What did the Sandinistas Stand For? : The Historic Program of the FSLN

Originally Published in 1969, This was the guiding document of the revolutionary movement that toppled U.S. backed dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle and led a mass popular revolution of working people and peasant farmers. The “Sandinistas” championed the rights of women. Instituted a sweeping land reform, supported a free press, and unobstructed rights of political organization. They defended Nicaragua for nearly a decade against a relentless military intervention campaign waged by a mercenary “contra” army largely financed by the US administration under then president Ronald Reagan.

 The Historic Program of the FSLN

Sandinista National Liberation Front

The Sandinista National Liberation Front (FLSN) arose out of the Nicaraguan people’s need to have “vanguard organization” capable of taking political power through direct struggle against its enemies and establishing a social system that wipes out the exploitation and poverty that our people have been subjected to in past history.

The FSLN is a politico-military organization, whose strategic objective is to take political power by destroying the military and bureaucratic apparatus of the dictatorship and to establish a revolutionary government based on the worker-peasant alliance and the convergence of all the patriotic anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchic forces in the country.

The People of Nicaragua suffer under subjugation to a reactionary and fascist clique imposed by Yankee imperialism in 1932, the year Anastasio Somoza Garcia was named commander in chief of the so-called National Guard (GN).

The Somozist clique had reduced Nicaragua to the status of a neo-colony exploited by the Yankee monopolies and the country’s oligarchic groups.

The Present Regime is politically unpopular and juridicially illegal. The recognition and aid it gets from the North Americans is irrefutable proof of foreign interference in the affairs of Nicaragua.

The FSLN has seriously and with great responsibility analyzed the national reality and has resolved to confront the dictatorship with arms in hand. We have concluded that the triumph of the Sandinista people’s revolution and the overthrow of the regime that is an enemy of the people will take through the development of a hard-fought and prolonged people’s war.

Whatever maneuvers and resources Yankee imperialism deploys, the Somozist dictatorship is condemned to total failure in the face of the rapid advance and development of the people’s forces, headed by the Sandinista National Liberation Front.

Given the historic conjuncture, the FSLN has worked out this political program with an eye to strengthening and developing our organization, inspiring and stimulating the people of Nicaragua to march forward with the resolve to fight until the dictatorship is overthrown and to resist the intervention of Yankee imperialism, in order to forge a free, prosperous, and revolutionary homeland.

  1. A Revolutionary Government

The Sandinista people’s revolution will establish a revolutionary government that will eliminate the reactionary structure that arose from rigged elections and military coups, and the people’s power will create a Nicaragua that is free of exploitation, oppression, backwardness: a free, progressive, and independent country.

The revolutionary government will apply the following measures of a political character:

    1. It will endow revolutionary power with a structure that allows the full participation of the entire people, on the national level as well as the local level (departmental, municipal, neighborhood).
    2. It will guarantee that all citizens can fully exercise all individual freedoms and it will respect human rights.
    3. It will guarantee the free exchange of ideas, which above all leads to vigorously broadening the people’s rights and national rights.
    4. It will guarantee the freedom for the worker-union movement to organize in the city and countryside; and freedom to organize peasant, youth, student, women’s, cultural, sporting, and similar groups.
    5. It will guarantee the right of emigrant and exiled Nicaraguans to return to their native soil.
    6. It will guarantee the right to asylum for citizens of other countries who are persecuted for participation in the revolutionary struggle.
    7. It will severely punish the gangsters who are guilty of persecuting, informing on, abusing, torturing, or murdering revolutionaries and the people.
    8. Those individuals who occupy high political posts as a result of rigged elections and military coups will be stripped of their political rights.

The revolutionary government will apply the following measures of an economic character:

    1. It will expropriate the landed estates, factories, companies, buildings, means of transportation, and other wealth usurped by the Somoza family and accumulated through the misappropriation and plunder of the nation’s wealth.
    2. It will expropriate the landed estates, factories, companies, means of transportation, and other wealth usurped by the politicians and military officers, and all other accomplices, who have taken advantage of the present regime’s administrative corruption.
    3. It will nationalize the wealth of all the foreign companies that exploit the mineral, forest, maritime, and other kinds of resources.
    4. It will establish workers’ control over the administrative management of the factories and other wealth that are expropriated and nationalized.
    5. It will centralize the mass transit service.
    6. It will nationalize the banking system, which will be placed at the exclusive service of the country’s economic development.
    7. It will establish an independent currency.
    8. It will refuse to honor the loans imposed on the country by the Yankee monopolies or those of any other power.
    9. It will establish commercial relations with all countries, whatever their system, to benefit the country’s economic development.
    10. It will establish a suitable taxation policy, which will be applied with strict justice.
    11. It will prohibit usury. This prohibition will apply to Nicaraguan nationals as well as foreigners.
    12. It will protect the small and medium-size owners (producers, merchants) while restricting the excesses that lead to the exploitation of the workers.
    13. It will establish state control over foreign trade, with an eye to diversifying it and making it independent.
    14. It will rigorously restrict the importation of luxury items.
    15. It will plan the national economy, putting an end to the anarchy characteristic of the capitalist system of production. An important part of this planning will focus on the industrialization and electrification of the country.
  1. The Agrarian Revolution

The Sandinista people’s revolution will work out an agrarian policy that achieves an authentic agrarian reform; a reform that will, in the immediate term, carry out massive distribution of the land, eliminating the land grabs by the large landlords in favor of the workers (small producers) who labor on the land.

    1. It will expropriate and eliminate the capitalist and feudal estates.
    2. It will turn over the land to the peasants, free of charge, in accordance with the principle that the land should belong to those who work it.
    3. It will carry out a development plan for livestock raising aimed at diversifying and increasing the productivity of that sector.
    4. It will guarantee the peasants the following rights:
    1. Timely and adequate agricultural credit
    2. Marketability (a guaranteed market for their production
    3. Technical assistance.
    1. It will protect the patriotic landowners who collaborate with the guerrilla struggle, by paying them for their landholdings that exceed the limit established by the revolutionary government
    2. It will stimulate and encourage the peasants to organize themselves in cooperatives, so they can take their destiny into their own hands and directly participate in the development of the country.
    3. It will abolish the debts the peasantry incurred to the landlord and any type of usurer.
    4. It will eliminate the forced idleness that exists for most of the year in the countryside, and it will be attentive to creating sources of jobs for the peasant population.
  1. Revolution in Culture and Education

The Sandinista people’s revolution will establish the bases for the development of the national culture, the people’s education, and university reform.

    1. It will push forward a massive campaign to immediately wipe out “illiteracy.”
    2. It will develop the national culture and will root out the neocolonial penetration in our culture.
    3. It will rescue the progressive intellectuals, and their works that have arisen throughout our history, from the neglect in which they have been maintained by the anti-people’s regimes.
    4. It will give attention to the development and progress of education at the various levels (primary, intermediate, technical, university, etc.), and education will be free at all levels and obligatory at some.
  1. Labor Legislation and Social Security

The Sandinista people’s revolution will eliminate the injustice of the living and working conditions suffered by the working class under the brutal exploitation, and will institute labor legislation and social assistance.

    1. It will enact a labor code that will regulate, among other things, the following rights:
    1. It will adopt the principle that “those who don’t work don’t eat,” of course making exceptions for those who are unable to participate in the process of production due to age (children, old people), medical condition or other reasons beyond their control.
    2. Strict enforcement of the eight-hour work day.
    3. The income of the workers (wages and other benefits) must be sufficient to satisfy their daily needs.
    4. Respect for the dignity of the worker, prohibiting and punishing unjust treatment of workers in the course of their labor.
  1. Administrative Honesty

The Sandinista people’s revolution will root out administrative governmental corruption, and will establish strict administrative honesty.

  1. Reincorporation of the Atlantic Coast

The Sandinista people’s revolution will put into practice a special plan for the Atlantic Coast, which has been abandoned to total neglect, in order to incorporate this are into the nation’s life.

VII. Emancipation of Women

The Sandinista people’s revolution will abolish the odious discrimination that women have been subjected to compared to men; it will establish economic, political, and cultural equality between woman and man.

    1. It will pay special attention to the mother and child.
    2. It will eliminate prostitution and other social vices, through which the dignity of women will be raised.
    3. It will put an end to the system of servitude that women suffer, which is reflected in the tragedy of the abandoned working mother.
    4. It will establish for children born out of wedlock the right to equal protection by the revolutionary institutions.
    5. It will establish day-care centers for the care and attention of the children of working women.
    6. It will establish a two-month maternity leave before and after birth for women who work.
    7. It will raise women’s political, cultural, and vocational levels through their participation in the revolutionary process.
  1. Respect for Religious Beliefs

The Sandinista people’s revolution will guarantee the population of believers the freedom to profess any religion.

    1. It will respect the right of citizens to profess and practice and religious belief.
    2. It will support the work of priests and other religious figures who defend the working people.
  1. Independent Foreign Policy

The Sandinista people’s revolution will eliminate the foreign policy of submission to Yankee imperialism, and will establish a patriotic foreign policy of absolute national independence and one that is for authentic universal peace’.

  1. Central American Peoples Unity

The Sandinista people’s revolution is for the true union of the Central American peoples in a single country.

  1. Solidarity among Peoples

The Sandinista people’s revolution will put an end to the use of the national territory as a base for Yankee aggression against other fraternal peoples and will put into practice militant solidarity with fraternal peoples fighting for their liberation.

  1. Peoples Patriotic Army

The Sandinista people’s revolution will abolish the armed force called the National Guard, which is an enemy of the people, and will create a patriotic, revolutionary, and people’s army.

  1. Veneration of Our Martyrs

The Sandinista people’s revolution will maintain eternal gratitude to and veneration of our homeland’s martyrs and will continue the shining example of heroism and selflessness they have bequeathed to us’.

  1. It will educate the new generations in eternal gratitude and veneration toward those who have fallen in the struggle to make Nicaragua a free homeland
  2. It will establish a secondary school to educate the children of our people’s martyrs
  3. It will inculcate in the entire people the imperishable example of our martyrs, defending the revolutionary ideal:

Ever Onward To Victory !!!





About rawlinsview

News and political commentary from the point of view of the social interests of the international working class.
This entry was posted in Nicaragua, Revolutionary Tactics and Strategy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to What did the Sandinistas Stand For? : The Historic Program of the FSLN

  1. Pingback: A Spectre is Haunting U.S. Politics: Bill DeBlasio, Marxism and the Sandinistas | Rawlin'sView Blog

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