Guerrilla Logistics/Support/ Sanctuary
Debate has raged in political circles and in the media over the extent of foreign aid and money received by the FMLN during the course of the war. The FMLN and its political supporters attempted to make the world believe that most of its weaponry was obtained on the international black market or captured from the Salvadoran military. Between 1970 and 1979, this may have been the case. But for the most part, the FMLN propaganda was a complete myth. While the FMLN did capture several large hauls of weapons from the Salvadoran government, these never amounted to more than enough weapons to arm and sustain perhaps a maximum of five percent of its forces. Arms from the international black market were negligible. There can be no doubt that without the massive assistance, in terms of money, weapons, training, and sanctuary received from Cuba, Nicaragua, and other foreign donors, the FMLN could never have lasted for nearly as long as it did. One of the great successes of the FMLN was that from the very beginning it established an international logistical net that had the capacity and will to supply more weapons and equipment than the FMLN needed. As one Central American commander put it, "Amateurs study strategy, while professionals study logistics." 1 The FMLN followed this maxim religiously, a fact which was largely responsible for its longevity and high level of military development. The FMLN was seldom short of equipment and, during the first years of the war, was often better equipped, supplied, and armed than the government forces. This was because the infrastructure had been developed over a number of years prior to the outbreak of major hostilities.
During the Sandinista revolution, several of the FMLN factions provided money, weapons, and personnel to the Sandinistas for their fight