I traveled to Nicaragua for the first time a year ago. My job as a communications consultant took me to this beautiful land where the green and the rain always made me remember of Peru's jungle region. But I also felt a strong connection with this country that fought a civil war for decades because we in Peru had a twenty year period of political violence, between 1980 and 2000, that took almost 70,000 lives. Since then, I flew back to Nicaragua seven more times until now and that connection felt stronger each time I went back.
Last week, I was in Santo Domingo, Chontales, 3 hours northwest of Managua, and I found myself with this graffiti. In it, "Che" Guevara, Fonseca and Sandino, three iconic characters of the Nicaraguan and Latin american revolutionary periods, mix themselves with a logo from a celular phone company, the biggest one in latin america.
Was it worth it? Did we all learned something from all this violence and death?
In my last trip to Nicaragua I read Sergio Ramirez' "¡Adios, muchachos! Una memoria de la revolución sandinista" (Goodbye, guys! A sandinist revolution memoir), a book very well written that raised these questions. Ramirez was one of the members of the "group of twelve", the board of the FSLN that defeated Somoza's army and took power, back in 1979. Daniel Ortega and Sergio Ramirez were elected president and vicepresident in 1985. In 1994, after being defeated in 1990's elections, Ramirez resigned to the FSLN and started the MRS (Sandinist Renovation Movement in spanish), an opposition party. He is currently dedicated, in full time, to his literary and academic career.
Wielding a weapon is not the only way to start a revolution.