A Review of the Web-site Concerning Augusto C. Sandino

By Matt Wilhelm, Wabash '00
Religion 25, Professor Robert Royalty, Wabash College, Fall 1999

Sandino was a guerrilla fighter involved in the struggle for the liberation of Nicaragua. To many Nicaraguans he is the defender of the nation's sovereignty. Along with being a revolutionary, Sandino was also a millenarian leader. In fact it was his millenarian beliefs that caused his fight for liberation. After his death, the movement was kept alive by Carlos Fonseca Amador and later by Tomas Borge. Fonseca and Borge's teachings were centered in the understanding of Sandino's revolutionary movements. Along with Borge, these teachings are very much alive today in Nicaragua. The web-site is focused more on a historical background of Sandino's beliefs, along with the history and teachings of Fonseca and Borge. Sandino believed that the final judgement of the world was imminent. "He believed that the process of world evolution, which had already began in 1912 and for which he created his own calendar, would culminate in the year 2000" (Navarro-Genie). Before this judgement though, there would be many great earth shaking events. "A new man and a new society would emerge from the ashes of the old one and all men would become brothers" (Navarro-Genie). There would be no room for corruption, exploitation, and poverty. Justice and equality would rule in the new world. Sandino professed this in his book "Manifesto Light and Truth." As a reward for his people's previous sufferings, the realm of perfection would be attained. "He was convinced that his band of peasants had been chosen by God to awaken Nicaragua, itself the sacrificial lamb of Latin America, who would then awaken the Indo-Hispanic race to its divine mission: the redemption of the world's oppressed and the crushing of the capitalist exploiters led by the United States" (Navarro-Genie). Sandino believed himself to be both prophet and messiah. In a letter to a trusted Lieutenant he writes, "My dear brother: bear in mind,[...], that I am simply, nothing but an instrument of divine justice to redeem this nation and that if I need some of the miseries that exist in this earth, it is because I had to come before you also born of a woman and offer myself to you full of the same human miseries like we all are in this earthly world, because otherwise you would not have been able to believe me if I had not spoken and been the same as you" (Navarro-Genie). Most of Sandino's beliefs came from the Magnetic-Spiritualist School of the Universal Commune (EMECU) in Mexico. "From them he learned of transmigration of spirits and held that the Earth was a sort of cosmic penal colony to which men were banished from planet Neptune. Later, Adam, Eve, and other twenty-seven 'missionary spirits' arrived to regenerate humanity, and they are still among us" (Navarro-Genie). He believed that the 29 spirits were now members of his army. He referred to himself as the son of man, but he did not believe in the divinity of Christ. To Sandino, Jesus was a communist and a revolutionary liberator, in whom one of the 29 spirits had incarnated, and who had brought the meaning of liberty to mankind. He also believed he was the incarnation of Divine Justice, the source of the missionary spirits. He believed that the end of the world would take place in this century. "Only the evolved spirits would spirits would stay in this earthly paradise, the rest would be sent, once again, to less evolved planets" (Navarro-Genie). Sandino explained the end like this, "What will happen is the following, the oppressed people will break the chains of humiliation. ...The trumpets that will be heard will be the bugles of war, intoning the hymns of the freedom of the oppressed peoples against the injustice of the oppressors" (Navarro-Genie). Sandino's beliefs were not solely theological, though. "His eschatological promise was imbued with political design, calling or the replacement of the existing economic structure" (Navarro-Genie). He was convinced that the United States wanted to conquer the world and enslave the Indo-Hispanic people. His purpose was to create a federation of Indo-Hispanic states to face the northern enemy. The information on this web-site is based mostly on the writings of Borge. There is also information taken from FLSN documents. The evidence used in the web-site is mostly historical and valid. The only opinionated writing is from the teachings of Sandino, Fonseca, and Borge. The author of the site does a good job in the beginning of the text to explain to the reader what Millenarianism is. He then leads into Sandino and his millenarian ideas. The only thing I was disappointed in was the focus of the site. I would have like to know more about Sandino and his teachings, and less about Fonseca and Borge, though he does give a good representation of the two. For the way Marco Navarro-Genie set up the web-site, I think it was too broad. He gives you the equivalence of 18 pages of text in one spot. It would have more useful and easier to read if he would have separated the text into different subtitles that the reader could click on to see the text in full. I can not tell from the web-site if the author is a proponent of the Sandinista movement or if he is merely writing about it. But the movement itself has an obvious Christian background, with the belief in God and Christ, although Christ is not seen as divine. I was interested in their belief of the transmigration of spirits from Neptune. As I was reading this, I was reminded of the Heaven's Gate cult, who also believes in the transmigration of spirits or souls from outer space. The difference though, is that this group does have a valid and logical purpose. Sandino set this up with the hopes of the liberation of Nicaragua. Unless you are living in Latin America and have some sort of paranoia about the United States, I don't see much usefulness, other than for scholarly advances, for this web-site. I don't see this group as just being another one of the many cults we deem as crazy. The motives of the group and its founder are sincere and have come about for a purpose, even if it is militant and may sound crazy. Like many apocalyptic groups throughout this world's history, the group was formed because of oppression of its members. What Sandino has done is give the people of Nicaragua hope that they will be rewarded and given relief of their persecutions on the day of judgement.


Works Cited Navarro-Genie, Marco A. http://www.pagusmundi.com/sandino/children.htm Copyright: 1992-1998.