Sandinista Communism and Rural Nicaragua

Sandinista Communism and Rural Nicaragua

Sandinista Communism and Rural Nicaragua

Sandinista Communism and Rural Nicaragua

Synopsis

"An important and revealing study of how power functions in postrevolutionary Nicaragua and why the nature of Nicaraguan society continues to frustrate the calculated attempt by the Leninist Sandinistas to transform it." Douglas W. Payne Director of Hemispheric Studies Freedom House "Bugajski's cogent and timely analysis of the Sandinista movement is useful reading for policymakers and analysts alike. His perceptive evaluation of the goals and strategies of the Sandinista Front makes an important contribution to the literature on Third World Socialist-oriented regimes'." Jiri Valenta Director, Institute for Soviet and East European Studies University of Miami Coeditor, Conflict in Nicaragua: A Multidimensional Perspective

Excerpt

Few revolutions in the Third World have evoked so much passion in Western countries as the Sandinista assumption of power in Nicaragua. No doubt this has been largely due to the role of the United States in the Central American conflict, especially the war of bullets and words between Managua and Washington. It is also true, however, that the new regime in Nicaragua arouses worldwide interest and sympathy because it claims to represent a new synthesis of social reform and revolutionary power--much as the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, or Vietnam did in the past. Paradoxically, the death of socialism in Eastern Europe and even possibly the Soviet Union has only accelerated the need for alternatives, and Sandinismo consciously positions itself to benefit from the disillusionment with earlier models of revolutionary change.

The message is often repeated--sometimes by people who by no stretch of the imagination could be regarded as sympathetic to the Sandinista government--that there is something different about the revolution in Nicaragua. As far as official rhetoric is concerned, the program of Sandinismo ("Pluralism, a mixed economy, a nonaligned foreign policy") seems closer to Scandinavian social democracy than to communism, and 10 years into the regime, the degree of economic and political pluralism in Nicaragua far exceeds that of Castro's Cuba at an equivalent point in time. What is this society, and where is it headed?

One good way to find out is to look closely at Nicaraguas' most crucial economic sector -- agriculture -- as Janusz Bugaj ski . . .

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