Reckoning with Revolution in Nicaragua

Age of Revolutions

This post is a part of our “Latin America’s Ongoing Revolutions” series, which explores the colonial and post-colonial angles of Latin America’s revolutionary history. Check out the entire series.

By Mateo Jarquín

“It was a beautiful revolution, but what happened is that it was betrayed.”

In 2015, Ernesto Cardenal – the beret-wearing Catholic priest, acclaimed poet, and key personality of the Sandinista Revolution (1979-1990) – delivered this appraisal of Nicaragua’s postrevolutionary legacy.[1] At the time, Latin America watched with concern as Nicaraguan democracy imploded. Daniel Ortega, president during the revolutionary 1980s and re-elected in 2006, used his office and grip over the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) to muzzle dissent and consolidate control over all branches of government. In doing so, the former Marxist rebel eschewed the Revolution’s redistributive economics and progressive social policies. He instead presided over a stunning ideological metamorphosis whereby the Sandinista Front became…

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