Date

5-13-2020

Description

Following the toppling of the Somoza regime in 1978, the Sandinista National Liberation Front of Nicaragua created a revolutionary government based on Marxist ideals of anti-capitalist economic reforms and the establishment of state-owned agricultural land. The Sandinistas popularized their revolutionary government through literacy and education campaigns and the improvement and expansion of healthcare throughout the country. This revolutionary government quickly faced threats of counterrevolution by Contras backed by the Reagan administration and the CIA who were vested in stamping out the rise of socialism in the Global South. Nicaragua now hosted a proxy war in which the United States could covertly take down the revolutionary government. The Nicaraguan Contra War was a bloody and violent conflict that played out on the Atlantic Coast of the country, a region inhabited by the Miskitu people, an indigenous group with African, Native, and English ancestry. The Miskitu people, who live on the Mosquito Coast and throughout parts of Central America, became players in the Contra war as both participants in the conflict and victims of the violence. This thesis approaches the Contra War as a turning point in the development of a distinct Miskitu political ideology predicated on the affirmation of their indigenous rights and original claims to their land. In addition to the establishment of autonomous regions on the coast, the indigenous group mobilized along racial and ethnic lines which also saw the rise of feminism, specifically ecofeminism, and opposition to the centralized state.

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May 13th, 12:00 AM

Indigeneity on the Atlantic Coast: Tracing the Political Mobilization of Miskitu Indians during the Nicaraguan Revolution

Following the toppling of the Somoza regime in 1978, the Sandinista National Liberation Front of Nicaragua created a revolutionary government based on Marxist ideals of anti-capitalist economic reforms and the establishment of state-owned agricultural land. The Sandinistas popularized their revolutionary government through literacy and education campaigns and the improvement and expansion of healthcare throughout the country. This revolutionary government quickly faced threats of counterrevolution by Contras backed by the Reagan administration and the CIA who were vested in stamping out the rise of socialism in the Global South. Nicaragua now hosted a proxy war in which the United States could covertly take down the revolutionary government. The Nicaraguan Contra War was a bloody and violent conflict that played out on the Atlantic Coast of the country, a region inhabited by the Miskitu people, an indigenous group with African, Native, and English ancestry. The Miskitu people, who live on the Mosquito Coast and throughout parts of Central America, became players in the Contra war as both participants in the conflict and victims of the violence. This thesis approaches the Contra War as a turning point in the development of a distinct Miskitu political ideology predicated on the affirmation of their indigenous rights and original claims to their land. In addition to the establishment of autonomous regions on the coast, the indigenous group mobilized along racial and ethnic lines which also saw the rise of feminism, specifically ecofeminism, and opposition to the centralized state.