Monday, June 23, 2008

Toni Solo on MRS anti-FSLN camapaign

Toni Solo, a writer for, has written a very hard critique of the role of the MRS and the ten international personalities who signed a statement of solidarity with MRS spokeswoman Dora María Téllez. It appears in the webzine DISSIDENT VOICE – a radical newsletter in the struggle for peace and social justice – at

Below is an English-language version of the statement along with the names of the signatories. The statement appeared in the June 16, 2008 El Nuevo Diario (Managua) under the title Dora María merece ser escuchada [Dora María merits being heard].

Solo's article and the statement from the ten intellectuals and personalities is best read alongside my article on the MRS-led campaign to topple Nicaragua's FSLN government that appears immediately below this item on this website.

I do not share the harshness and substance of his critique of the signers of the statement – he argues that they most likely are fully aware of the anti-Sandinista and pro-imperialist campaign being orchestrated by the MRS-Montealegre axis in Nicaragua, with the backing of the oligarchy’s mouthpiece, La Prensa. I think they are victims of a long process of disinformation about the FSLN and what is at stake in Nicaragua today.

Solo noted in another article that the MRS has been more successful in their international outreach and propaganda than the FSLN. I think this is true among jet-set intellectuals, in NGO circles (many of whose leaders and full-timers are part of a new middle class in the third world), and in the leadership of a number of “social movements,” particularly the women’s movement. The latter case is definitely shaped by the outrageous Nicaraguan law against abortion rights for women, a law that the FSLN supported and the MRS opposed.

An example of intellectual being hoodwinked is the ongoing international campaign against Cuba over the arrest and imprisonment of so called “dissidents” --- individuals who acted consciously in the service of the US Embassy and were well paid for their work. Many “intellectuals” who signed statements denouncing the Cuban government have come to regret their erroneous conclusions and actions in lending their support to the US-led disinformation campaign around those events.

I believe this will be the case with current events in Nicaragua. But the mountain of dead dogs heaped on the FSLN government by international and national disinformation campaigns is so high that it will take time to get to the bottom of many of the issues underlying the class struggle in Nicaragua, and its international ramifications.

Despite my disagreement with Solo on this question, I recommend the article for the valuable information it contains, particularly on aspects of the history of the MRS.

Felipe Stuart C.


English version:

Dora María merits being heard

The signatories of this pronouncement have, one way or another, shared Nicaragua’s history. During the Sandinista struggle against the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza and afterwards during the years in which Nicaragua suffered the aggression produced by the interventionist policy of the Reagan Administration, we accompanied revolutionary Nicaragua with our positions and our actions. Many of us formed part of a broad solidarity movement.

From that time on we have gotten to know and admire the valour and commitment of Dora María Tellez. Her integrity, prestige, dedication and the risk caused to her life by staying on hunger strike for 13 days prompts us to make a pronouncement asking the Nicaraguan government to meditate well on the consequences of not paying attention to the demands she represents.

What led Dora María to once more put her life and health on the line is a clear demand : that political spaces not be closed and that a national dialogue take place to resolve the food crisis and the high cost of living which, like many countries, Nicaragua faces.

None of these demands is irrational and a government that wants popular support ought to respond to them.

We want to support this demand and this protest. Political representation is a right. It is a right to protest against mechanisms that shut down this space. Dora María is exercising her right. She represents a broad sector of Nicaraguan society that ought to be listened to. We ask for her right, for that of her comrades and that of all Nicaraguans.

 Noam Chomsky
 Susan Meiselas
 Ariel Dorfman
 Salman Rushdie
 Eduardo Galeano
 Hermann Schulz
 Juan Geiman
 Brian Willson
 Tom Hayden
 Bianca Jagger
 Mario Benedetti

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