The Simon Bolivar Brigade


In 1979, in the summit of the fight against Somoza’s dictatorship, the Bolshevik Fraction of the IV International, organization that was in the base of the IWL-FI foundation, called, through one of its sections (The PST from Colombia) to constitute an internationalist brigade to go to Nicaragua and fight next to the FSLN.
By Bernardo Cerdeira.
This brigade received the name of Simon Bolivar and was part of the South Front of the war, where it had several downs and three dead comrades. In July of 1979, the brigade freed the city of Bluefields, the most important port in Nicaragua in the Atlantic coast. The Simon Bolivar brigade was recognized by the FSLN and, after Somoza’s fall, most brigades stayed in the country.

After the seizing of power by the Sandinistas, the brigade stimulated the construction and participated of dozens of Unions, formed from the victory of the revolution. However, the process of reorganization of the working class threatened of becoming an independent mobilization and organization, through the outside of the Sandinista control. Before that, the leadership of the FSLN caught the members of the brigade, expelled them from the country, and handed them over to the Panama police which tortured them and finally extradited them.
The repressive action by the FSLN and the bourgeois government of National Reconstruction was already anticipating the path it would later go through. However, they could not delete the example of the SBB, who retook the internationalist tradition of the working movement following the example of the international brigades that fought against Fascism in the Spanish Civil War.
The immediate goal of the Bolshevik Fraction was to support the armed struggle of the FSLN to defeat Somoza’s dictatorship, but it was combined with a more strategic task: the independent organization of the working class and construction of a socialist, revolutionary party in Nicaragua. This task was weakened by the FSLN repression, but it was always present. Today, it is more necessary than ever.

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