A group of people standing in front of flags

Description automatically generated
Daniel Ortega and his wife Rosario Murillo give a defiant fist at celebration of Sandinist Revolution in Managua on July 19, 2023. [Source: Photo Courtesy of Lauren Smith]

Under Stewardship of Original Revolutionary Leader Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua Remains a Beacon for Social Progress Despite Crushing U.S. Sanctions

In the United States, the word “socialism” has come to have a negative meaning. In that meaning, the word implies the loss of individual sovereignty, rejection of religion and the institution of authoritarian political measures.

While denounced as socialist by U.S. propagandists and repeated by the ill-informed media, in fact, Nicaragua has a mixed economy based on traditional humane Christian spiritual beliefs under the concept of Sandinismo. It also encourages multiple political parties in line with genuinely social democratic ideals.

The foreign media denounce the Ortega administration for its alleged oppression though, in reality, the people who have suffered at its hands are individuals and groups who have repeatedly taken part in U.S. regime-change violence against Nicaragua’s government, people and public institutions.

Keep in mind that, in the U.S., domestic terrorism is also unlawful.

Youth celebrate 44th anniversary of Sandinista revolution in Managua on July 19, 2023. [Source: Photo courtesy of Lauren Smith]

On July 19, 1979, the Sandinista People’s Revolution Party, Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), overcame the U.S.-installed puppet dictator dynasty, headed by the Somoza family. Below is a photo of a U.S. tank taken by the FSLN that hangs in the former torture facility and prison run by Somoza’s death squads in the city of León.

[Source: Photo courtesy of Lauren Smith]
Former torture facility and prison run by Somoza’s death squads in the city of León. [Source: Photo courtesy of Lauren Smith]
Nicaragua Revolutionary Museum, poster showing students abducted by Somoza’s U.S.-funded death squads. [Source: Photo courtesy of Lauren Smith]
León, Nicaragua Revolutionary Museum. [Source: Photo courtesy of Lauren Smith]

The Sandinista government accepted the election result of 1990 to end the violence caused by the CIA-organized Contras. They ceded control to an opposition party funded by the U.S.

Subsequent right-wing governments ruled Nicaragua from 1990 to 2007, after which the FSLN returned to office upon winning the 2006 election. The FSLN went on to achieve sustained economic and social progress until 2017 and was lauded by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). After the failed 2018 U.S. coup, it became embarrassing for U.S.-funded, non-governmental human rights organizations (NGOs) and international banks to sing Nicaragua’s praises.

Sandinismo under President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo and the FSLN simply means caring for all of society’s members by providing the necessary infrastructure to ensure an educated, healthy, and economically viable society and a prosperous population and fair elections.

A 2022 survey, conducted by M&R Consultants, confirmed that 70% of Nicaraguans believed its government was leading the country in the right direction. In pitiful contrast, a recent poll found that 71% of Americans believed their country was headed in the wrong direction. The pollsters admitted that they had “never before seen the level of sustained pessimism in the 30-plus year history of the poll.”

President Ortega embraces the concept of good government in the tradition of former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). Under FDR, economic relief from the Great Depression involved reforms in industry, agriculture, finance, waterpower, labor and housing.

Today, many of FDR’s accomplishments have been rolled back, either through willful negligence or by federal regulatory agencies being captured by industry and/or censorship. Even funds set aside for Social Security, as explained by Max Blumenthal of The Grayzone Project in his address to the UN Security Council, are now being funneled into covert warfare.

It seems that the only time funds are “found” are for the military-industrial-complex or other mega complexes. What has emerged in the United States is corporate socialism managed by investment funds such as BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard and bailouts in the trillions of dollars to the New York Federal Reserve dealer banks that service the 0.001 percent of the population. Most U.S. residents and citizens experience the “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” form of capitalism (a physical action that is impossible to accomplish) or suffer from declining social indicators such as life expectancy and declining birth rates.

The U.S. dollar is no longer supported by gold or industry and is now losing its value as a transactional currency. The SWIFT banking system and petrodollar are being replaced by alternate Chinese, Russian and BRICS transactional systems as a defense against the illegal and unilateral U.S. economic sanctions and outright theft and piracy.

To make matters worse, profits are extracted from the once great U.S. economy and deposited in overseas accounts. Thus, working capital is no longer working through reinvestment. But that does not stop the Fed’s printing of dollars. Eventually, inflation will make the 1970s’ stagflation look like a walk in the park.

Unlike the U.S., Nicaragua Is Not Talk: It Is Actions and Accomplishments

Nicaragua is thriving despite a network of illegal sanctions that are premised on lies told to the American public. As explained by human rights, labor rights and peace activist Daniel Kovalik at his recent book signing—held in Casa Ben Linder in Managua for his latest book Nicaragua, A History of US Intervention & Resistance—Nicaragua serves as the threat of a good example to the United States.

Dan Kovalik [Source: Photo courtesy of Lauren Smith]

Nicaragua has free health care for all. Since 2007, 24 hospitals have been built along with 182 maternity homes, 190 natural medicine clinics, 73 pain management clinics, 101 centers for the care of people with disabilities, 52 psychosocial care clinics, a medicinal oxygen plant (the first in Central America), a molecular biology laboratory (only the second in Latin America), and national centers for cardiology, diabetes, chemotherapy, palliative care, audiology and speech therapy.

Additionally, the Ortega administration provides land titles to families, has increased transportation routes, provided potable water and sanitation facilities, and expanded low-cost electricity and free internet in public spaces.

The FSLN government provides micro-loans to encourage the development of small businesses under two programs:

1. Ahead Program: August 2022-May 2023
Loans: 6,758 Amount: U.S. $10,343,890.40

2. Zero Usury Program: 2007-April 2023
Loans: 1,605,827 Amount: U.S. $321,070,539

The FSLN also builds affordable housing, offers free education from pre-school to trade and technical schools, and offers scholarships to university students.

There are currently 51,879 university students with scholarships. The U.S. should take notes and U.S. citizens should not expect less from their elected officials. If little Nicaragua can accomplish these great public feats, so can a superpower like the U.S.

CovertAction Magazine is made possible by subscriptionsorders and donations from readers like you.

Blow the Whistle on U.S. Imperialism

Click the whistle and donate

When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.

CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.

Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.

CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift is tax-deductible for federal income purposes. CAI’s tax-exempt ID number is 87-2461683.

We sincerely thank you for your support.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI), including its Board of Directors (BD), Editorial Board (EB), Advisory Board (AB), staff, volunteers and its projects (including CovertAction Magazine) are not responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. This article also does not necessarily represent the views the BD, the EB, the AB, staff, volunteers, or any members of its projects.

Differing viewpoints: CAM publishes articles with differing viewpoints in an effort to nurture vibrant debate and thoughtful critical analysis. Feel free to comment on the articles in the comment section and/or send your letters to the Editors, which we will publish in the Letters column.

Copyrighted Material: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. As a not-for-profit charitable organization incorporated in the State of New York, we are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of humanity’s problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You can read more about ‘fair use’ and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.

Republishing: CovertAction Magazine (CAM) grants permission to cross-post CAM articles on not-for-profit community internet sites as long as the source is acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original CovertAction Magazine article. Also, kindly let us know at info@CovertActionMagazine.com. For publication of CAM articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: info@CovertActionMagazine.com.

By using this site, you agree to these terms above.

About the Author


  1. This article by Lauren Smith is very important reading for all who oppose Washington’s perpetual CIA regime change operations vs, Nicaragua and many other countries who dare to assert their sovereign right to exist. Now in our 44th year of publication, we publish five new investigative articles each week. Our website is: covertactionmagazine.com. You can subscribe on the website and read CovertAction Magazine regularly for just $25. –Louis Wolf, Co-founder (1978).

Leave a Reply