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Augusto Cesar Sandino - the man with the hat – remembered

News from Nicaragua | Wednesday, 26 March 2014 | Click here for original article

Nicaragua commemorates the 80th anniversary of Sandino’s assassination with rallies, exhibitions, films, and voluntary work.

On 21 February, 1934, a firing squad under the orders of Anastasio Somoza Garcia and with the collaboration of US ambassador Arthur Bliss Lane, shot dead Nicaraguan national liberation hero Augusto Cesar Sandino.

From 1926 until his assassination in 1934 Sandino defied the military might of the US marines who had occupied Nicaragua since 1909. Six years of combat with a handful of workers and campesinos made a significant contribution to the withdrawal of the last contingent of marines in 1933.

At the end of February the National Assembly held a special session in honour of the anniversary attended by cabinet ministers and members of the diplomatic corps. Assembly President Rene Nuñez spoke of the richness and diversity of Sandino’s writings: co-operatives, Latin American unity, foreign intervention, patriotism, sovereignty, and the working class and peasant farmers. Nuñez pointed out that Sandino ‘was not only a military fighter but also a political visionary.’ Historian Aldo Diaz Lacayo highlighted the fact that Sandino’s struggle against the occupation of Nicaragua by US Marines was celebrated all over Latin America, and even in Europe and Asia.

At the rally in honour of Sandino, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Antonio Jaua spoke about the connections between Latin American liberation hero Simon Bolivar and Augusto Sandino. He continued: ‘We feel honored to be in this plaza where we were so many times with Comandante Hugo Chavez and we feel an ocean of sentiment because of so much history, so many memories.’ President Daniel Ortega reiterated his support for President Nicolas Maduro and said that the government of the United States had misrepresented the struggle in Venezuela. He called on President Barack Obama to “concern yourself with Guantanamo [and] work to stop the killing of migrants on the border of the United States.”

Members of Sandino’s family, Army Chief General Julio Aviles, and other high military and police officials laid wreaths at a monument to Sandino. Aviles said, ‘The example of General Sandino is in our hearts and on this day… we repeat our commitment to our people to continue doing all that we can for the building of the just, dignified, and prosperous country that Nicaraguans deserve.’

Other events commemorating the life and death of Sandino included films, exhibitions and assemblies and a march in Managua of 50,000 people organised by the Sandinista Youth. At the Palace of Culture an exhibition opened of paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs entitled “Sandino in Latin American Art” and containing works from Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, France, and Nicaragua.