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Nicaragua - A Dream of Revolution

July 9, 2024

On 19 July 1979 the Sandinistas overthrew Nicaragua's dictator Somoza. A young generation took over the government with the goal of building a new society. What has become of those dreams today?

Dokumentation | "Ein Traum von Revolution" - Nicaragua 45 Jahre nach Somozas Sturz
Image: Petra Hoffmann/HOPE MEDIEN
1980: Young people unload an open van in Nicaragua
In the 1980s, thousands of young people came to Nicaragua to rebuild the country.Image: Petra Hoffmann/HOPE MEDIEN

Following the victory of the Sandinistas in the 1980s, tens of thousands of mostly young people from all over the world traveled to Nicaragua to help rebuild the country. Some 15,000 people traveled here from West Germany alone. They wanted to support the young government and rebuild the plundered country. In small groups, or brigades, they harvested coffee and cotton, and built schools, kindergartens and health stations. The purchase of "Nica coffee” became a symbol of international solidarity with the country. 

Black and white picture of Petra Hoffmann on the back of a van
Petra Hoffmann was one of the volunteers at the timeImage: Petra Hoffmann/HOPE MEDIEN

Director Petra Hoffmann was also present during this intense period. The situation became increasingly dangerous as the "Contra” forces, supported by Somoza supporters and the US, sought to restore the old balance of power. In this civil war 50,000 Nicaraguans were killed. German brigades were also kidnapped and killed by the Contra. 

In April 2018, student protests form against the former revolutionary leader Daniel Ortega.
In April 2018, student protests form against the former revolutionary leader Daniel Ortega.Image: Petra Hoffmann/HOPE MEDIEN

In April 2018, students protested against the former revolutionary hero and current president Daniel Ortega. Over 400 people were shot dead by paramilitaries as a result. The country became a bloodbath. Ortega's international supporters were also increasingly targeted. They have been collecting money for projects in Nicaragua for 45 years. Today, they fear for their lives and are fleeing the country. Those who remain no longer dare to raise their voices against the former revolutionary hero.

This is documentary film about the eventful period following the victory of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua and the commitment of thousands of West German supporters who traveled to Nicaragua in the 1980s. What has become of their dreams, wishes and hopes 45 years later?

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SAT 20.07.2024 – 10:30 UTC
SAT 20.07.2024 – 21:30 UTC
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