Nicaragua in Economic Perspective

Against the Current No 7, January-February 1987

IN SPITE OF all the U.S. efforts to destroy the Nicaraguan economy, Nicaragua-while suffering a war and having to devote half of its budget to defense-has had a certain success in keeping its economy going. This is due above all to the economic solidarity Nicaragua has received from abroad and to the capacity of its people to keep repairing the economy and adjusting it to the exigencies of the war.

It must be recalled that in England during the Second World War cigarettes and toilet paper were not to be found, and milk was rationed until 1955. In the U.S. at that time baking soda was used instead of toothpaste, which was in short supply, as were many basic food products such as sugar.

When the international press began to proclaim a year ago that Nicaragua was suffering under an inflation rate of 250% due to “Sandinista incompetence,” there was no mention of the fact that the inflation rate in Argentina was about 1,500%, in Brazil 400%, in Peru 600%, and in Bolivia 14,000%. And Nicaragua was the only one of these countries laboring not only under the international recession but suffering a war as well. Recently, the austerity measures imposed in Bolivia have provoked strikes, a state of siege, and once again a deep political instability.

In this context the struggle to create an economy of the people’s survival can be understood not as a desperate act on the part of the government but rather as part of the Nicaraguan counteroffensive against the U.S. “low-intensity warfare” strategy.

January-February 1987, ATC 7

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