Rights and Revolution: The Rise and Fall of Nicaragua's Sandinista Movement
Posted: 25 Sep 2007 Last revised: 13 Feb 2013
Date Written: September 23, 2007
This book (Vandeplas 2013 available now at Amazon.com) argues that during the decade long rule of the Sandinista movement in 1980s' Nicaragua, discussion of the origins and development of that nation's revolution was greatly hindered by a polarization between two basic points of view. On the one hand, an anticommunist worldview rooted in the Cold War fueled outright opposition to the Sandinista movement. On the other, a defense of the politics of the Sandinistas was motivated by a tendency on the left and within some currents of liberalism to support, almost without criticism, any third world political movement which stood up to the United States government. There were many shades of opinion between these two poles - but no third pole opposed to both. This study is an attempt to break through the intellectual stalemate that is a legacy of the Cold War. By reconsidering the dynamics of the Nicaraguan revolution I believe it is possible to come to a deeper understanding of conflicts in the developing world. In particular, I believe a close study of the relationship between democratic rights and revolutionary movements within the revolutionary process itself is a fruitful means to achieve this understanding.
Keywords: Nicaragua, labor, human rights, democracy, cold war
JEL Classification: J5, O1, P2, Q1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation