From Socialist Voice, August 2008

Role of the GDR honoured by Nicaragua

The third weekend in July was the twenty-ninth anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua. On 19 July 1979 the hated dictator and US hireling Somoza was overthrown. As part of this year’s festivities, the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, honoured the leader of one of the few European countries to stand side by side with the Sandinista Revolution during the 1980s. This was the late Erich Honecker; the country, the German Democratic Republic.
     To the fury of the right-wing press in Germany, Honecker’s widow, Margot Honecker, a former Minister for Education of the GDR, travelled from Chile, where she now lives, to receive the Rubén Darío award.
     This event was not unique. In 2005, at the celebrations for the fifteenth anniversary of Namibian independence, Margot Honecker sat in the front row of honoured guests.
     The GDR was instrumental in building the Carlos Marx Hospital in Managua in the 1980s and was deeply involved in assisting the revolutionary government in Nicaragua in its literacy campaign.
     During SWAPO’s war of independence in Namibia, wounded guerillas were cared for in the GDR, as were hundreds of Namibian children.
     While the powers that be in the “West” detest the GDR and all it stood for, liberation movements in the south held and still hold a deep affection for that country and for the way in which it performed huge acts of solidarity with those fighting imperialism.
     It is no coincidence that Margot Honecker now lives in Chile. After Pinochet’s fascist coup, the GDR welcomed thousands of Chilean refugees as well as giving support to the underground movement.
     After the abolition of the GDR, Margot and Erich Honecker were welcomed to Chile, where their daughter now lives with her Chilean husband, himself a former refugee in the GDR.
     What remains a curiosity is that so many of the left in Ireland fail to see the positive role played by such countries as the GDR. Indeed, if you offer any kind of appreciation of the GDR you will be foolishly slandered as a “Stalinist”—and, ironically, in the most dogmatic fashion.

Home page  >  Publications  >  Socialist Voice  >  August 2008  >  Role of the GDR honoured by Nicaragua
Baile  >  Foilseacháin  >  Socialist Voice  >  Lúnasa 2008  >  Role of the GDR honoured by Nicaragua