Today on October 7 we rememberd the 40th. anniversary of the assasination of Che, still a common icon for everybody on the Nicaraguan left: from greying Sandinista commandants to Cuban solidarity workers, from autonomous feminists to Managua´s Municipal Workers´ Union…
… who made this little memorial park to mark the day. That´s Nicaragua too – a country where Che is… well, so City Hall.
Comandante Doris Tijerino, guerilla commander in 79, National Police chief in the 80´s, Sandinista politician today, expressed her happiness over seeing so many young people among the 1,000 celebrators: “You give me hope that Che won´t be turned into a poster, that he will continue to be what he was, a man of flesh and blood, a revolutionary.”
The first time we participated in this little annual Che party, held every year at the research center CIPRES, the picture was dominated by black jeans and t-shirts, Globalization activists, and the Nicaraguan Zapaitista Solidarity Committee. Last year was election year and the Front sat (heavily) on the proceedings, with Tomas Borge and an old school, hour long, rambling comandante speech, a real show stopper.
This year there was a very visible Sandinista presence, but still everything had a more personal touch: Doris was brief and to the point, so were the Cuban doctors, fresh from relief work on the Carribean coast, and an old veteran, a friend of both Che and of Carlos Fonseca (not many have been both AND survived those dangerous days to tell the tale!) was allowed to amble through one long winded memory after another, everybody too polite and respecting to ask him to get on with it.
The diversity was strong enough so that some dared provoke the Front with messages in favor of Therapeutic Abortion, recently penalized by the National Assembly, with the help of Sandinista votes under the express command of the Party leadership.
She doesn´t beat about the bush:
“We will not give our lives, Mr. Representative, know-nothing.
We will not obey your laws, Parliamentarian sirs, rapists.
Yes to therapeutic abortion, Mr. Representative, submissive sheep, inquisitor.”