On Sandinista Revolution Day, marked every year on July 19, the people of Nicaragua celebrate the memory of the Nicaraguan revolution. This celebration is currently one of the most important national holidays in the country and marks a significant period of Nicaraguan and Central American history. The period commemorated by this holiday is one of the most brutal in the country’s history and lasted around 30 years. Yet, today, this holiday commemorates the birth of modern-day Nicaragua as an independent nation.
History of Sandinista Revolution Day
Sandinista Revolution marked the start of popular revolts against the Somoza family’s military dictatorship, which had ruled the country for several years. Beginning in 1961, the Sandinista National Liberation Front would launch an anti-government campaign. The campaign began on July 19, which was also the date of the holiday. The struggle lasted almost ten years till the Somoza government was deposed in 1979.
Although the Sandinista National Liberation Front led a wide campaign and arduous campaign, and finally liberated the country — the conflict was far from over. In the early 1980s, the U.S. government began backing several militias in many countries of Central America to suppress the growth of Marxist groups in Central America. This eventually initiated the Contra War, during which the Sandinista National Liberation Front fought the Contra militias backed by the U.S.
Nicaraguans began developing their country in the mid-1980s, despite the military battles of the Contra War. The first general elections took place in 1984. Ronald Reagan, the U.S. president at the time, condemned the Nicaraguan elections while maintaining support for the Contra forces. The Sandinista National Liberation Front (S.N.L.F.) won the elections by a large majority. Soon after, foreign ministers from several Latin American countries, including Colombia, Mexico, and Panama, began drafting the Esquipulas Peace Agreement to end the region’s wars. After 11 years of armed combat, the Contra War ended in 1990.
Sandinista Revolution Day timeline
The S.N.L.F. is founded and begins an open rebellion against the military dictatorship of the Somoza family.
The revolution continues and manages to remove the dictators and liberate the country from military rule.
After years of war against the U.S.-backed Contras, the country organizes the first general elections, during which the S.N.L.F. wins.
Following the end of the battle, the country is finally at peace after years of upheaval and war against U.S.-backed militias.
Sandinista Revolution Day FAQs
What were the goals of the Sandinistas?
Proponents of Sandinista ideology felt that through awakening political thought among the people, human resources would be available to not only carry out a guerrilla war against the Somoza administration but also to establish a society resistant to foreign economic and military intrusion.
Did the Soviet Union support the Sandinistas?
Following the toppling of the Somoza dynasty, the U.S.S.R. built strong ties with the Sandinistas. During the 1980s, the Soviet Union gave Nicaragua’s left-wing government full political, economic, military, and diplomatic backing.
What does the U.S. think of Nicaragua?
The United States has promoted national reconciliation, encouraging Nicaraguans to resolve their problems through dialogue and compromise. It recognizes as legitimate all political forces that abide by the democratic process and eschew violence.
How to Observe Sandinista Revolution Day
Read about the issue
The Contra wars, and Central American revolutionary moments, are some of the most interesting political and historical issues. Understanding these conflicts will help gain a wider understanding of modern-day geopolitics.
Visit local communities
If there are any Nicaraguan or Central American communities in your city, make sure to visit them, and just talk to people. You will likely learn much more about history in that way.
As one of the most loved tourism destinations, Central America is home to some of the most beautiful sandy beaches and natural landscapes. Visiting the country on one of its most significant holidays can be an engaging and rewarding experience.
5 Interesting Facts About Nicaragua
Nicaragua is home to one of the biggest lakes in Central America — after which the country is named.
Nicaragua's geographical location leaves it vulnerable to natural calamities such as earthquakes and volcanoes.
Nicaragua is Central America's largest country, covering 130,000 square kilometers.
First female president in America
Violeta Chamorro was elected president of Nicaragua in 1990, making her the first female head of state on the continent.
A particularity of Nicaragua is that many of the streets, in several cities, have no names.
Meaning of Nicaragua
Nicaragua is a combination of the words 'Nicarao' (a local tribe) and 'agua' (water).
Why Sandinista Revolution Day is Important
It’s the commemoration of a long conflict
The Sandinista Revolution Day is a commemoration of one of the longest armed conflicts in modern history. For 30 years, the people of Nicaragua, as well as of other Central American nations, struggled with a military dictatorship.
It’s the building of a nation
The memory of the Sandinista Revolution is that of the building of a nation. As these conflicts only ended in the early 1990s, they show the resilience of a people towards building a nation with strong principles.
It elucidates the geopolitical issue
The ramifications of the ensuing conflicts are a direct result of the encroaching foreign policy of stronger nations, notably the U.S. The plight of Central American nations was caused just to protect geopolitical and economic interests.
Sandinista Revolution Day dates