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Cartoonist wages “guerrilla war” in Nicaragua

Time magazine is featuring two Nicaraguan editorial cartoonist Pedro X. Molina and Manuel Guillen and Manuel Guillen and their struggles with a Sandanista government that is intensifying its crackdown on the independent press. After receiving death threats and text messages threatening to crucify his daughter, Manuel moved his family to Miami where he was approached by other Nicaraguan’s who want to undermine the Sandanista government using Manuel’s cartoons as a means of “winning back the streets.”

In Miami, the cartoonist was approached by several businessmen in the Nicaraguan expat community that fled the Sandinistas in the 1980s, and are now keen to undermine the Ortega administration voted into power in 2006. Their proposal: a mass-distribution anti-Sandinista comic book.

The first edition is scheduled to hit the streets of Nicaragua in July, and Guillen says its mass appeal is aimed at helping his unidentified backers to “win the streets” from the Sandinistas. “Comics are a very powerful instrument of cultural penetration,” Guillen said. “This is going to be very subversive. This is a guerrilla war.”

Guillen acknowledges that his new venture, which will be distributed for free on buses and in markets, will up the ante. But as someone who grew up believing in the original ideals of the Sandinista revolution, Guillen hopes it will help people to demand change. “Comic books in the United States are for distracting people,” Guillen said. “I am trying to get people to focus.”

Community Comments

#1 Dawn Douglass
June/12/2008
@ 10:13 am

Alright!! Love it. More power to them.

#2 Garey Mckee
June/12/2008
@ 5:23 pm

Wouldn’t cartoonists wage “gorilla warfare?”

#3 JeffM
June/13/2008
@ 9:48 pm

I was in the Army doing PSYOPS (doing a lot of cartooning) back in the mid 80’s down in Central America and saw first hand the atrocities of Daniel Ortega’s Sandinistas that were so beloved to Americas left-wing.

Very sad to see them gaining power again. Good luck to Guilen. I’ve been there and done that and we were successdful in ending the first reign of terror brought about by Ortega’s communist. Hope he is successful again, but it won’t be easy.

#4 Marek Bennett
June/17/2008
@ 6:36 pm

There are many sides to every story. I’ve explored Northern Nicaragua, uncovering countless firsthand accounts of the terrorist acts committed in the 1980s by the CONTRAS (with the illegal support of the United States). In many areas, Sandinista programs and defense made the difference between life and death, poverty and productivity.

Such history, doesn’t it make you a bit nervous when “unidentified” businessmen in Miami use their money to try to weaken a democratically elected government in a sovereign nation?

#5 JeffM
June/22/2008
@ 8:00 pm

Funny, whenever someone fights against Communist, they are called “terrorist”. Illegal support of the United States?? What hasn’t been illegal in the past 100 years?? How much did Clinton give to the Serbs? To each their own. It’s all about what side of the isle you sit.

Sorry, I lived and breathed it. The Sandinistas were monsters. The Contras were doing what they could to stop the atrocities. Good luck to those cartoonist.

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