At this year’s October Revolution celebration organised by our party, comrade and guest speaker Valdrack Jaentschke, the vice-minister of foreign affairs of Nicaragua, delivered a wonderful speech with revolutionary optimism and fervour. We reproduce below a rough transcript of this inspiring address.
Thank you very much comrades. More than any governmental position I wish that we are all comrades. Comrades in this struggle. (applause)
Comrade Ella Rule, president of the Communist Party of Great Britain; Comrades Joti Brar and Zane Carpenter, vice-presidents, comrades, militants of the Communist Party of Great Britain; Comrade Ambassador Barbara from Cuba, my sister, who fought many years side by side; Comrade Ambassador from Laos; Comrade Giselle, from Nicaragua, my sister for many years in the struggle.
I bring fraternal greetings from Nicaragua, the Land of our immortal anti-imperialist fighter, general of free women and free men Augusto C Sandino. I bring fraternal greetings from the land of the Sandinista popular revolution, the Sandinista National Liberation Front. The land of President Comrade Daniel Ortega and Vice-President Rosario Murillo, who together with thousands of Nicaraguan combatants continue to fight, and build a lasting people’s revolution, keeping alive the flame of social justice and defending people’s power. (applause)
It is an honour to participate in this significant tribute to remember the Great October Revolution, a transformative milestone for the Soviet Union and the world, which, among so many great legacies, left humanity with the unequivocal triumph over fascism and colonialism. The fascist threat continues to be present in the world today, when world capitalism, in one of its most grotesque forms, once again endangers the peace and well-being of the peoples of the world. (applause)
The Great October Revolution teaches us the importance of building popular unity, not only to conquer political power, but also to maintain this popular power, for which having a united and cohesive advanced political instrument, to lead society in its struggle against capitalism and imperialism becomes of fundamental importance. (applause)
There is no doubt in any progressive, revolutionary, or socialist mind about the danger that excessive greed and the globalising concentration of wealth, exacerbated by an almost absolute control of liberal democracies, the military industry, corporate media and information technologies represent both for the planet and humanity.
For the Nicaraguan people, the struggle for independence, self determination and national liberation has always been present in our history. The heroic anticolonial resistance of our original people moved to the confrontation with imperialist intervention, which tried to annex us to the United States in the middle of the 19th century. Imperialist arrogance has acted with the mentality that our region is their backyard, that they have the right to violate our national sovereignty whenever it occurs to them.
In over one hundred years that Nicaragua has formally gained independence from the Spanish and European colonisers in general (because in the end it’s the same self-interest of the colonial and imperial system), our small country with less than 130 thousand square kilometers and some 6.5 million inhabitants has been intervened militarily at least four times by the most powerful military force on the planet, and on each of those occasions they have been defeated and rejected by our heroic people. (long applause)
Dignity, the vocation for struggle and national liberation have marked our history, marked our political culture, and have marked our anti-imperialist political identity. Throughout this journey we have been clear that either you are on the side of the popular movement or you are on the side of the oligarchy, allied with the forces of foreign intervention; the vast majority of the Nicaraguan people have chosen the side of the popular movement.
The triumph of the Sandinista Popular Revolution in 1979 immediately became a target of imperialism and its national lackeys, who tried by every means at their disposal to undermine and destroy the popular revolution. But once again they could not destroy Sandino’s worthy example, despite mining our ports, poisoning our waters and financing an army of mercenaries.
Throughout the 1980s they did not stop conspiring, they did not stop attacking us militarily, they did not stop trying to destroy the example of the beautiful Sandinista Revolution; which taught the people to read, vaccinated boys and girls, restored the rights, ensured production of vital food in conditions of economic blockade.
The reactionary and imperialist forces, aggrandised by their action against the socialist bloc, against the Soviet Union, against progressive thought in the world, proposed that the United States was determined to lead a unipolar world, where it would give free reign to the concentration of wealth and the debilitating globalisation of the world. Under these conditions, in 1990 Nicaraguans went to election rigged by the interests of the empire, with a gun to their heads, with the threat of yet another direct military intervention.
These elections opened the path for neoliberal darkness, which we had to endure for 16 years. We had to face the destruction and misery caused by the neoliberal policies that spread like wildfire among the oppressed peoples of the world, impoverishing the workers and concentrating wealth and power in the hands of the intervening north. Neoliberal policies that made it clear once again that there are only two options: to be on the side of the popular movement or to be on the side of the empire and its lackeys, the national oligarchy. (applause)
Oligarchy that takes many different forms, even that of ‘progressive converts’ who seek to confuse and divide the popular movement. Between 1990-2016 neoliberalism was concerned with dismantling the advances of the popular revolution, trying to divide the people and its vanguard political instrument, the FSLN. They spent 16 years trying to erase the popular Sandinista Revolution from the imagination of the people through fear and misery.
The Nicaraguan people, once again, chose to defend the historical legacy of the popular revolution and in 2007, despite the enormous media machinery, the use of emerging electronic platforms and access to financial resources provided by the oligarchy and the empire, the Nicaraguan people managed to overcome adversity and, under the leadership of Commander Daniel Ortega the FSLN came to power again to resume the path of the restitution of rights, progress and social justice. (applause)
This new stage of the Sandinista Popular Revolution began facing difficult and adverse political conditions, the constant stalking of the US empire and its European emissaries and the destructive nature of the national oligarchy, in all its forms, including those who had betrayed the ideals of Sandino and placed themselves at the service of foreign intervention.
Despite the constant harassment of the counterrevolutionary forces, the people, the good government of the FSLN, managed to promote the greatest social, political, economic and restitution of rights advances known in the history of Nicaragua. Inclusive social programmes, economic stability, construction of infrastructure and, above all, rights for everyone: women, youth, indigenous people, Afro-descendants, workers, peasants, all felt the fresh breeze of wellbeing and the dignity of being the protagonists of their history. (applause)
The Nicaraguan people experienced the longest period of peace, with growth and equitable distribution, in their history. By 2018, after two periods of FSLN government, the significant advances in the country’s indicators were beginning to be reflected worldwide: the safest country in the hemisphere (after Cuba); among the five countries with the highest gender equality in the world; universal and free access to healthcare and education; universal access to drinking water, sanitation and electricity; road infrastructure, decent housing, food production, food security, a record number of unionised workers and cooperative peasants and artisans, record exports, macroeconomic stability.
Above all, a country acting with dignity in the world, giving no breathing space in the denunciation and unequivocal condemnation of capitalism and imperialism, as the cause of misery, inequalities and the destruction of the planet. (applause)
But the empire, its local lackeys with their sense of oligarchic superiority were stalking, attacking, dividing and preparing to try to destroy this revolutionary project. This is how in 2018, after intense media campaigns, the spread of falsehoods and the exercise of terror in the streets, they attempted a coup to try to disrupt the good governance of the FSLN.
However, the unity of the Nicaraguan people, our historical combativeness, managed to defeat this new attempt against the Nicaraguan popular movement.
The story here is not only that the failed coup tried to unsuccessfully destroy the revolution. The true story resides in the Nicaraguan people’s capacity to resist and triumph in the face of the new methods of destabilisation, siege, aggression and violence put forward by the imperialists. After so many falsehoods, so many attacks in the form of sanctions, of new attempts at division and intimidation, of the instrumentalisation of the so-called ‘human rights’ system.
After going through the Covid-19 pandemic, the Nicaraguan people have managed to recover only to return to the path of wellbeing, the restoration of rights and the consolidation of popular power. Nicaragua continues to be an example of dignity, of revolutionary firmness, of clarity of purpose.
The FSLN fearlessly assumes its responsibility in building a more just world society, without bowing down to those who attack us and firmly facing those who have chosen to surrender in the arms of the empire’s interests. (applause)
Communists, brothers and sisters of Great Britain, you can be assured that the Sandinista popular revolution lives and grows stronger in Nicaragua, that the popular movement moves forward victorious building popular power, that the Sandinista Front for National Liberation will continue to defend the victorious banners of revolution.
Thank you very much. (standing ovation)
Viva Sandino! Viva Fidel!