The Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua was an inspiration to many on the left in the 1980s. Forty-one years later, it still urgently needs and deserves our support. The case for doing so is a very strong one.
After the US-inspired “Contra war” led to electoral defeat for the Sandinistas in 1990, the country endured 16 years of neoliberal government. On regaining power in 2007, Daniel Ortega’s government restarted the social investment and anti-poverty programmes which the revolution promised. Then two years ago, it faced a new threat: protests orchestrated by US-funded organisations quickly turned into a violent attempt at regime change. Nicaragua’s government survived once more, only to confront the Covid-19 pandemic with an economy still not fully recovered and access to vital medical and other aid severely limited by US sanctions. It will survive again, but only because the majority of Nicaraguans still back it. Opinion polls forecast that the Sandinista Front (FSLN) will earn by far the biggest share of the vote in next year’s elections.