They began arriving before the sun had risen; campesinos from Nicaragua’s remotest corners, families from Managua’s neighborhoods, visitors from around the world; all gathered in the Plaza on July 19th. Thousands of other Nicaraguans listened anxiously to radio and T.V. After weeks of heated political activity, with various sectors expressing their demands, all now waited to hear what measures the government would announce. Comandante Daniel Ortega opened the ceremonies, announcing the new measures proposed by the government.
In this bulletin, we include a synopsis of Comandante Daniel Ortega’s speech, an introduction to the new Agrarian Reform law and summary and study of latest developments in the Church.
Primarily of an economic nature, the new measures are aimed at increasing production while responding to the demands of Nicaragua’s working people. The measures provide a series of guarantees to Nicaragua’s large producers while preventing a small but economically powerful sector from boycotting production.
These measures have been the focus of political life in Nicaragua for the last month. The Council of State has debated and approved the Agrarian Reform bill and is now considering the law regarding agricultural cooperatives. Campesino and labor associations are studying the implications of the new measures, preparing their members to take an active role in the implementation. On August 6, 1981 the FSLN Political Commission met with COSEP, the Superior Council on Private Enterprise, to discuss the new measures and the economic situation of Nicaragua. The meeting was described as “positive and cordial” by both Frente and COSEP sources. On television, National Forum representatives from both the opposition and the revolutionary coalitions have debated the new measures and discussed how they will affect the ongoing forum.
In the first week of August, the French Foreign Minister, Claude Cheysson, visited Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico to determine how France can best respond to the crisis in Central America. In Nicaragua, Cheysson expressed his country’s firm political support for the Nicaraguan Revolution.
In the area of religion, the question of whether priests will remain in the government has come to a temporary resolution. The priests can continue in the government, retaining their status as priests, while abstaining from the exercise of their priestly faculties.
On the grass roots level, there is a resurgence of community activity aimed at solving the problems facing Nicaragua’s people. Block by block, neighbors are organizing to protect their neighborhoods against crime and to prevent speculation of basic food stuffs such as rice and sugar. Popular Health Brigades are now forming to combat malaria and dengue, both serious tropical diseases passed on by the mosquito. Building on the achievements of the Literacy Crusade, the Adult Education Program is now entering into its second semester. In this semester, students will acquire reading and writing skills equivalent to the primary school level. Nicaraguans of all ages and walks of life continue to participate in the Popular Militia, although campesinos and urban working people form the vast majority. Throughout Nicaragua, thousands of men and women arrive home after a long day’s work and then set out again for their adult education class, community meetings and militia training. Perhaps it is they who speak most enthusiastically about the international solidarity that Nicaragua continues to receive.