Monday, June 8, 2009

Leon, Nicaragua: Viva la revolucion!

This past weekend we traveled to Leon. I have many pictures of churches and things of that nature, which I will include in my next post. But my favorite thing about Leon was the murals and artwork around the city memorializing Nicaragua's revolution. It was fascinating. Leon is known as the liberal counterpart to the more conservative Granada, and it was evident walking through the streets there. See below:

The graffiti says, "Bush genocide. Enemy of humanity. Death to the imperial invader."

If you do not know anything about Nicaragua's history, in 1979 the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) overthrew the Nicaraguan leader Somoza, who was known for his intolerance of any kind of opposition. By the end of his rule, human rights groups were condemning his dictatorship. The Somoza family had held power in Nicaragua since 1936. The FSLN was established in 1961, although the civil war only lasted from 78-79. With victory achieved, the Sandinistas established a revolutionary government and were gaining support worldwide. They were able to implement reforms in literacy, health care, and land ownership, although they faced intense opposition from the United States throughout the 1980s (more on that later), and lost power in 1990. However, the Sandinista socialist political party rules the country today with President Daniel Ortega, who was a leader at the time of the revolution. The Sandinistas are named after Augusto Cesar Sandino who led the the resistance movement against United States occupation of Nicaragua in the 1930s. Interestingly, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the hemisphere today.

Enjoy the artwork.

The following four pictures are part of a large mural showing the history of the revolution, and the mural ends with two children running in a field of grass, seemingly meaning happiness was achieved:

The following mural is commemorating the date of a student protest where 4 students were killed by the military:
"Sandino lives":

"For liberty we have struggled":
The large snake eating things and getting involved with the big hands is the CIA:

"No more Somozas" (the ruling dynasty/dictatorship):
"Stop the repression":


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  7. Brook I was amazed at the content of this posting since I had taken several photos of the mural at the monument in Léon back in 2008. I have been trying to get more information on it until i found your blog. I finally posted my photos today.

    Thank you;