"I would like to underline the importance that your visit to Nicaragua has at this moment, not only for July 19, which is a very important date for us, and not only for the Sandinistas, but for the people in general", senior member of the ruling FSLN, Doris Tijerino said.
The anti-war group, Veterans for Peace (VfP), have sent a delegation to Nicaragua from the U.S. On Sunday they held meetings with Sandinista leaders. The aim of the nine day visit is to establish a Nicaragua chapter for the veterans of the country’s civil war who wish to campaign for peace.
Veterans for Peace is an organisation of former soliders who now campaign against war. Their delegation held meetings on Sunday with a senior member of the ruling FSLN, Doris Tijerino, where they discussed the social achievements of Nicaragua’s leftist government, and the events of the attempted coup last year.
Tijerino stressed the importance of the visit ahead of Nicaragua’s ‘Liberation Day’ on July 19th, the 40th anniversary of Sandinista victory against the US-backed Somoza dictatorship.
"I would like to underline the importance that your visit to Nicaragua has at this moment, not only for July 19, which is a very important date for us, and not only for the Sandinistas, but for the people in general and in particular for people like the peasants unionized in ATC [union], the workers who also have their own union organizations and the immense majority of the people who, as you know, did not possess neither material goods nor even the possibility of imagining a better life " said Tijerino to the U.S. based peace group.
Ahead of the visit, VFP set out what they hoped to achieve during the trip, revealing plans to establish a sister peace group in the Central American country, stating on their website; “Our delegation will participate in the founding meeting of the Nicaraguan chapter of Veterans For Peace, made up of former Sandinista soldiers and former CIA-backed counter-revolutionary soldiers ("Contras"). We will spend time with renowned Vietnam veteran and peace activist Brian Willson, who lives in Nicaragua and is helping to organize the VFP chapter there.”
On what they plan to see during the trip, they said, “We will meet with grassroots community groups and agricultural workers collectives. We will spend a few days in the capital Managua. We will visit several regions, including Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast, where we will meet with Afro-Caribbean and Indigenous communities. We will meet with government officials and learn about ongoing covert U.S. intervention in Nicaragua.”
Nicaragua has come under increasing attack from the Trump administration, who has placed economic sanctions on the country. The sanctions came after social conflict arose following attempts by armed US-backed protesters to violently overthrow the elected Sandinista government in 2018. The opposition has since accepted the government's invitation for peace talks, but have refused to call for an end to the U.S. economic sanctions.
The delegation arrived in Nicaragua on the 12th of July and will stay till the 21st of July.