In 1979, a revolution led by Sandinista guerrillas overthrew an entrenched dynastic regime in Nicaragua.
The Sandinistas promised land reform, universal literacy and health care, expanded rights for women and minority groups, and a government that would respond to basic needs in their impoverished country. They had been in power only a short time when the “contra” rebellion, encouraged and financed by the United States, emerged to challenge their power. During the 1980s Nicaragua became a Cold War battleground, with Washington, Havana, and Moscow jousting for power and influence. Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans died in this conflict.
Forty years later, the revolution remains unresolved.
What have been its victories? What have been its failures? What have been its unintended consequences? What are the sources of civil strife and political conflict that have led to a new crisis in Nicaragua today? In the Spring of 2019, the Watson Institute held an unprecedented conference exploring the history and legacy of this unfinished revolution. Out of that conference came this short film telling the story of the Sandinista Revolution from the people who lived it.