Latin America, United Kingdom

The grandson of Augusto Cesar Sandino in London

Walter Castillo Sandino, grandson of major political activist Augusto Cesar Sandino, will be visiting the United Kingdom from 30 November 2010 to 6 December 2010. Along with participating in Latin America 2010, the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign has invited Walter Castillo to present a talk on the life and legacy of his grandparents on Thursday, 2 December 2010 at the Development House in London.

Augusto Cesar Sandino (1895-1934) is considered a major hero in fighting for social and economic justice in Latin America. From 1912 to 1933,  he led a rebellion against the United States occupation of Nicaragua with a small army of peasant farmers and workers. Considering his success in opposing the US invasion, the battles led by Sandino are one of the most remembered of the Banana Wars. His action during this time was monumental and stands as a major symbol of Latin American resistance to US domination.

Consequently, Sandino was assassinated in 1934 by the orders of Anastasio Somoza Garcia, who later became president. Fortunately though, Sandino was also a fruitful writer and left behind a large threshold for motivation, as his influence is compared to that of Simon Bolivar and other leaders of Latin American independence.

Sandino’s political action has provided inspiration for many Latin American liberation movements, including the  Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).

Sandino’s grandson, Walter Castillo Sandino, has led a legacy of his own. In 1961, Walter Sandino and his family left Nicaragua to escape persecution from the Somoza Dynasty and lived in exile in Chile for 18 years. Then, in 1979, Walter Sandino was trained in guerilla warfare in order to go back to Nicaragua and stand against the Somoza dictatorship until Sandinista forces finally overtook Somoza.

After studying aeronautical engineering, Walter Sandino joined the Sandinista Army and later became chief engineer in the Sandinista Air Force until 1990. In 2005, Walter Sandino and his wife, Marbely Castillo Cerna began a foundation in honor of Augusto Cesar Sandino and his Augusto’s wife, Blanca Stella Arauz in order to share their story.

On Thursday 2 December 2010, Walter Castillo Sandino and Marbely Castillo Cerna will be in London, discussing the role Augusto had in fighting for Latin American independence and how his actions can be translated to today. The event will be held at the Development House, 54-64 Leonard Street, London ECZA4LT and will begin at 7 PM.

To RSVP to this event, contact Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign at 86 Durham Rd, London N7 7DT,

020 7561 4836 or nsc@nicaraguasc.org.uk. Visit their website at www.nicaraguasc.org.uk.

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