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  • A youth is thrown in the air during celebrations in Nicaragua Friday July 17, 2015, marking the day the former Dictator Somoza resigned 36 years ago.

    A youth is thrown in the air during celebrations in Nicaragua Friday July 17, 2015, marking the day the former Dictator Somoza resigned 36 years ago. | Photo: EFE

The 1979 Sandinista Revolution toppled the dictatorship of the Somoza family who controlled the country for over 40 years.

Thousands of people across Nicaragua continue celebrations Sunday to commemorate the 36th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution, a movement that sprung up in the 1970's to oust the oppressive U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship.

The revolution changed the lives for thousands of people across the country, especially the poorest sectors, Elijah Chevez, Nicaraguan Ambassador to Bolivia, told Prensa Latina.

On July 19, 1979, troops from the Sandinista National Liberation Front, or FSLN, entered the capital city of Managua declaring victory and control of government. Anastasio Somoza Debayle had resigned two days prior, ending the violent 43-year rule of the Somoza family (1936-1979).

According to Chevez, the Sandinista Revolution paved the way to creating free education and healthcare in the country, which has benefited thousands.

The Sandinistas, named after leader of an anti-occupation peasant leader Augusto Sandino, also created farm cooperatives for small farmers using land confiscated from Samoza and his close supporters, and started a Literacy Crusade that over the years has reduced literacy by 37 percent.

“We can say that the poor population of the country has full confidence in the Sandinista Revolution,” said Chevez.

The Sandinista government soon was faced with a violent, U.S.-sponsored counterrevolution who wreaked havoc in the country, carrying out more than 1300 terrorist attacks and engaging in widespread human rights violations.

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Thousands of people also took to the streets and celebrated Friday to mark the 36th anniversary of when Somoza resigned, what is also known as The Day of Joy (el Dia de Alegria).

Cuban Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel, former Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, former Paraguay President Fernando Lugo and former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya also joined the festivities.

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"In Nicaragua 42.5 percent of the country lives below the poverty line but 210 ultra-wealthy individuals control a combined fortune of $30 billion, equal to 2.5 times the country's annual economic output". ( Jakarta Post, 22.6.15)
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