Tomas Borge Martinez, one of the founders of Nicaragua’s Sandinista National Liberation Front (Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, or FSLN) and former Nicaraguan Interior Minister, died on Monday.
The FSLN was formed in July 1961, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, by Carlos Fonseca, Silvio Mayorga, Noel Guerrero (who left the FSLN and the revolutionary movement) and Tomas Borge. The event is described in Borge’s tribute to Carlos Fonseca (who was killed in 1976, three years before the Sandinistas won the revolutionary war), a book titled Carlos, the dawn is no longer beyond our reach.
The Associated Press obituary is at:
and the New York Times obituary is at:
From the period of anti-Somoza struggle and through the 11 years of the first FSLN government and later, Borge was considered to be on the left of the FSLN.
Two extracts from Borge’s writing.
On being told of the killing of Carlos Fonseca (Borge was then a prisoner in Somoza’s most notorious jail):
“The Commander at the Tipitapa prison came to my small cell, jubilant…He gave me the news: ‘Carlos Fonseca is dead.’ After a few moments of silence, I answered: ‘You’re wrong, colonel. Carlos is one of the dead who never die.’ The colonel said, ‘You guys are something else.’”
And from Tomas Borge’s poem, “Che,” published in his collection Have You Seen a Red Curtain in My Weary Chamber?:
If yet again we divide history
it must be from that October day
when some learned to tremble
seeing that the fire of the gods
burns in the hearts of men.
We learned, Commandante, that no one
can console us, for those who might
do so must themselves be consoled,
and after all is said and done, what we require
is something else –
How to kill death
how to resurrect life
how, in hell, to visualise utopia.