Showers off Lake Xolotlan sprinkled the huge crowds massed on July 19 for the 36th anniversary of the triumph of Nicaragua's popular revolution over the murderous tyranny of the Anastasio Somoza dictatorship in 1979. The revolution was led by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).
The brief spell of rain did little to dampen people's enthusiasm for the event, which lasted over two hours, most of which was taken up with revolutionary music and song. The speeches by Cuban Vice-President Miguel Diaz Canel, Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Arreaza and Nicaragua's FSLN President Daniel Ortega lasted barely 45 minutes.
The crowd numbered well over 200,000 people, occupying all of Nicaragua's Plaza de la Fe and most of the roads and avenues leading to it. They travelled from all over Nicaragua in several hundred buses and trucks, carefully organised by remarkably low-key police and security services.
On a much smaller scale, but in its own way equally impressive, is the annual mobilisation of international movements from all over the world in solidarity with the Sandinista Revolution.
The event was a joyful national and international celebration, an emotional revolutionary music concert and an inspiring political rally. This year the main speakers were accompanied by the Cuban Five – the five Cubans jailed in the US for infiltrating and reporting on the actions of anti-Cuba terrorist groups.
It is easy to forget what a forceful and global symbol of resistance and grassroots creativity the Nicaraguan revolution has been. The FSLN's hymn declares the Nicaraguan people's ownership of their history as the architects of their freedom.
That in itself explains a great deal of the power drawing such great, diverse masses of people from Nicaragua, the region and the world to the annual celebrations of the revolutionary victory accomplished on July 19, 1979.
The presence of Cuban and Venezuelan leaders every July 19 in Managua confirms the links between past struggles and the contemporary resistance against the imperialist assault by the United States and its allies on progressive and revolutionary governments in Latin America.
[Abridged from TeleSUR English. Tortilla Con Sal is an anti-imperialist collective based in Nicaragua producing information in various media on national, regional and international affairs.]