English Food Cooperatives and Nicaraguan Solidarity

Today as I was reading David Feathersone’s Solidarity: Hidden Histories and Geographies of Internationalism I came across a reference to two cookbooks detailing the relationship between a food cooperative in Newcastle, England and the Nicaraguan RevolutionFood Out of Chile: Recipes and Stories from Maria Figueroa  and Cordon Rouge: Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes from the Red Herring detail the history and cuisine of the Red Herring Worker’s Cooperative which ran “a cafe and shop in Newcastle upon Tyne that sold wonderful vegan and Vegetarian food.”  The cooperative was also a nexus for political action, due in part to Maria and Victor FIgueroa.  In 1976 the Figueroas fled to Newcastle after the U.S. backed coup in Chile, which ousted democratically elected president Salvador Allende and installed authoritarian general Augusto Pinochet. In Newcastle, Maria and Victor joined the Red Herring cooperative and became active members of the Central American Solidarity movement. They spoke out in solidarity with and advocated for the revolution, handing out leaflets and participating in demonstrations at the nearby university. In the end, the example of Chilean exiles living in northern England, working at a food cooperative, and demonstrating in solidarity with the people of Nicaragua is an excellent example of the revolution’s truly international character

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