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Augusto César Sandino and the defence of national sovereignty

News from Nicaragua | Thursday, 18 May 2017 |

The Nicaraguan revolutionary Augusto César Sandino was born on 18 May, 1895. From 1927 until 1933 he led a guerrilla army in a rebellion against the occupation by US marines. A liberal and a nationalist, Sandino stated: ‘The issue is that the US has no right to invade and humiliate a small country.’

Referred to as a ‘bandit’ by the US, he was recognised as a hero throughout Latin America as a symbol of resistance to US domination.  The US withdrew the marines from Nicaragua in 1933: six years of combat by a handful of workers and campesinos played a significant part in this withdrawal.

Sandino was assassinated on 21 February, 1934 on the order of  General Anastasio Somoza García, who went on to seize power in a coup two years later. This was the beginning of a 43-year family dictatorship that ruled Nicaragua until the victory of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) in 1979.

Sandino was not only a fighter but a prolific writer and  gifted orator. Throughout Latin America he has become a  symbol of  the defence of national sovereignty against US aggression.

The history of US intervention in Nicaragua and the legacy of Sandino is told in John Pilger’s documentary ‘Nicaragua, the right of a nation to survive ‘