Prior to 1979, Nicaragua, in Central America, was ruled by a dictatorship. In 1979 a social revolutionary movement triumphed in Nicaragua, the Sandinista Revolution, liberating its people from the iron-fist dictatorship, which was replaced by the transitional government, leading to the first free elections in the history of the country in 1984; it was the birth of democracy in Nicaragua.

During the succeeding 40 years, there have been significant improvements to many aspects of the country’s economic and social conditions. For the 40th anniversary of the revolution, a celebration was held at Boisdale of Belgravia in London. The event was an opportunity to recognise the progress and achievements of Nicaraguans since the triumph of the revolution. The event took place on the 19th of July, known as the Day of Happiness and Liberation in Nicaragua. A date recognised as a national holiday and celebrated with a wide variety of different celebrations across the country.

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Ambassador Guisell Morales hosts the celebration

The 40th-anniversary celebration in London was hosted by H.E. Guisell Morales-Echaverry, the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the United Kingdom. After warmly welcoming representatives of the Her Majesty’s government, members of Parliament, colleague Ambassadors led by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador of Kuwait, friends of Nicaragua and distinguished guests, she started her address by asking the audience to take a few moments to envision and remember how Nicaraguans were celebrating the day back home. Traditionally, citizens gather in La Plaza de la Revolución in Managua, to remember the liberation and to celebrate the subsequent years of peace and freedom. The revolution was successful in overthrowing more than 50 years of dictatorship of the Somoza family. Ambassador Morales indicated that the cause for celebration was only about the freedom of Nicaragua, but also all the contributions the revolution made towards peace, social progress and development of democracy across the whole of Latin America.

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Nicaragua has achieved much in many key areas

Ambassador Morales pointed out that in the years since the revolution and the election of the Sandinista government in 2006, the Nicaraguan people and its government, supported by solidarity from the people from the UK and other parts of the world, have worked tirelessly together to achieve a great number of significant improvements in how the country operates and in the wellbeing its citizens enjoy. A key success has been the maintenance of a democratic system of government for four decades. Given Nicaragua’s turbulent past, this is a feat truly worthy of celebration!

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Tackling illiteracy to create educated people

A major achievement for the Nicaraguan government has been the almost total eradication of illiteracy in the country. In 1979, the majority of the population were unable to read and write. The implementation of a National Illiteracy Campaign in the back of the triumph of the Revolution, followed by the implementation of a free education system at all levels, alongside several other initiatives, has seen literacy levels rise dramatically. Today, the vast majority of Nicaraguans are able to read and write to a good standard. This not only has a positive knock-on effect on the Nicaraguan economy, but it also enhances the quality of life and prospects of its citizens.

Achieving gender equality and more

Nicaragua has worked proactively towards gender equality, and today, they are ranked fifth in the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index and are forecasted to be the first nation in the world to fully close the gap – an exceptional achievement. In addition, numerous initiatives have been successfully developed to reduce poverty, decrease inequality, improve health and education, fight climate change by leading in the production of renewable energy, and above all, maintaining peace and high levels of safety and security – Nicaragua is the safest country in Central America, with the lowest homicide rate and violence, according to the UN agencies and the Commission of Police Chiefs and Directors of Central America, Mexico , the Caribbean and Colombia.

Although there is still a considerable amount of work still to be done, the progress already made has seen Nicaragua blossom into a country with a bright future and in a great position to thrive in the competitive global economy.