Tag Archives: Great Britain

Reagan the Bozo


Above is another image from the Nicaraguan Solidarity Campaign’s collection of Roger Sanchez’s cartoons, however this cartoon was drawn by British cartoonist Steve Bell. Since 1981 Bell has been the editorial cartoonist for The Guardian newspaper and is best known for his political cartoons. The above cartoon is a satirical depiction of Ronald Reagan, which Bell adequately explains.

Apart from depicting Bell’s attitudes, the image is an excellent representation of broader Western European sentiments towards Ronald Reagan. Because of his antagonistic rhetoric and actions towards the Soviet Union, many Europeans viewed Reagan as a threat to the Cold War status quo on the continent. Those opposed to Reagan’s policies saw the Nicaraguan Revolution as an opportunity to challenge U.S. hegemony. Although although many Europeans held idealistic concerns about human rights abuses in Nicaragua, it also presented a pragmatic opportunity to hamstring U.S. policy.

I’m going to make an effort to cite some relevant works so I’m not just blowing smoke with my blog posts.

Eusebio Mujal-León. “European Socialism and the Crisis in Central America.” Rift and Revolution: The Central American Imbroglio (Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1984)

Wolf Grabendorff, Heinrich-W. Krumwiede, Jorg Todt. Political Change in Central America: Internal and External Dimensions (Boulder: Westview Press, 1984).

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Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign


“Lawyer Henry Spooner and actors Alfred Molina and Maggie Steed taking part in a protest outside the US embassy in London demanding US recognition of the World Court verdict in London in 1987″

In the 1980s Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign (NSC) created a broad coalition that condemned U.S. military and economic aggression against Nicaragua. NSC became the nexus of Nicaraguan Solidarity in Great Britain, organizing protests, work brigades, and study tours. NSC also sent thousands of pounds to Nicaragua for the creation of hospitals and schools. According to their website the NSC “played a key role in counteracting the intense media campaign that in the ThatcherReagan cold war era depicted Nicaragua as a communist totalitarian dungeon with troops poised to storm the Texan border.”

Through my contacts in Newcastle I was able to reach out to NSC and I’m in the process of setting up a Skype interview with them. If time permits I may try to go to London while I’m in Europe and visit the NSC’s archives.

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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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