Beginnings of Revolution

San Albino Mines, 1926

Augusto Caesar Sandino has just returned from Mexico where he worked at the Huasteca Petroleum Company. He brings his life savings of five thousand dollars, which he is ready to give over to the revolutionary struggle that is in its beginning stages.

Meeting with miners from San Albino, he hears and sees the wretchedness of their lives. The United States owns the mines. The workers tell him how they are barely paid in coupons, which are of no value except at the company store. They work fifteen hours a day and then return to their huts where they have to sleep on the floor because they have no beds. The mines are under constant guard so there cannot be resistance.

These miners will become the first soldiers in Sandino’s struggle for liberation.

-Gregorio Selser, Sandino

Moncada’s Camp, 1927: First Manifesto

Moncada has made his deals with the U.S. government and is ready to surrender. He calls his generals together to tell them how to give up their arms. Everybody is there—except Sandino. Moncada rushed the meeting so that when Sandino arrived he’d be too late.

Moncada: As my subordinate, you must accept the decision to disarm.

Sandino: I protest that this meeting was called so that I could not be present.

Moncada: And who made you a general?

Sandino: My comrades in armsseñor. I owe my rank neither to traitors not invaders.

Sandino consults his troops. Twenty-seven refuse to surrender. Sandino issues a manifest:

Seeing that the United States of North America, lacking any right except that with which brute force endows it, would deprive us of our country and our liberty, I have accepted its unjust challenge, leaving to History the responsibility for my actions. To remain inactive or indifferent, like most of my fellow citizens, would be to subject myself to this vulgar multitude of parricide merchants.

-Gregorio Selser, Sandino, 76-77

© 2023 Charter for Compassion. All rights reserved.