In these hectic, yet joyful days before July 19th, we wish to send you greetings and thank you once again for all the good work you are doing on Central America. Friends visiting in Nicaragua have informed us of a series of activities to be held throughout the United States, Canada and Europe in celebration of July 19th.
In this bulletin, we are including a report on the National Forum and an introduction to the problem of decapitalization, both being important current events that will have major effects on the future of Nicaragua. The Forum between parties representing the whole political spectrum constitutes a major effort by the FSLN to maintain national unity which is se necessary in this time of economic difficulties and military threats. Likewise, decapitalization has become a major issue. In the last year, an important part of the private sector has not been reinvesting. Rather they have been stripping their businesses of their productive base and taking capital out of the country.
As July 19th draws near, there is a good deal of political activity in Nicaragua. Popular organizations are presenting a series of demands to their government. Hardly a day goes by without one group or another demonstrating before the Casa del Gobierno. Throughout Nicaragua’s provinces, popular assemblies are being held to deal with local and national problems. Although the demands are various, there are a few that are voiced by all groups. These include demands for a new law against decapitalizacion and more serious measures against those involved in counter-revolutionary activities -- specifically those who have aided bands in the north who are assassinating peasant leaders in the militias and popular organizations.
It is expected that the government will introduce a series of measures on July 19th. They will have to balance popular demands with overall considerations of the economy, international relations and the pressing need for national unity. We hope to send you a mailing soon which enumerates these new measures, presenting background information and analysis.
There are several other important events in Nicaragua these days. Nicaragua was taken by surprise on the night of July 8 when the FSLN political commission announced on national television and radio that Commanders Eden Pastora and Jose Valdivia had turned in their resignations in order to “take up the struggle” in an undisclosed place. In his letter of resignation, Eden Pastora stressed the strictly personal character of his decision. The Frente statement clarified that while as revolutionaries, they could understand the sentiments that motivated these compañeros, they could in no way approve such a personal decision. The statement reaffirmed the strict policy of the Frente prohibiting Sandinistas to take up arms in other countries. The opposition has already begun to say that Pastora’s decision signifies divisions in the FSLN. Pastora’s resignation letter and statements by his family completely negate this interpretation.
As you know from our last mailing, there is considerable tension in the church. Since the June 1st Bishop’s communiqué demanded that four priests leave their cabinet posts, Christian loyalties have been divided. The Bishops are strong authority figures in Nicaragua and their decisions are held in high respect by the Nicaraguan people. Christians on a community level, who oppose the decision, have been calling for dialogue between the Bishops and themselves. On June 27 and 28, Christian Base Communities from the city and countryside held a two day meeting to reflect on both co-responsibility in the church and the church’s preferential option for the poor. On June 30, the Bishops announced that they would enter into dialogue with the priests affected by the decision. These talks began on July 13. We will keep you informed as to how the situation develops.
With this bulletin we celebrate July 19th with you. Certainly this second anniversary calls forth both hope and renewed commitment in the face of so many challenges. This bulletin is dedicated to the 50,000 Nicaraguans who have died and yet refuse to die, who remain with us in this revolutionary process. Nicaragua recollects their experiences and dreams, and strives to live out their promise.
The Institute Staff