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Book excerpt: Barry Sheppard on the triumph and defeat of the 1979 Nicaraguan revolution

The Nicaraguan people celebrate victory over the Somoza dictatorship in central Managua, July 20, 1979.

By Barry Sheppard

July 19, 2012 – Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal --The following are two chapters from volume 2 of my political memoir about my time in the US Socialist Workers Party (SWP). They give an overview of the triumph and eventual collapse of the Nicaraguan revolution (1979 through the 1980s) under the blows of US imperialism’s war against the small and impoverished country.

It is important for socialists today to not forget the victories and defeats of the past, and their lessons for the future. One of the lessons of the Nicaraguan revolution, like the Paris Commune, the Russian, Chinese, Yugoslavian, Vietnamese and Cuban and other revolutions, as well as revolutionary upsurges that didn’t take power, like the German one (1917 to 1923), the May-June 1968 near revolution in France, the Portuguese revolutionary events of 1974-1975, the Prague Spring of 1968, the rise of the Polish workers in 1970, etc. is the power of the workers and peasants when they enter the stage of history in their own name and interests.

The Nicaraguan revolution also was important in the development of the SWP, both positive and negative.

As I say near the end of the second chapter, “like the Paris Communards, [the heroic workers and peasants of Nicaragua] and the FSLN [Sandinista National Liberation Front] will be remembered and cherished in spite of their defeat for their powerful example”.

Click here to download the two chapters on the Nicaraguan revolution (PDF), or read on screen below.

You can order Barry Sheppard's two-volume political memoirs at the links below.

The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume I: The Sixties, a Political Memoir by Barry Sheppard, order at Resistance Books (Sydney), 2005, 354 pages.

The Party, The Socialist Workers Party 1960-1988, Volume II: Interregnum, Decline and Collapse, 1973-1988, a Political Memoir by Barry Sheppard, order at Resistance Books (London), 2012, 345 pages. Also available from Resistance Bookshops in Australia.

Barry Nicaragua Excerpt


Good things happening in Nicaragua again

I'm sure there's much of interest in Barry Sheppard's book; but it
certainly sounds as if Barry Sheppard thinks the Nicaraguan revolution is
dead. Not so! There are many good things happening in Nicaragua again in
terms of government anti-poverty efforts, healthcare and education. It's
not perfect, but what place is?

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