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Nicaragua honours Vietnam War veteran & peace activist Brian Willson

News from Nicaragua | Wednesday, 2 September 2020 |

Brian Willson at the National Assembly after receiving the Jose Dolores Estrada Award

Brian Willson at the National Assembly after receiving the Jose Dolores Estrada Award

On 1 September 1987, Brian Willson lost both his legs as a result of being run over by a munitions train in a nonviolent protest in California.

The nearby factory manufactured weapons such as assault rifles, pistols, land mines, and grenades being supplied to the Contra forces, trained, armed and funded by the Reagan administration with the intention of overthrowing the Sandinista government.

As Brian points out tens of thousands of Nicaragua were murdered and maimed as a result of this terrorist war despite it being illegal under both international and US Constitutional law, and a ruling of the World Court in 1986.

In turn tens of thousands of US citizens chose to act to stop this murderous policy being conducted in their name: Brian and other Vietnam veterans were among them.

Thirty – three years later this act of extraordinary heroism and the decades Brian has spent as a solidarity activist were commemorated in moving ceremonies in the National Assembly, the Autonomous National University (UNAN) and in an international webinar with 200 people from around the world organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX).

The National Assembly presented Brian with the order of Jose Dolores Estrada, a reference to the Battle of San Jacinto in 1856 that resulted in the defeat of army of US filibusterer and self-declared president of Nicaragua William Walker.

In presenting the award deputy president of the National Assembly Raquel Dixon paid tribute to Brian’s lifetime of selfless solidarity in defence of Nicaragua’s right to life, freedom and sovereignty.

Brian with students and staff of the UNAN

Brian with students and staff of the UNAN