Brood en Rozen: Tijdschrift voor de Geschiedenis van Sociale Bewegingen vol:14 issue:4 pages:28-49
In the mid-seventies Nicaragua was one of the many third world countries suffering from massive problems caused by poverty,exploitation and abuse of power. Nobody noticed Nicaragua, as nobody noticed the other Central American countries, banana republics, in the backyard of the United States. Mentioning Nicaragua to most Belgians evoked pleasant associations with exotic dishes or sultry dances, at the very most. At the end of the seventies, however,
the fall of the Somoza dictatorship and the assumption of power by the Sandinist Front(1979), made front-page news. Nicaragua became a hot issue in international politics and a symbol of hope for many third world activists. Solidarity movements emerged worldwide. In Belgium the driving force in the movement were the Nicaragua committees.
Political solidarity was mainly shaped by them,as they were part of a transnational Sandinist network. Few of these committees still exist today. But for the first time, after thirty years,a historical investigation has been conducted into the way they came into being and how they operated and developed. We examined the records extensively, we carried out many interviews and we offer explanations up to 1990, when the Sandinist administration came to an end after having lost the elections. Furthermore, we try to assess how important these committees were and what positions they took towards the third world movements at that time.