Socialism in ActionAs a journalist, I sailed with the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Padre out of Key West to pick up desperate Cuban refugees afloat on rafts and logs trying to escape communism… was present when communists in Latin Americans massacred Miskito Indians… parachuted onto the Korean DMZ on a security mission… lived in Panamanian squatter settlements… worked with El Salvadoran military chasing communist rebels… traveled El Camino de Los Muertos (“The Road of The Dead”) between Honduras and Nicaragua at the same time that communist Sandinistas were killing Honduran troops… returned to Vietnam where villagers told me how frightened they were of communist authorities…

I therefore know about socialism and communism. It distresses me to watch the United States following Marx down that same road of socialism and totalitarianism that I have witnessed for years around the globe.

It is in the name of the “common man” and the offer of “free stuff” that socialism characteristically consumes a society. Nicaragua in Central America in the 1980s is a prime example of communism in action. It is an even better example of how many of the U.S. political establishment, who, finally, openly call themselves “Democratic Socialists “ and are pandering to Marxists as they campaign to become President of the United States.

In Nicaragua the Ortega brothers transplanted Josef Stalin’s Five-Year Plan to “fundamentally transform” the nation along Marxist lines by nationalizing all means of production, redistributing wealth, and activating land “reforms.” At least 400,000 Nicaraguans out of a population of about three million fled to escape communism and its inevitable poverty and tyranny. Most of them were the proletariat that Marxism purportedly champions.

A couple of thousand Nicaraguan refugees huddled in a UN warren of hovels near Jacaleapa, Honduras, where they suffered from rampant malnutrition, neglect and a variety of diseases that left sores and scabs on their bodies. Pigs lived under better conditions. Stench form the camp was detectable more than a mile downwind. Armed UN guards kept people from escaping.

“We’re not communists,” the mother of two young daughters and a son told me, “so the United Nations doesn’t care about us. They hide us out here so the world won’t know.”

Under Nicaragua’s communist rulers, as in present day Venezuela, supermarket shelves were bare. Ragged half-naked children with gaunt cheeks and distended bellies prowled the streets fighting over scraps. “Block captains” kept order in a system of “people control” modeled after Cuba’s. Thousands vanished into Managua’s infamous El Chipote Prison.

American politicians, Hollywood celebrities, so-called intellectuals, and assorted other socialists scurried to Nicaragua to assist the “new Democracy.” What was happening there couldn’t have been clearer from the beginning. It wasn’t as though these socialist pilgrims had gotten drunk at a Managua cantina, picked up a lovely senorita, and awakened the next morning to find themselves in bed with a slut. They should have known she was a slut from the time they entered the bar.


Charles W. Sasser is author of Crushing the Collective, a historic look at the decline of liberty and Western Civilization.