¿Nosotros? Sandinistas : recuerdos de revolución en la frontera agrícola de Nicaragua

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Soto Joya, Maria Fernanda

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In 1990, ten years after the Sandinista revolution's triumph, came its end. What followed were anti-Sandinistas' attempts to erase Nicaragua's revolutionary past and Sandinistas' defense of that project and the party that represents it, the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN). For most Sandinistas, to publicly remember the revolution was a form of defense. Their memories were considered counter-hegemonic ones that reminded people that the past and the revolution's propositions still had value. However, Sandinistas' revolutionary narratives of the past are not free of problems and contradictions. The FSLN has popularized a Sandinista collective memory that idealizes the revolution. This is an indulgent memory that avoids talking about mistakes and problems. It is also a sentimental memory that links sandinismo to high morals and goodness and, in doing so, inhibits questioning the past and the present. This collective memory hinders discussions about other Sandinista memories, but, most importantly, it legitimizes problematic continuities in the way power is exerted; continuities which are not unique to sandinismo. This dissertation analyses how Sandinista peasants from a region in the old agrarian frontier of the country remember the revolution. In analyzing their memories one can see the ways in which the revolution is felt, the meaning of sandinismo among that population, and the kinds of political compromises they have to make today. Their memories show that the strength of the FSLN lies not only in economical or political interests, but also in the way the narratives of the past reaffirm attachments built over thirty years or more. While remembering the revolution's political ideals continues to be an important political statement and source of inspiration, constant critiques should be part of any memory work. To start with, memory work needs to acknowledge the constructed character of any memory, be those personal or collective, and the omissions that constitute them. To do so entail recognizing that memories are made of exclusions, repetitions, and forgetting and that the political work of memory not only never ends but involves the difficult task of questioning itself.




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