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Chicano movie screening of Nicaragua’s fight against U.S. imperialism

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Lincoln Heights, CA – On Sunday, November 7, the Immigration Committee of the Community Service Organization (Centro CSO) hosted a screening of Nicaragua Against Empire, a film by Ramiro Sebastián Fúnez.

The screening, at the Church of the Epiphany in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, fell on the day of the Nicaraguan presidential elections, which resulted in the victory of leftist Daniel Ortega of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) with 75.96% of the vote. The country named these elections “Elecciones Soberanas 2021” (Sovereign Elections 2021) and invited international elections observers to ensure clean and fair elections. Long lines of Nicaraguans filled the streets to cast their vote, and when it was clear that the FSLN won, people celebrated.

U.S. corporate media quickly responded to the results with false narratives about Ortega jailing his opponents before the election and suppressing peoples’ vote, calling him a dictator. The U.S. government is already preparing heightened sanctions for Nicaragua, as they have done in countries like Cuba, Venezuela and China.

At the event in LA, 25 people got a look into the reality of the country. Nicaragua Against Empire, shot on a Friends of the ATC solidarity delegation in March 2021, shows that people are very supportive of the FSLN and the life-changing benefits of the socialist government. Youth, women, and Afro-indigenous Nicaraguans are encouraged to participate in politics as part of the country’s path towards sovereignty.

During the discussion around immigration, Fúnez noted that the majority of immigration into the United States is from Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti and Mexico, because of these countries’ state violence and lack of economic opportunities caused by decades of U.S. intervention and detrimental trade agreements. There is not a lot of immigration from Nicaragua, which has been rated one of the safest countries in the hemisphere and whose government offers economic opportunities, free education and healthcare, convenient transportation, and access to land. This allows Nicaraguans to stay in their home country.

The event was also a fundraiser to raise money to send families from LA whose loved ones have been killed by LAPD or LASD to the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) conference in Chicago in December. The national conference is an opportunity to share strategy with other organizations fighting police brutality and to create plans to push for community control over the police in cities across the U.S. The fundraiser included a donation at the door, sales of plates of pupusas and aguas frescas, a raffle of succulents, and an auction of revolutionary memorabilia from Nicaragua and Venezuela, donated by CSO members who have visited these countries.

Fúnez remembered the connection that during the 70s, Nicaraguans were organizing to overthrow the Somoza dictatorship in churches at the same time that Chicanos were organizing for national liberation in Los Angeles, with the Church of the Epiphany as a historic organizing space.

Centro CSO supports the right to self-determination of other nations against U.S. imperialism and opposes the U.S.’ cruel sanctions. If you wish to join the Immigration Committee of CSO, send us a message at [email protected], text us at our hotline 323-943-2030, or contact us at our various social media platforms. @CentroCSO on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram. The next public meeting will be online via Zoom, November 18, 6:30 p.m. PST.


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