Nicaragua: What it was like to be on the receiving end of the sandinistas

Nicaraguan Marta Cecilia Aviles Asman addresses NYC mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio,
Bill de Blasio Should Ask Me About the Sandinistas
The New York mayoral candidate still fondly recalls a regime that I fled in terror for my life.
(emphasis added)

After the revolution in 1979, I joined the government. I was hired to help “humanize” Nicaraguan prisons. I was enthusiastic about the work—until I found out that Sandinista-style “humanization” often involved extrajudicial executions.

I once appealed to a prison warden to allow a diabetic prisoner his dose of insulin. The warden refused, telling me: “If it was up to you, we’d let them all out!” When I wrote a note to higher-ups complaining about all this, I was told by co-workers to get out of government before I was silenced permanently.

My moment of truth came at a meeting of government workers with Interior Minister Tomas Borge several months after the revolution. Borge was a confirmed Marxist but had been discreet until that moment. “Why not say it?” Borge said to the crowd. “We are going toward socialism.” The Sandinistas had already nationalized the banks and were confiscating property and executing opponents in the streets. I was scared to see what would come next.

Ponder for a moment, if you may, electing a mayor who openly praises such a regime.



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2 Responses to “Nicaragua: What it was like to be on the receiving end of the sandinistas”

  1. WRS Says:

    I went to Nicaragua in 1989 with a group of church liberals. I kept my ability to speak Spanish fluently concealed. Several days in, we went to Tipitapa ( think that is the name) prison, where according to our hosts everyone had a trial, a lot of weekend furloughs, etc.

    I started in with Spanish talking to the prisoners, and they all called bullshit of everything we had been told. That evening, I was asked to leave the group because I upset the ‘group dynamics’.

  2. Arius Says:

    If Bill de Blasio gains sufficient power he will do in the US what the Sandinistas did in Nicaragua.