The Program of Economic Reactivation for the Benefit of the People, 1980 is the work of 200 people commissioned by the revolutionary Sandinista victors to create a plan for their post-victory world. The Program writers included Chileans with experience during the Allende years in Chile before the 1973 coup. It included people from all walks of Nicaraguan life, from workers to shop owners, from farmers to merchants, from intellectuals to illiterates. It analyzes the production and output of farms and factories to make the crises of employment, production, nutrition and international trade something real and understandable. It proposes solutions based on economic planning, control of prices and taxes, strong government protections for the lowest levels of society, sacrifices for the rich, and redistribution of wealth via enhancing the social services, pensions, medical care, education and literacy for the people.
The Foreword by Sandinista veteran Anuar Murrar provides readers with an inside look at the historical moment that gave rise to the revolutionary victory and the commissioning of its program of economic reactivation. The Program was translated by Nina Serrano, Paul Richards, Ph.D., Robert McBride, Ph.D., and Patricio Barruito, all active participants of the US international Nicaraguan solidarity movement of the 1980s.
When the Sandinista revolutionaries overthrew the dictator, what did they do? They brought immediate relief to the lowest economic strata through enhanced social programs, job creation, literacy programs, government sponsored health care, expanded education and control of prices. They kept their international credit in tact but they nullified their debts to Somoza's arms dealers and to the vulture capitalists who financed the dictatorship. Their program may not have had the chance to be achieved in the face of the Contra War that dominated the 1980's, but it set out the ideas and analyzed the economic realities they faced. As such, this volume deserves a place in the dialog going on today about economic inequality and the path to a better world. It is for students, teachers, economists, historians, and anyone who is wondering what are the real alternatives to the current neoliberal austerity programs strangling the globe.