1.  

  2. I object to neoliberal fucks like Pinochet being called fascist

    because if you look at actual politics and economics, classical Italian fascism looks a lot more like the right-wing of Peronismo—whose economic outlook was a capitalism based largely on the import-substitution-industrialization model + the giving of the middle finger to the comprador bourgeoisie—than it does to the Let’s-Just-Give-All-Our-Shit-To-The-Imperialists jubilee that was Chile’s military dictatorship. Fascism is a hypernationalist political and economic model, how can one be nationalist whilst handing over one’s national resources to foreign corporations?

    Military dictatorship = fascism in the eyes of liberals only.

    The problem is that many Western leftists have a very Eurocentric view of fascism, wherein we view it as a necessarily xenophobic and expansionist model because that’s the form it took in European countries which already had legacies of xenophobia and expansionism. As a result, we don’t look at its economic origins and how that outlook would be applied to Latin America; rather, fascism just becomes a keyword for “authoritarian,” “right-wing,” etc. and can describe figures as diverse as Dominican general Omar Torrijos, who helped the Sandinistas come to power in Nicaragua, and Rafael Videla, who was busy hunting down the Argentine leftists that helped kill the then-former Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza.

    Unlike in Europe, fascism in Latin America has often had an anti-imperialist character and has aimed for the reclamation of national sovereignty, whereas the Europeans wanted to regain national power, often by colonizing the third world and occupying nearby countries. Latin American fascism largely aimed simply for the reorientation of national economies inward and—like Italy—the forced cooperation of necessarily-antagonistic social classes for the sake of national unity.*

    This explains why, in Argentina, the oligarchy and comprador bourgeoisie hated Juan Peron. The oligarchs were usually owners of large latifundios, who retarded progress and national development by sitting on untilled lands or by effectively-enslaving wretchedly poor peasants to produce agricultural goods for export. They feared agrarian reform and land redistribution, which would severely weaken their traditional power. The comprador bourgeoisie, which orients itself outward, produced goods and extracted resources on behalf of, or in conjunction with, multinational corporations. Because Peron sought to restructure (read: not smash) the capitalist economy for the fulfillment of domestic needs, the compradors—who are principally allied to imperialism—feared government expropriations of natural resources that they were accustomed to extracting on behalf of foreign interests.

    So yeah, moral of the story is that Latin American fascism has to be looked at in its own context, rather than assuming a European context and missing the point entirely.

    *The logic behind the way real fascists crush proletarian revolutionary struggle is very different from how/why neoliberal military dictators do, and using “fascism” to describe every authoritarian that you don’t like blurs this distinction.

    It’s also worth pointing out that Nazism, which created a central role for xenophobia and which had an economic philosophy far less state-centric than Italian fascism, responded to very different contradictions and found its support among a different socioeconomic strata. Whereas in Europe Nazism and fascism are seen as complementary, I would argue that the distinctions in Latin America are far more pronounced.

     
  3. 1978: Masaya, Nicaragua, durante la insurrección popular sandinista. El barrio de Monimbó, conocido como uno de los pocos vecindarios indigenas en el oeste del pais, sufrió la represión más feroz de la dictadura somocista durante aquella insurrección.

    Izquierda: Fuera la GN (Guardia Nacional) de MonimbóJRN (Juventud Revolucionaria Nicaragüense)

    Derecha: El pueblo se estan muriendo po’ culpa de Somoza

     

  4. Rosario Murillo, ahora la portavoz principal del gobierno de su esposo, el presidente nicaragüense Daniel Ortega, anuncia la derrota del titere imperialista Anastasio Somoza Debayle y la victoria de la revolución sandinista. 17 julio, 1979. 24 segundos de duración.

    Rosario Murillo, now the lead spokesperson for the government of her husband, Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, announces the defeat of the imperialist puppet Anastasio Somoza Debayle and the victory of the Sandinista revolution. July 17th, 1979. 24 seconds long.

    "Hermanos nicaragüenses: el somocismo se fue. Somoza está por irse en cualquier momento. La Guardia [Nacional], institución más tenebrosa de este gobierno genocida, está completamente derrotada. El triunfo es del glorioso pueblo nicaragüense! El triunfo es del Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional!"

    TRANSLATION:

    "Nicaraguan brothers and sisters: ‘Somocismo’ is gone. Somoza is about to leave at any moment. The [National] Guard, the most sinister force of this genocidal government, has been completely destroyed. The triumph belongs to the glorious Nicaraguan people! The triumph belongs to the Sandinista National Liberation Front!"

     
  5. Sandinista National Liberation Front supporters tear down a statue of Anastasio Somoza García, de facto head of state in Nicaragua from 1936-1956 and father of then-recently ousted president Anastasio Somoza Debayle, in Managua, July 1979. Somoza García was assassinated by a poet named Rigoberto López Pérez in 1956 with the intention of provoking a regime change in the country, but Somoza was succeeded by his son Luis until his own death in 1967. Luis was succeeded by his younger brother Anastasio “Tachito,” and the Somoza dynasty survived under his reign until the triumph of the Nicaraguan revolution in 1979.

    Simpatizantes del Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional derriban a una estátua de Anastasio Somoza García, jefe del estado nicaragüense entre 1936-1956 y padre del entonces-recién derrocado presidente Anastasio Somoza Debayle, en Managua, julio 1979. Somoza García fue asesinado por un poeta llamado Rigoberto Pérez López en 1956 con la intención de provocar un cambio de régimen en el país, pero Somoza fue sucedido por su hijo Luis quien gobernó hasta su propio muerte en 1967. Luis fue sucedido por su hermano menor Anastasio “Tachito,” y la dinastia somocista sobrevivió bajo su mando hasta el triunfo de la revolución nicaragüense en 1979.

    Gracias a Lorenso Arriaza.

     
  6. Here are Nicaragua’s famed Mejia Godoy brothers, Carlos and Luis Enrique, performing the light-hearted song Panchito Escombros in Managua’s Ruben Dario National Theater. Originally featured on Carlos’ 1973 album Cantos al Flor de Pueblo, it is a story told from the point of view of a fictional, cross-eyed, Nicaraguan man named Francisco Cajina, working in the ‘reconstruction’ of downtown Managua after the devastating 1972 earthquake. President Anastasio Somoza Debayle notoriously stole a significant amount of the foreign aid that came into the country in its aftermath, and also used the opportunity to expand his financial empire into construction, giving his new companies exclusive contracts for rebuilding.

    The final lines of the chorus, "Mi nombre es Pancho Cajina pero tengo un mal apodo: por trabajar en las ruinas, me dicen Panchito Escombros" mean "My name is Pancho Cajina but I have a bad nickname: because I work among the ruins, they call me Little Frank Rubble." Throughout the song, it makes light of the different people he works with who all have equally funny nicknames: “Donkey Face”, “Lion Body”, “Dog Face”, and “Measles”. Giving people humorously cruel nicknames is common throughout Latin America and is generally taken in stride as a term of endearment.

    Anyway this is a really great song, definitely check it out. Carlos’ voice has lost a lot of its potency, but his compositions are still masterful and his lyrics sharp. Enjoy!

    LYRICS:

    Me llamo Francisco y soy medio bizco, me hizo Dios así
    A mi me hacen ruedas en las polvaredas del reparto Schick
    Quede sin trabajo y “agora” carajo! todo se acabó
    Y hace quince días que entre en las cuadrillas de demolición
    Y me encontré en la brigada con el Pofi “Cuerpo de León”
    Con Porfirio “Cara de Mula” y Venancio “Sarampión

    Coro:
    Mi nombre es Pancho Cajina, Managua terremoteado
    Y aunque tengo mala espina, yo no soy mal bozaleado
    Mi nombre es Pancho Cajina, pero tengo un mal apodo
    Por trabajar en las ruinas, me dicen Panchito Escombros

    Tuve un ‘rifi-rafa’ con un tipo chafa que es de aquí no mas
    Por su “cara de perro” fue que lo escogieron como capataz
    El mentado clinche fue por un bochinche que inventó el jayán
    Porque en los escombros con tremendo asombro divise un collar
    Un collar de fantasía que le quiero regalar
    A la Pilucha Bonilla, mi mujer del oriental

    Coro

    En el alboroto de este terremoto todo lo perdí
    Perdí mi casita que era tan bonita de la Tenderí
    Me puse contento cuando supe el cuento que iban a venir
    muchas toneladas de carne enlatada para mi país
    ‘Pero siempre a la sardina se la come el tiburón’
    ‘El que tiene más galillo siempre traga más pinol’

    Coro