In the late 70s, the people from Nicaragua featured one of the most heroic and organized struggles that the world had seen, to defeat the bloodthirsty dictatorship of the Somoza Family. At that time, the people’s instrument was the National Sandinista Liberation Front, and such story cannot be erased.
By Committee of Nicaraguans of the IWL (International Workers League)
But after the victory, the FSLN leaders did not fight against the power behind the power, after destroying the National Guard and all the capitalist institutions – which were the businessmen. Instead of giving power to workers and create a state of their own, they rebuilt the State that the people had destroyed to give power back to the rich, which degenerated the organization to the point that those same flags are now the ones that shelter the of the Ortega Murillo family bloodthirsty dictatorship.
In April, the people once again rose up against the dictatorship and have the possibility of overthrowing it again, but if that process is not carried to the end and people do not assume their leading role and struggle against corporate power, misery and inequality will not disappear from Nicaragua. We can defeat the dictatorship but exploiters will continue to rule, as in the times of Somoza, of the National Reconstruction Board and how they have done so far. We, the Nicaraguan members and militants of the International Workers’ League, propose the following program of struggle and organization for our people, to serve not only the defeat of the current dictatorship but also to strengthen the struggle for the liberation of our people from the claws of the capitalist businessmen that plunged us into misery.
As a group of Nicaraguan militants from the International Workers League, we have met to discuss the tense situation that our country is going through. Faced with the urgent need of finding a way out for the working class, peasants and the Nicaraguan people in general, we want to discuss with the Nicaraguan people our ideas of a program for our country.
It will surely be an incomplete program, with deficiencies. However, we believe that it is a base to discuss with all comrades that are fighting, to try to build together a workers’ and peasants’ alternative for Nicaragua.
No Dialogue With The Dictatorship: Out With Ortega And Rosario!
The Ortega and Rosario regime, which has taken the lives of more than sixty people in recent days, must fall. Furthermore, the Nicaraguan people must guarantee the trial and punishment to all murderers from the National Police, the Sandinista mobs, and the Ortega-Murillo dynasty. Neither forgiveness nor forgetfulness towards the murderers of the people! Justice for those fallen in struggle! Without the fall of the government today, there is no real possibility of achieving democratic rights that guarantee even the preservation of our people’s lives.
This is why no dialogue with the dictatorship is possible. Nicaragua’s urgent task is to overthrow the Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo regime.
Independent Organization Of The Working Class
Many activists demand from the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) to call for a strike and stop supporting Daniel Ortega. We believe that this is a mistake. The COSEP has been an important ally of Daniel Ortega; it is no coincidence that in the call to dialogue they explicitly say that they do not ask for Ortega to leave. The Nicaraguan bourgeoisie is not an ally of the people in struggle against the dictatorship since they have been supporting it.
It is necessary to take away the dictatorship’s economic power. If we achieve this, there is no doubt
that Ortega is going to fall, but this is not going to be achieved with a bosses lockout. It is necessary that the Nicaraguan working class begins to organize, independent from the FSLN and its unions, in the factories and farms where wealth is produced. It is important that the sectors in struggle take urgent action to help workers in this task: organizing committees in factories and large farms and start the process of national organization to carry out a general strike. The fight for the fall of the dictatorship will not be achieved together with the businessmen but rather against them.
Construction Of Popular Struggle Committees
It is necessary to start building committees or popular councils. These committees must be created in every neighborhood, university, factory, every major farm, in all peasant villages, etc. These should be the basis for a national organization of the struggle against the dictatorship, where we can discuss democratically the next steps to paralyze the country until the dictatorship falls, and the security measures to preserve the lives of those fighting.
These committees can have a national assembly or council where delegates from each of the committees participate, to build a national assembly that serves to organize and unite the national struggle for the fall of the dictatorship. These committees can be the basis of a new government of workers and peasants.
Workers’ Self-Defense And Weapons
In order to confront the harassment and repression carried out by the government, it is necessary to organize popular self-defense to reject the police, the army and the Sandinista mobs. We cannot do this if all the weapons are in the army and the police’s hands, and all we fight back with are stones and mortars. Businessmen will never accept the implementation of measures that can free society from the dictatorship. They want to perpetuate all their privileges, and to protect them they prefer that the dictatorship continues. The exploited must defend ourselves against the dictatorship that guarantees the interests of capitalists. This is why it is essential to arm the workers and poor peasants.
Imperialist Hands Off Nicaragua
The people of Nicaragua cannot be free if they are still subject to domination and plans of international financial organizations, such as the IMF and the World Bank, which impose measures through their puppet governments, like the INSS reform.
This is why all agreements with these organizations must be annulled. At the same time, we have to get out of the FTA with the United States, which came into effect in 2006 and has been the main source of looting and exploitation of Nicaragua’s resources.
In addition, we must break the military agreements with the United States disguised as the “fight against drug-trafficking” with the DEA and the “defense and security” agreements under control of the Southern Command of the United States.
Sliding Workday Scale To Tackle Unemployment And Precarious Jobs
To combat 40% of informal employment and 80% of precarious jobs, let’s fight to impose the distribution of labor in the country among all workers, by reducing the working hours and maintain decent living wages for all.
Against Salaries That Do Not Meet The Salary Scale
Let’s distribute all the work that exists among all the workers and impose living wages enough to live with dignity, without the need to migrate and enough to live a dignified life as a result of our work. Minimum wages according to the needs of the Nicaraguan family and not the bosses’ will.
Repeal The Canal Law 840, For An Agrarian Reform
40% of the Nicaraguan population are peasants. A true workers’ state should support the exploited peasants, urban and rural workers. This is why our program includes the peasants’ needs. Our end goal is the collectivization of agriculture and industry. However, we are against imposing this objective on peasants.
We raise initial proposals that lead us to that path, but these proposals must be corrected, completed and expanded within the framework of joint action of workers and peasants.
In Nicaragua, a small minority has been concentrating most of the land, dedicating it to big landowners for growing coffee, rice, sugar, palm, etc. We propose to fight for the immediate repeal of Law 840, that intends to strip peasants off their land in Southern Nicaragua. Expropriation of large estates, farmland and haciendas to dedicate it to collective agricultural work, cooperatives and small farmers.
No More Wage Inequality Between Men And Women
Let’s eliminate the wage gap of up to 50% between men and women, as well as current semi-slavery and slavery. Equal pay for equal job!
Protect Women’s Lives: Employment And Services To Fight Violence
Girls and women are constant victims of sexual violence, expressed in the high number of teenage pregnancies, abuse and rape, perpetrated as a mechanism of repression in the context of protests. The Ortega-Murillo government is known for perpetrating and covering up this type of violence.
Male-chauvinism present in Nicaraguan society is expressed ultimately in the high number of femicides registered annually. Many of them are victims also of unemployment and lack of access to education and housing, which hinders them from ending a relationship with their aggressor. Given these conditions, many women are forced to migrate, leaving their families and children, exposing themselves to uncertainty, harassment, deception and irregular immigration status.
This is why we demand investment to guarantee access to work, education and housing for women, as well as care services for victims of violence. We also join the demand for the decriminalization of abortion, which must go accompanied by access to secular sex education, and free, quality contraceptive methods.
We demand a halt to the government’s persecution of women’s movements who have been denouncing the use of institutionalized violence and demanding rights for women.
Nationalization Of Banks, Key Industries And Transportation Under Workers’ Control
Ortega has direct control of the economy. He is a shareholder of companies and banks and his dictatorship has been sustained by capitalist like him.
The working people must nationalize the banks, transport, mines, major industries and commerce, to use those resources and redistribute them to improve the standard of living of all the people – all of it without any “compensation” to the capitalists.
These measures should be implemented on main means of production, not on small businesses; these should be left out of it and rather receive support and promotion from the State.
State Monopoly Of Foreign Trade
All foreign trade must pass through the hands of the state. Like this, the trade will no longer be under the monopoly of private companies that negotiate at their convenience instead of based on the needs of the Nicaraguan people. With production and trade in the hands of the workers-led state, the wealth produced can effectively serve the people.
Respect And Dignity For Indigenous Peoples
Freedom of organization and self-determination of all indigenous peoples of Nicaragua. All the lands that belong to them should be immediately given back.
For a Constituent Assembly
We believe that the only real way out to meet the needs of the Nicaraguan people is taking the power from the dictatorship, the bourgeoisie, and build a new workers’ and peasants’ state, with their own bodies that shall emerge from the organization of struggle for the fall of Daniel Ortega.
However, as long as most workers still believe that the solution must be to defeat the dictatorship by supporting a democratic regime in the framework of capitalists power, we are willing to defend that democracy against the dictatorship of Ortega and Murillo. For that democracy to be effective once Ortega and Murillo fall, we propose to hold a constituent assembly, broad, democratic, with proportional participation of workers and peasants, as an expression of the Nicaraguan society.
This assembly must, among other things, guarantee:
-The legalization of all political parties, and their unrestricted right to participating in politics.
-Access to media such as radio, television and internet to all the political forces that are on the side of the people and have fought against the Ortega dictatorship.
-The dissolution of the Executive and Legislative power, and the creation of an assembly that combines both powers. Its members would be elected for a period of two years, by local assemblies, with revocable mandates at any time by their constituents, and they would receive the salary of a specialized worker.
-Agrarian reform that guarantees land to small farmers.
Let’s Fight For A Socialist Central America
Throughout Central America, we are fighting against austerity measures mandated by imperialism for our countries.
The people from Nicaragua must place their heroic struggle to strengthen the combat against other dictatorships, like that of Juan Orlando Hernández in Honduras, and against neoliberal plans in other countries of the region.
The seizing of power by workers in one of the Central American nations cannot stall there, we must develop and expand that struggle for a truly socialist Central America.
For The Construction Of A Real Socialist And Revolutionary Workers’ Party
This program can only be promoted if a determined group of men and women, who have been at the forefront of the struggle in universities and neighborhoods, take this program as their own and organize in a new political party, not to dispute positions in the elections but rather to carry out this program through the daily struggle.
This political tool should work with the broadest internal democracy, without warlords or self-imposed leaders, but with a democratically elected leadership that can be removed when needed by the organization’s base, which must have the true power of the party.
We and the IWL sections in Central America put ourselves at the service of a political tool for this program.
Nicaraguan IWL Committee, International Workers League – Fourth International.