The C.I.A. Advises Nicaraguans How to Sabotage the Sandinista Government
The C.I.A. airdropped thousands of these 15-page illustrated manuals telling "Nicaraguans who love their country and cherish freedom" how they could sabotage the Sandinista-led government. The leftist Sandinistas had overthrown a military dictatorship in 1979; the U.S. supported rightwing Contras in their efforts to remove the Sandinistas from power. A Contra fighter in Honduras, where the C.I.A. based its anti-Sandinista efforts, gave a copy of the manual to a reporter in 1984.
Digital National Security Archive (DNSA): Nicaragua: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1978–1990
The Nicaraguan interviews were conducted in 2011. Most of the interviewees were born in the 1950s and 1960s and became active in the movement for women’s rights through involvement during the Sandinista Revolution. Many went on to expand their notions of feminist activism, sometimes in response to post-revolution corruption and widespread disregard for women’s rights. The interviews cover a wide range of topics, including gender-based violence, rural rights, sexual rights, women’s right to own property, and the future of democracy.
Lucia Aguirre, “Nicaragua : Women in Agricultural Cooperatives,” In : Femmes et Politiques Alimentaires (Paris: Orstom, 1985), pgs. 360-370.
Julie Cupples, “Between Maternalism and Feminism: Women in Nicaragua's Counter-Revolutionary Forces,” Bulletin of Latin American Research 25:1 (2006), pgs. 83–103.
Martín Meráz García, Martha L. Cottam, Bruno M. Baltodano, The Role of Female Combatants in the Nicaraguan Revolution and Counter Revolutionary War (London: Routledge 2019).
Silke Heumann, “The Challenge of Inclusive Identities and Solidarities: Discourses on Gender and Sexuality in the Nicaraguan Women's Movement and the Legacy of Sandinismo,” Bulletin of Latin American Research 33:3 (2014), pgs. 334–349.
Karen Kampwirth, Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2004).
Jennifer Bickham Mendez, “Organizing a Space of their Own? Global/Local Processes in a Nicaraguan Women's Organization,” Journal of Developing Societies 18:2/3 (June 2002), pgs. 196–227.
Rosario Montoya, Gendered Scenarios of Revolution: Making New Men and New Women in Nicaragua, 1975-2000 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2012).