Sandinista literacy program admired by NYC's mayoral candidate was a Soviet creation.
The New York Times, in its article on New York mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio's work in Nicaragua during the Communist Sandinista dictatorship, reports that: "To this day, he speaks admiringly of the Sandinistas’ campaign, noting advances in literacy and health care." The Sandinistas' literacy campaign was in fact a creation of the Soviet Union, according to a document secretly copied from the Kremlin's archives by dissident Vladimir Bukovsky.
The May 20, 1980 document, labeled "Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Central Committee" and "Top Secret," is headlined: "Help to Nicaragua regarding the liquidation of illiteracy."
The orders, according to a translation provided to FrontpageMag, were:
I. Ministry of Education of the USSR together with the Department of Economic Cooperation, send in 1980-1981 to Nicaragua 15 instructors/administrators who have experience of foreign work and speaks Spanish for organization of work for liquidation of illiteracy.
Establish salary in foreign currency according to 5th group of salary ranks for Soviet specialist working abroad, and instructor by 6th group.
2. Ministry of Trade of the USSR provide funding to buy notebooks and pencils -- 500,000 units in the second and third quarters and 500,000 units in the fourth quarter of 1980 as a donation.
The Ministry of Paper Production to produce for delivery to Nicaragua the mentioned 500,000 units of notebooks and pencils.
3. The Ministry of Radio to prepare and deliver in 1980 as a donation to Nicaragua the 1,000 radio transistors with the trademark "Sokol" in tropical design.
4. The Ministry of Foreign Trade provide delivery to Nicaragua of pencils, notebooks and radio transistors that were mentioned in Paragraph 2 and 3 of this document, and Ministry of Air Transportation deliver to Nicaragua the specialists and goods, mentioned in paragraphs 1, 2, 3 of this document, delivery will be made by Airflot by route of Moscow - Managua with payment in Soviet rubles.
5. Expenses related to the production and delivery of notebooks, pencils and radio transistors as well as salaries of 15 instructors for the length of 1 year including the Ruble equivalent of foreign currency, allocate to the budget of the USSR as charity help to foreign states, and in foreign currency at the expense of the foreign fund for the Department of Economic Cooperation.
6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR should inform the government of Nicaragua about measure taken by Soviet Union in helping the Nicaraguan in implementation of liquidation of illiteracy.
It is signed: "The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR - A. Kosygin."
There was nothing benign about what the Communists were doing. According to Humberto Belli, a former Sandinista who was in charge of the editorial page of La Prensa before turning against the repressive regime, it was known back in the 1980s that:
Nicaragua's educational system under the Sandinistas was designed to equate Western-style democracy and capitalist economic systems with evil U.S. "imperialism" while portraying Soviet-style Marxism-Leninism as the benefactor of mankind. The Sandinista Ministry of Education, for example, made it mandatory for all high school students to study Marx's theory of dialectical materialism, which is officially regarded as the "basis of all scientific endeavor." The Sandinistas stated that one of the main objectives of their "new education" was "to form new generations in the values and principles of the Sandinista people's revolution."
De Blasio's enthusiasm for the Soviet-created education program stands in stark contrast to his opposition to the charter schools relied upon by the city's poor for a quality education, which would otherwise be unavailable to those trapped in the city's failing, unionized school system. The editors of the New York Post report that De Blasio, in a move backed by the city's powerful teachers unions, is "threatening to end co-location. That’s the practice of giving charters — which are public schools, remember — unused space in other school buildings, because charters get no capital funds to build. End co-location, and you will kill many charters."
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