persistent group in this respect has been the Democratic Left (ID), which grew out of the “Group of 29” that emerged in October 1993—three years after the FSLN’s electoral defeat—to challenge the FSLN’s policy of “co-government” with the Chamorro government. Later, the ID became a tendency that fought for leadership of the FSLN in the 1994 Congress, where new statutes were debated and a new party leadership was elected. We struggled convinced that there were forces interested in “moderating” the FSLN to turn it into a centrist force, something we rejected. The Democratic Left was also the main force behind Daniel Ortega at that time. We have to acknowledge that this permitted his leadership—at the time very weakened within the party—to recover the strength to establish and ensure what he now is: the autocratic head of a good part of Sandinismo.

Starting with the 1994 Congress, at a time when the revolution was being dismantled and neoliberal “packages” were being imposed, the Democratic Left insisted on maintaining the FSLN’s grassroots nature and ideologically identifying with revolutionary proposals. It counseled that the party should start establishing a social correlation for change based on developing educated and critical grassroots consciousness, resistance and above all struggle against the neoliberal avalanche and the ideological backpedaling so in vogue in those years.

From within the FSLN leadership we also pushed for internal changes, convinced that internal democracy was not at odds with its revolutionary nature. We aspired to improve our party’s existing organization, inherited from the years of war. Our forces pushed for the election of internal authorities through a democratic process of mass participation and encouraged the development of alliances with forces such as the Women’s Coalition, which allowed us to seek a new relationship with autonomous movements. We also promoted women’s participation through the “braid,” in which every other candidate on the slate had to be a woman, and the consulting of candidacies, which led to genuine primary elections with over 400,000 participants in 1996.

Distrust, maneuvers, accusations and exclusion

This transforming vision led us to propose a new presidential candidate. Few know that in 1995, our tendency persuaded the National Directorate plenary and the main FSLN bodies that allowing Daniel Ortega to run again would be a mistake. We even managed to temporarily convince him, as FSLN general secretary, of this point of view. So we unanimously decided that Mariano Fiallos, the prestigious former rector of the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) and then president of the electoral branch of government, would be the presidential candidate, but this decision was aborted by a combination of maneuvers by Daniel and his closest cronies, plus certain vacillations by Mariano. In the end, we went into the 1996 elections with Daniel Ortega as the candidate. Arnoldo Alemán won.

The tension and constant struggles within the National Directorate gradually convinced Daniel Ortega that our forces weren’t as unconditional as he would like. He was right. We were advocating principles, values and a vision of Nicaragua and the FSLN. Our current was not about strengthening a figure or gravitating around a single person.

Thus we came to the 1998 Congress. It was by then evident that General Secretary Daniel Ortega no longer trusted a a good part of the Democratic Left. The most important shifts were felt internally in late 1997 when, with his endorsement, conservative forces within the party totally neutralized a proposal to reorganize the party that had been carefully drafted by an internal commission. The most important arguments revolved around the idea that the proposal’s real purpose was to weaken Daniel’s strength.

Another significant sign was the FSLN’s excessive opening—at Daniel Ortega’s initiative—to the development of a new current within the FSLN called the Sandinista Business Bloc, which included Herty Lewites. For the 1998 Congress, Ortega offered this group his full support to increase its corresponding quotas of internal power. By then Zoilamérica had already accused Ortega of sexual abuse and harassment, shaking the party and all Sandinistas. The reaction was a classic Stalinist-style internal maneuver, accusing important members of our current of what were called “imperialist lies” to weaken Daniel’s leadership.* The idea behind unjustly blaming us was to disqualify our tendency.

All this led us to the conviction not to run for posts in the FSLN’s National Directorate. We were convinced of the importance of occupying spaces in the middle-level leadership, closer to the base. Backed by the Carlos Fonseca Initiative in Managua, we sought spaces in the departmental leadership. All internal paths were closed to us in a manner worthy of a police state and we were finally relegated from all party posts. Even so, we persevered without resigning our militancy.

The pact: Perks, property,
putrefaction and politicking

Daniel Ortega’s closing speech to the 1998 party congress marked the way to the deals and pacts that had been opened with the negotiation of the Law of Reformed, Urban and Rural Property in August 1997, just months after Arnold Alemán took presidential office. This new approach was a unilateral decision, not consulted with any structures.

Immediately after that congress, the path was cleared for the pact with the PLC. The top leadership of both parties agreed to constitutional reforms and pocket-lining agreements whose implementation was postponed only because Hurricane Mitch left the Alemán government seriously questioned. From then on, our tendency’s differences with the transactional policies and lines of the Daniel backers became increasingly evident within the FSLN’s bench in the National Assembly. The FSLN pact with Alemán was felt even in Ministry of Government interventions against social foundations, NGOs and media belonging to members of our tendency.

The worst part of the pact—in the Democratic Left’s judgment—was the commitment to demobilize the grassroots forces, pulling the plug on the struggle against the privatizations and other International Monetary Fund and World Bank policies, including the structural adjustment plans. The takeover of Nicaragua by the market economy and its imbalances encountered no resistance. The pact was also expressed in a huge number of under-the-table property negotiations, which ensured the new holdings of the emerging Sandinista economic group, including former worker and peasant leaders who had appropriated part of the business properties negotiated in the first and second concertation agreements signed during the Chamorro government. The pact further opened the way for the most raging corruption ever seen, with no official denunciation or opposition from the FSLN. As a result, the capital of the emerging economic group headed up by Arnoldo Alemán also grew apace.

The Democratic Left warned of the pact’s disastrous political-ideological consequences. Early on we charged that it was intensifying the FSLN’s slide down the slippery slope of politicking, election mania and a logic of power based on divvying up public posts and personal businesses. We argued that this behavior was changing the FSLN into a party along the lines of the “historical parallels” denounced by Carlos Fonseca, which was precisely what had triggered the construction of a new force representing the oppressed in the sixties: the FSLN.

Whatever works for the moment:
Pact with Bolaños, pact with Alemán

The Democratic Left was able to pull together hundreds of Sandinistas around rejection of the pact between the FSLN and Arnoldo Alemán. Opinion polls showed that over 80% of the population opposed the pact’s agreements, and over half of all Sandinistas disagreed with the path chosen despite the propagandistic campaign arguing that the constitutional and electoral reforms agreed to in the pact would guarantee the FSLN victory in the 2001 elections.

In 2000, the Democratic Left again reiterated its opposition to Daniel Ortega’s perpetual presidential candidacy and thousands of Sandinistas expressed their own disagreement in the FSLN primaries elections. Despite rigged elections, official results showed over 40% for pre-candidates Víctor Hugo Tinoco and Alejandro Martínez Cuenca, although it is known that they really pulled over 50%. The results of the 2001 general elections did not justify the main pro-pact argument and again the Right won the presidency, this time with Enrique Bolaños.

Recent events are better known. The FSLN leadership—by then one official body and another equally real one in the shadows representing the interests of the economic groups and with evident power assigned to Rosario Murillo, General Secretary Daniel Ortega’s wife—chose to “play both sides,” cutting deals with either Bolaños or Alemán based on the needs of the moment.

This explains why, despite strong pressure from the base and the population in general, the FSLN’s official position on corruption was timid, ambiguous and irrelevant. Not until commitments had been wrung from the Bolaños government did Daniel give the FSLN legislative bench the nod to strip Arnoldo Alemán of his parliamentary immunity so he could be tried on corruption charges.

US meddling, Washington’s visceral hatred of anything Sandinista and President Bolaños’ servile attitude shattered the Ortega-Bolaños pact’s precarious equilibrium and Ortega returned with renewed energy to his pact with Alemán, by that time sentenced to 20 years in “prison,” which he is still serving on his luxurious hacienda. Daniel Ortega and his buddies met with Alemán innumerable times in his residential “prison” and in the drunken atmosphere of that union signed “strategic agreements” with a man convicted of brazenly pillaging the public treasury! They even recorded this ignominy in a despicable photograph that has provided inerasable proof of their conspiring.

Demobilized, resigned and cowed
in the Ortega-Murillo family’s hands

There is more to these commitments than is publicly visible. Under the perverse “one for you, one for me” logic, Daniel Ortega and Arnoldo Alemán divvied up all the important public posts, public funds, laws and judges’ sentences. This process has intensified the conviction that all decisions taken in Nicaraguan state institutions directly depend on the will of the two caudillos.

Simultaneously, many FSLN leaders have begun to get actively involved in fundamentalist religious sects, creating an objective confusion between their political and religious militancy. It was no accident that this coincided with the evident pact between the Ortega-Murillo family and Cardinal Obando after it became clear that the corruption had sunk its roots into various institutions linked to the Catholic hierarchy as well.

This other pact also has expressions in the public institutions. The PLC evidently demanded the presidency of the Supreme Electoral Council for one of its own militants, but the FSLN made sure it went to Obando’s highly questioned protégé, Roberto Rivas. It was also expressed in the public defense of Cardinal Obando by Ortega backers through radio and TV campaigns, banners and flyers with mottoes such as “Obando, prince of reconciliation, the FSLN supports you”; in banners alluding to the Virgin Mary, all signed officially by the FSLN; or in the meshing of political and private activities such the Ortega-Murillo religious marriage officiated by Obando, covered by the FSLN propaganda secretariat and sent out to all the TV channels as if it were a party act.

The official FSLN is increasingly controlled by the Ortega-Murillo family circle and its economic group. Together with their intimate allies from the powerful Business Bloc, they have not only wrested the FSLN as an instrument of change away from the people, but have slid down the path of conformity and resignation—similar to the effects of certain religious currents—through the opiate of electioneering and the insane competition for posts of power.

Today’s FSLN: Autocrat surrounded by courtiers

Autocracy—power in the hands of a single person—is the polar opposite of democracy. It damages the development of any political or social force, particularly one that claims to work for transformation. The FSLN hasn’t been led in a political direction as a result of debate, analysis and joint decisions since the 1998 congress. It has instead suffered an involution from collective leadership to authentic autocracy.

What has happened to the citizenry has also happened to the party membership. It isn’t passive, but rather engages every day, in practice. It can’t be called submissive, because it is not blindly subordinate. We have the right and duty to be critical, self-critical, thoughtful and belligerent and to take an active part in our party’s decisions. Autocratic power promotes a passive membership, one that deposits its sovereignty in the autocrat. This isn’t being a militant; it’s being a vassal. Autocratic power seeks to reduce militancy to vassalage, which is why thousands of us have been rebelling for years, refusing to subordinate ourselves to what’s happening in our party.

In our Nicaragua, desperation is growing alongside poverty. And we Sandinistas haven’t only been despoiled of a force for change that used to represent us, we’ve also been plunged into alienation. Because autocrats don’t educate, don’t provide tools for shaping subjects who feel that they are owners of their own destiny. Autocrats have no interest in debate, diversity of thought, alternative information or political formation.

Autocrats need a compact contingent of courtiers to guarantee and maintain their power. They depend on their court just as the courtiers depend on their power. They need each other. Autocratic power also needs religious power on its side, turning spiritual affairs into an instrument of domination. It even needs magic and the stars lined up to sustain it.

In the Ortega court everything revolves around proximity to power and struggles for leadership positions and public posts. Its main cadres periodically get embroiled in internal battles over inclusion on the privileged list and many unemployed middle-level cadres systematically sell out for some space that will toss them salary crumbs from the tables of power served from the courtiers’ control of the institutions.

But we know many revolutionaries inside the current party structures who are making unflagging efforts to remain faithful to Carlos Fonseca’s legacy, fighting for political education and the party’s grassroots orientation. Their efforts are praiseworthy, inspired by the colors of our banner and an understandable concern to preserve the party’s unity in the hope that one day Daniel Ortega will rectify his path.

Resisting and struggling
against an inhuman capitalism

As a current of opinion, the Democratic Left has consistently demanded that Daniel’s wing of the party return to the FSLN’s original postulates. As historical militants in our organization, we have demanded rectification time and again, warning of the de facto capitulation implied by all these attitudes and decisions.

We’ve done it by political means, writing in the media, developing activities with grassroots Sandinista sectors, participating in all spaces of resistance we’ve been able to pry open, with a legitimate agenda that includes total rejection of imperialist policies and the war against Iraq; militant solidarity with the people, revolution and leadership of the Cuban revolution, especially with Fidel Castro; and militant backing of the Palestinian people’s struggle and Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution.

We’ve been participating in the forums of resistance against the Free Trade Agreements and Plan Puebla Panama and have particularly mobilized against ratification of the Central American Free Trade Agreement, against privatiza-tion of water and in defense of people’s rights in general. We’ve also been supporting the struggle of workers affected by Nemagon and the just demands of consumers against the public service rate hikes.

From the different spaces the Democratic Left’s members occupy in civil society, in the alternative social movements and grassroots organizations, we have supported people’s efforts to get some social responses and have developed civic education efforts. At the same time that “Danielismo” has been deconstructing the FSLN as a force for change, we have continued struggling to reconstruct San-dinismo inside the party and from other arenas of society.

The FSLN’s only conflict
with the current government

Neoliberalism has succeeded in dismantling almost all social transformations achieved by the revolution and has instituted a voracious, inhuman capitalism: it has privatized public services, providing opportunities to strengthen transnational control of our economy; it has handed out national territory in mining and forestry concessions; it has promoted the privatization of water for all kinds of purposes, including huge dams. Businesses with foreign capital and gas stations have cropped up everywhere, while the only options left to the vast majority of the population are the precarious jobs offered by the maquilas, emigration to Costa Rica and other countries or the most absolute poverty.

The current economic policy has favored only a group of oligarchs. Today’s government is a complete sell-out, in the strict sense of the word: the best land, the youngest and best workers, the economic legislation, energy, communications, the mines, the best coasts, the exportables, water… everything is earmarked for foreign capital And because it has thrown its lot in with the pact, the FSLN has come into conflict with the government over divvying up public posts, not over questioning its policies in any depth—beyond the rhetoric—because its leaders also participate in the above-mentioned businesses.

“Better to lose with Daniel
than win with anyone else”

In early 2005, a sizable group of Sandinistas initiated a political process aimed at putting Herty Lewites forward as an FSLN presidential pre-candidate in the internal primary elections established in the party statutes. The official leadership responded by expelling Lewites and his campaign chief Víctor Hugo Tinoco from the party without recurring to any legitimate statutory proceeding, eliminating the primaries themselves and again confirming Daniel Ortega as the FSLN’s arbitrary presidential candidate. They launched all manner of disqualifiers against Lewites’ supporters, the most common being that they were agents of imperialism, rightwing infiltrators and betrayers of the popular interest.

As the Democratic Left, we came out immediately in favor of the militancy’s right to primary elections and of a political debate that would permit informed and mature candidate selection. We were aware that Herty Lewites represents centrist positions and that we don’t share his discourse on various issues, but we did share his concern for a renovation within Sandinismo, and above all a break with the pact-fed official line.

We rejected the disqualifiers because they were also inconsistent: over the years Lewites has been one of the people Daniel Ortega himself most trusted, until he dared challenge his presidential candidacy. This dual discourse, this double standard, has become the pro-Daniel crowd’s modus operandi.

We also charged that Daniel’s stubborn insistence on the presidential candidacy despite the repeatedly demonstrated solid and broad vote against him can only be understood through the explicitly declared logic that it’s “preferable to lose with Daniel than to win with anyone else,” which expresses the pragmatism and aims of the power group around him. For them the status quo will be maintained whether he wins or loses the elections. Their only goal is to defend their interests, and seen from the logic of the pact, having a pro-Alemán PLC in office poses no risk to them, while a pro-Alemán PLC out of office would only mean more of the same.

It’s not only about winning elections

We have declared repeatedly that the changes Nicaragua needs require modifications in the social correlation of forces. It’s a question not just of winning elections but doing so based on an attractive program of changes that enjoys the backing of an aware public. To that end, we’ve put our bets on grassroots work, the construction of autonomous and belligerent social movements, the organization of the citizenry around its own interests and the development of civic consciousness.

Our conviction has been nourished by innumerable Latin American examples. It’s not enough for a party that declares itself leftist to come to power. It must do so with a program involving real breaks with the prevailing economic model based on the Washington Consensus. Declared desire isn’t enough; also required is a grassroots correlation rooted in the formation of a critical consciousness, grassroots organization and an autonomous social movement able to pressure even the leftist government for social changes.

We thus advocate organizational efforts and an articulation of Sandinismo that goes beyond electoral expectations and overcomes the tendency to create movements that revolve around individual caudillos. This is what we’ve worked for all these years, independent of the electoral processes.

We can’t stay on the sidelines;
what happened isn’t acceptable

We can’t, however, stay on the sidelines of the real political processes taking place in the country. If we coldly analyze what we see in the opinion polls, in the population’s direct participation in the media and in our own direct contacts with grassroots Sandinistas, it is obvious that thousands believe we can’t go into the presidential elections with Sandinismo again straightjacketed by the logic that it doesn’t matter what the leaders do, what interests they favor, how questionable their conduct. because Sandinistas will supposedly end up “closing ranks,” eternally voting for the candidates that the upper echelons loyal to Daniel have imposed without respect for any democratic procedure.

This is no longer acceptable to us. In the November 5 national elections, Sandinistas in the broadest sense of the term must be allowed other options. It’s an elemental democratic right. Daniel Ortega’s continuism is a form of authoritarianism that limits the most elemental political rights, particularly those of Sandinistas, and contradicts the longed-for freedom and democracy for which we’ve fought all our lives and for which so many gave their life.

Herty Lewites is a Sandinista option

Herty Lewites is a Sandinista figure and the backing and sympathy he’s receiving from a wide range of people—not just Sandinistas—must be seen as an opportunity for Sandinismo as a whole. If the pro-Ortega upper echelons were really thinking about people’s interests and the importance of winning presidential office to modify the prevailing model, they would have taken advantage of Lewites’ appeal as a candidate and thrown their efforts behind the FSLN’s formation of a belligerent, organized grassroots social correlation that would ensure people maximum social advantages from a Sandinista government.

It’s unacceptable for other options linked to Sandinismo to be barred from electoral participation based on exclusionary or rigged processes using the levers of the electoral branch of government. We believe that this time the electoral gamut must be expanded to surmount the effects of the pact we Nicaraguans are suffering and allow voters to choose from truly different options, without the kind of polarization that has favored the current situation.

They’re trying to submerge us in polarization

The polarization into which the two party elite blocs want to submerge us only serves to keep us subjected. They fake contradictions to the death, but it’s almost all words. They push the base into “closing ranks” to be consistent with their old-time banners, but in reality they eat from the same plate in the parliament, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Electoral Council, the Comptroller General’s Office, the Human Rights Defense Attorney’s Office and their own corporations. Everything is divvied up between them, while their rank and file are supposed to believe that they’re different.

We believe FSLN militants have a legitimate right to support other Sandinista candidates, even if this time they aren’t running on the official ballot, which has been sequestered by a minority that controls the party apparatus. For the vast majority of Sandinistas, internal democracy has been castrated and restricted to unacceptable limits, excluding them from participation and decision-making.

Beyond elections and
for a more just Nicaragua

From our militancy in the FSLN, we’ve decided to back the efforts the Movement to Rescue Sandinismo has been making since 2005 to construct an option that unites all Sandinistas who don’t agree with the official policies pushed by the pro-Ortega elite, which have led Nicaragua into a blind alley. In particular, we back the effort to pull together all Sandinistas who disagree with Daniel Ortega’s eternal presidential candidacy, which would undoubtedly end in yet another Sandinista electoral defeat.

In expressing its support for this movement, the Left of the FSLN is aware that so far the emphasis has been on promoting a Sandinista electoral alternative. This doesn’t mean unconditional agreement with all the proposals and postulates put forward by Herty Lewites and other founders of the Movement to Rescue Sandinismo.

As leftists, we defend the right to come together around common points, based on respect for the differences we obviously have. We don’t believe that absolute unanimity of the broad spectrum of Sandinistas is possible, but it is urgent to build consensus based on tolerance, considering that the priority for Nicaragua today is to break the pact’s logic, which has only deepened the lack of genuine alternatives to Nicaragua’s major problems.

An opportunity to build agreement

As Sandinista militants, we consider it legitimate to call for more than the creation of an electoral consensus. Better still is to see this movement as an opportunity to build common agreements that enable us to join together more permanently around a comprehensive national program, based on a Sandinismo that insists on the need to build a more just, equitable, humane, democratic and honest Nicaragua.

There is a need to bring together those who have not renounced the dream of a world of greater solidarity, a Sandinismo loyal to the values and postulates of our heroes and martyrs, faithful to the ethics of the common good, which doesn’t seek perks or posts and whose function is to enforce the interests of the excluded. This mission requires mystique, self-sacrifice, abnegation and daily work with the people, not with caudillo ambitions but with the goal of developing the only subject capable of taking on the greatest tasks. That subject is the people itself, once it has appropriated its own destiny aware of the causes of its precarious situation and thus endowed with the tools for its own emancipation.

We’re joining the Movement for the Rescue of Sandinismo from our leftist tendency and our organizational militancy in the FSLN. We do so safe in the knowledge that the efforts to reunite the broad array of Sandinistas, which have been dispersed up to now, will allow new initiatives on behalf of genuine grassroots interests either from government, if it is won, or from the opposition.

Rebuild Sandinismo with the
banners of yesterday and today

The only possibility of reforging Sandinismo as a transforming Leftist force is to construct an historical project of emancipation and end the Danielista monopoly aimed at co-opting the people’s history of struggle, its symbols, commemorative events and even its dead. We have joined the Movement to Rescue Sandinismo with our own banners, those we’ve always defended because they’ve inspired each rebellion against the status quo:

 The struggle for peace and life and the creation of a just, humane, peaceful world in which conflicts are decided by negotiations and by treating all parties as equals.
 The creation of a new economy that ends the exclusion of the great majorities from their right to access progress, well-being, education and a more human life.
 Equality for all citizens and nations and the struggle against discrimination, marginalization and backwardness.
Liberty, national independence, sovereignty and the struggle against oppression and dictatorship.
In addition to these traditional banners, we assume those courageously raised by thousands of men and women on the planet who are organized in the new social movements and civil organizations:
 Honesty and transparency in public administration and the fight against corruption.
 Full equality of rights between the sexes; dialogue; the democratization of family relations; and the struggle against the dictatorship of men over women and parents over children.
 Tolerance and coexistence among races, respect for differences and the struggle against double standards and discrimination.
 Integrity and sincerity, the struggle against opportunism and lies.
 Defense of nature and the environment, the struggle against the squandering of resources and abuse of other species.
 Regional and municipal autonomy, the struggle against “capital-centrism.”

This isn’t just an electoral gamble

We consider it urgently important to build a new democracy in our Nicaragua that is committed to social equity and liberates citizens from the schizophrenia of formal and real democracy in which the laws say one thing and quite another ends up being done, the parties promise one thing and actually do something quite different and the actions of courts and judges have nothing to do with justice.

We want to build a new democracy that resolves the growing disassociation between law and reality; harmonizes the doctrine and practice of democracy; eradicates the crisis of legality and institutionality, of representation and legitimacy; levels the playing field between those represented and those who represent; and ends the hateful imposition of the pact’s majority electoral delegates over those of the minorities with no debate. It will be a new democracy that promotes security and offers new values and hopes to the majority of Nicaraguans.

We’re convinced that our main adversary in the efforts to construct “another possible world” is the world-dominating imperialism practiced by the US government and all those who support globalization and the imposition of the capitalist model, now in its neoliberal form. They organize measures to protect the interests of the great corporations, propagate and defend their common interests, conquer new markets and re-colonize entire nations. They then impose this domination on our countries through multiple means, of which the conditions of the IMF and World Bank programs are the best known by our people.

But we also know that the subordination to this model in each of our countries takes place with the complicity of docile governments that are in turn subordinated to economic groups that benefit from these exclusionary policies. It is therefore urgent to develop alternative national proposals that build popular power and another social correlation, and that place their faith in independent, sovereign governments.

We’re not just gambling on another electoral alternative, but on the creation of a truly alternative political movement, identified with the ideology of social change. Of course we need an alternative electoral victory, but it is even more important to build a social majority for change beyond the coming elections.

Mónica Baltodano has been an elected Managua Municipal Council member and National Assembly representative for the FSLN as well as a member of the party’s National Directorate.

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