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From base organization to mass mobilization in Nicaragua: the case of Esteli

Hernandez, Myrna (1982) From base organization to mass mobilization in Nicaragua: the case of Esteli. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is an empirical analysis of the factors which led to the emergence of the liberation movements of Nicaragua which resulted in the fall of the dictatorship of the Somozas, in July 1979. The Somoza family's reign of more than 45 years in power, contributed to a deepening of the economic and political contradictions which existed between and among the various social sectors of the country. The thesis provides a background chapter which explores these contradictions and shows how Nicaragua became dependent on the international market. The internal political conflicts between the so-called Nicaraguan liberals and conservatives and the precarious conditions of the labouring population are outlined to provide the setting against which the nationalist struggle of Augusto C. Sandino arose in the 1920's. This early struggle was to inspire and contribute to the ideological platform of organizations like the FSLN which led the recent anti-dictatorial struggle. The thesis shows how the liberation movement encompassed the participation of groups from diverse social sectors. It examines how the shaping and consolidating of the movement necessitated a whole process of mass mobilization and of decision making from the political and military forces involved. The attitudes taken by the various groups towards the dictatorship and what should be done about it and in what ways change could be achieved and what direction it should take, reflected the class position of the various groups. The thesis shows how, in the process of incorporating the masses into the liberation struggle, certain groups came to play an outstanding role. During the task of raising consciousness in the population various groups involved in the task, such as the progressive sectors of the Church, women's organizations, workers' organizations, students, peasant groups, and various others came together in a common cause. In order to examine this process of convergence and to highlight the factors which precipitated the liberation movement and the eventual national uprising, case material from the city of Esteli, collected during fieldwork, is presented. The struggle brought the interchange of experiences and of relationships among individuals from various social and economic strata. Attention is drawn to the way in which people's perspectives changed during the pre-war and war conditions and how they adapted to the needs of an altering situation. The thesis also attempts to show how, after the liberation, social reconstruction took place and how popular participation was required to fulfill the short and longer term goals of the new government and the FSLN. The significance of mass organisations for this process of change is highlighted. Popular participation is outlined against the background of political and economic obstacles faced by the country, and against the contradictions arising from the new political and economic forces and alliances. I show how the organizations created during the guerrilla struggle are developing and becoming the pillars for production, and mass mobilization and participation in a new democratic process.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1982
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 15:46

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