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readers' forum • foro de lectores homepage
un espacio para preguntas, comentarios y diÁlogo abierto  •  a space for questions, comments & open dialogue
 

     This page is devoted to you, the reader.  It is envisioned as an interactive blog-forum for questions, contributions, comments, insights, reflections, observations, interpretations, ruminations, informed speculations, educated guesses & mediated open dialogue among & between folks who have something they want to say or ask about this topic or website.  

     The most recent readers' comments appear at the top, the oldest at the bottom & archived in additional pages.  If you have something you'd like to say or contribute, please send me an email:  mjsch313@yahoo.com.  Many thanks to all who've taken the time to write, comment, or contribute something to this website.

       Esta página se dedica a usted, el lector.  Se concibe como un foro y blog interactivo para preguntas, contribuciones, comentarios, ideas, revelaciones, observaciones, interpretaciones, reflexiones, especulaciones informadas, conjeturas educadas, y diálogo abierto entre personas que tengan algo que quieren decir o preguntar sobre este tema o página web.

     Lo más recientes comentarios de los lectores salen en la parte superior, los más antiguos en la inferior y archivados en páginas adicionales.  Si usted tenga algo que quiere decir o contribuir, por favor envíenme un correo electrónico:  mjsch313@yahoo.com.  Agradecimientos a todos que han dado de su tiempo a escribir, comentar o aportar algo a este sitio web.


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Inventory of Readers' Comments  (Listed by Date of First Correspondence)

 

(More recent correspondence forthcoming soon; thank you for your patience)

 

 

2010-2011  (this page:  click on name or scroll below)

 

Debbie Forbeck — 3 March 2011
S. D. O'Reilly — 23 February 2011
Gerald Cajina — 12 February 2011
Alex Goodall — 17 January 2011
Josue Escamilla — 12 January 2011
Luis Bolanos — 28 December 2010
Shannon R. James, Arizona — 6 November 2010
Annette Goebel — 27 October 2010
Lincoln Cushing — 11 October 2010
Abelardo Baldizon, University of Bremen, Germany — 8 October 2010
Oscar Alfaro, San Jose, California — 28 September 2010
George Ferris, Marlton, N.J. — 23 September 2010

Al Gutierrez — 3 September 2010

Tristan Faith, New Mexico — 31 August 2010

Victor Sánchez, Miami Beach, Florida — 30 August 2010

Luis & Alvaro Gutiérrez, California — 24 August 2010

Krista Gustafson — 23 August 2010

Annette D. Amerman, Marine Corps History Division — 11 August 2010

Donald Manson, UK — 22 June 2010

Scott Brennan, Bogotá, Colombia & New York, NY — 3 April 2010

Phillip Garrott, Greenville, SC — 16 March 2010

Gary Lee, Montgomery, Alabama — 3 February 2010

 

 

2007-2009  (page 2 of Readers' Forum)

 

Ian Roxborough, New York, New York — 30 December 2009  

Gilbert Ortiz, California — 23 December 2009

Sergio Mayorga-Mercado, Nicaragua — 23 December 2009

C. B., Florida — 15 October 2009

Hector Perla, Santa Cruz, California — 13 July 2009

Carlos Correa, Marseille, France — 22 May 2009

William Alvarez, Atlanta, Georgia — 22 March 2009

Linda John, San Francisco, California — 12 October 2008

Richard C. DeBold, Higganum, Connecticut — 2 September 2008

Joyce Onion, South Carolina — 8 August 2008

Patrick McNamara, Brooklyn, New York — 16 June 2008

Barry Carr, Victoria, Australia — 29 April 2008

Walter Castillo Sandino, Managua, Nicaragua — 13 April 2008

Rodrigo Peñaba, from Nicaragua — 12 April 2008

Alessandro Marchi, Florence, Italy — 31 March 2008

Erich Wagner, Boston, Mass. — 25 February 2008

Dan Plazak on the San Albino Mine — 1 December 2007

Jaime Pfaeffle, San José, Costa Rica — 4 September 2007

Carlos Rosa, Fort Lauderdale, Florida — 8 October 2007

 

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 Debbie Forbeck - March 3, 2011  

 

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 S. D. O'Reilly - February 23, 2011  

 

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 Gerald Cajina - February 12, 2011..  

 

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 Alex Goodall - January 17, 2011..  

 

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 Josue Escamilla - January 12, 2011  

 

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 Luis Bolanos - December 28, 2010  

 

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 Shannon R. James, University of Arizona - November 6, 2010  

 

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 Annette Goebel - October 27, 2010  

 

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 Lincoln Cushing - October 11, 2010  

 

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 Abelardo Baldizon, University of Bremen, Germany - 8 October 8, 2010  

 

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 Oscar Alfaro, San Jose, California - September 28, 2010  

 

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 George Ferris, Marlton, N.J. - September 23, 2010  

 

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 Al Gutierrez, 3 September 2010  

 

 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mr Micheal Schroeder I want to thank you for your efforts myself and the rest of my family are so gratefull specially my dad Jose gutierrez since my
aunt Carmen Navarro was one of the only people that saw my grandfather alive as he was leaving nicaragua my aunt is still alive shes 101 yrs of age she lives in san jose california one of the things that my brother forgot to mention was that my grandfather was a photographer by trade this according to my aunt and tha he was from the state of virginia south or north she didnt know his name again is either steven green or lynn either he was at marines or the army, again sir on behalf of my family and i all i have to say to you is thank you from the bottom of my heart. ps. the only name that came close was onpage 8
ward stevens. thank you.

 

 

 

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 Tristan Faith, New Mexico  

 

 

August 31, 2010

 

While doing my PhD thesis on reincarnation, I ran across a client who when hypnotized claims to be General Pedron. He has given detailed and accurate accounts of Pedron's life and his current picture and the General's picture are identical. Just thought you might like to know. Also, I am asking permission to include your pictures in my thesis. Thanks so very much. Tristan Faith

 


 

Dear Tristan,

That is absolutely fascinating. I would love to know more, if you care to share it. And yes, you certainly have my permission to use anything on my website in your thesis, with proper citations, etc. -- thanks for asking.

While I have serious doubts about the whole phenomenon of reincarnation, I'm also certain that we humans do not & cannot know everything about this infinitely mysterious universe.  Thank you very much for letting me know.

Best regards,

Mike

 


 

 

Hi Mike,

 

Interestingly, the man that I used in my research did not believe in reincarnation and calls himself an agnostic. He grew up in Matagalpa, Nicaragua and was born [in the mid-1940s]. He has a degree in . . . from his country and joined the resistance in 1978 and while serving he killed and mutilated after battles, much like Pedron. He has been suffering from PTSD. He agreed to participate in my study because he was interested in finding out what held him back from suceeding in life. . . . . The client is very detailed in his accounts of his past life and I have never given him a directive, nor could I as I know nothing about Pedron or the history of Nicaragua. I really appreciate your interest and thanks for letting me use the pictures. I have attached a picture of my client when he was in his thirties. The resemblance is uncanny. He is now in his sixties and he is almost identical to the older pictures of General Pedron. Thanks again, Tristan

 

 


 

Conversation is ongoing.


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 Victor Sánchez, Miami Beach, Florida  

 

 

August 30, 2010. Miami Beach, FL.

Respected Professor Schroeder:

My name is Víctor Sánchez. I was born in 1967 in Nicaragua, but I fled the country in 1989 due to the civil war. The reason for this email is to let you know how amaze I am with your priceless work about Sandino’s fight as a whole in space and time and to thank you for this invaluable treasure to our history. I have spent 3 days reading without any order the “mine of gold” of information from your site. Today I decided to write to you this email.

I always believed the Sandino´s image inherited from the past and resurrected during the revolution in the 80´s was not real; it was too good to be true. I never believed either Sandino was the all vicious man depicted by the Somoza´s family. Now, after I read every day a little bit more from your site, I am corroborating the idea he was somewhere between those two points of view. Even the way he was perceived by his contemporary fellow citizens is changing in my mind. I feel as if I would be walking in Nicaragua step by step in those days and months of the war when I read from your site. I am sure I will be illustrated as never before in my life about this significant part of our Nicaraguan history. And which makes more precious this point to me is the fact that the person who is finally portraying Sandino in a more genuine dimension is an American citizen.

I did not finish the High School but I always felt passion for reading and writing and thus, for History. As you can see, I am not quite good writing in English and I am a worse English speaker. I needed WORD for helping me to write to you this email. After so many years living in USA, my language skills are very poor. Math and languages are not my passion. However, I hope you will understand the feelings of gratitude and admiration I want to express to you for your compilation and general work about the topic. I owe to you more than I owe to all the writers and historians I have read about this episode of Nicaragua´s history. Thanks a lot professor and I hope someday in the future I may hold your hand personally.

PD: in one of the pictures of your site (Photo 19. Sandino and Staff in Jungle Camp.), you wrote a comment about a man of clear African traits “with a distinctive top hat”. Could that man be Saint Gilbert Pierre Charles, the bandit from Haiti mentioned in the report about the arrest of Manuel María Jirón Ruano?

 


 

Dear Víctor Sánchez,

Thank you so very much for your very touching message. It is messages like yours that keep me moving forward on this website, because I know that somewhere out there are people like you who are seeking the truth, and can use the website as a way to help them to separate fact from fiction and to discover for themselves what the truth really is. I understand your point about the "Sandinista narrative" being too good to be true, and the "Somocista narrative" being too one-sided and malicious to be true. Have you read my "Sandino Rebellion Revisited" chapter? (HERE). I make the exact same point you make, only using a lot more words than you do. I also thank you for suggesting that the African-looking man in the hat in the photograph could be Saint Gilbert Pierre Charles -- I hadn't thought of that and it is entirely possible. I will bear that possibility in mind as I move forward.

So thank you again for your very kind words, they mean a great deal to me. And I too hope that someday we might shake hands & meet face to face.  Please let me know if you have any objections to publishing your message on the website.

With Best Wishes,

Michael Schroeder

 

 


 

 

Dear Professor:

I have no objection of any kind. I will be happy and honored if you publish my email to you.

For a time I thought, generally speaking, scholars, men of science, should be people of certain ways, with a deep sense of humanity and about all, with a profound sense of respect for the truth. History has probed that this has not been always the case. However, I have the impression you are one those men that we, Humankind, need for finishing with so much suffering and repetition of mistakes. At some point in time, somewhere, I hope, we all will agree to look at another direction.

Thank you for your email.

Respectfully, V.S.


PD: I will “attack” right now your chapter Sandino Rebellion Revisited.

 

 

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 Luis & Alvaro Gutiérrez, California  

 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

 

HI MICHAEL I WANT TO CONGRATULATE FOR THIS MAGNIFICANT HISTORY OF MY COUNTRY.

MICHAEL MY NAME IS LUIS GUTIERREZ AND WE(MY PARENTS) LIVE IN CALIFORNIA USA SINCE 1980 AFTER THE WAR IN NICARAGUA. I NEED YOU HELP, MY FATHER A 82 YEAR OLDS JOSE GUTIERREZ WAS BORN NOVEMBER 23 1928 BY A FATHER WHO WAS A U.S.A MARINES.  HE ALWAYS TRYING TO FIND HIM BUT BECAUSE HE DOES NOT HAVE ANY DOCUMENT HAS BEEN IMPOSIBLE.  ALL HE WANT IS TO SEE AT LEAST PHOTO OF HIM BEFORE HE DIE.  HIS MOTHER SAID THE MARINE WAS STATIONED IN MANAGUA AND WAS WORKING AS PHOTOGRAPHER.(CAMPO DE MARTE).  HIS NAME IS OR WAS STEVEN LYN OR OTHER SIMILAR TO THIS SOUND.  I WILL APRECIATE ANY INFORMATION (IT DOES NOT SAY IN THIS HISTORY ABOUT SON LEFT BY MARINE DURING THIS OCCUPATION).



 

August 24, 2010

 

Dear Luis Gutierrez,

Thank you for your message and your very kind words on my website. I have not seen the name of a Marine "Steven Lyn" (though there was a "Colonel Wynn"), but I will remember the name  and let you know if I come across anything. If he was a photographer at the Campo de Marte, it's not unlikely that there is a photograph of him somewhere. I wish I could be of more help, but right now the best I can do is tell you that I will keep careful watch for the name STEVEN LYNN or a similar name and will be in touch with you if I find anything.

Best regards and best of luck in your search,

Michael Schroeder

 

 


 

 

August 25, 2010

 

Thanks so much Mr. Michael, I was talk with my father and said his name was steven greenich or some similar. one of his mother friend took my father to see him at the train station when he was departured via corinto port when he was 3months old i guess was on the last 3 months of 1928.
My father was a military under national guard he entered as raso o recluta.

I send you some photos of him as military and his present ages.

sincerely,
luis gutierrez

 

Click on thumbnails for full images

 

 


 

August 26, 2010

 

Dear mr schroeder
My name is Alvaro gutierrez and I can only say thank you for this
amazing website fillled with lots of info well sir I am the son of
Jose gutierrez born of Lydia gutierrez whom met a marine combat
photographer by trade in the arrival of marines in nicaragua that's
when my father was born my grandmother after the earthquake of 1931
lost all paperwork and contact info on my marine grandfather whom
I was told he was born in Virginia he goes by the name either Steve
Lynn or Steve green if you have any info that might shed light in this
I wod greatly appreciated as well as my father who is still alive he
is 82 years old thank you again my name is al gutierrez I can be
reached at . . .
thank you sir.
fb

 


 

 

September 1, 2010

 

Dear Luis and Alvaro Gutierrez,

Thank you very much for your messages, I am sending you a copy of a document that was sent to me by the Marine Corps Research Center, that lists the names of "enlisted" Marines who served in the Guardia Nacional. But that does not sound like your grandfather. Maybe you will see the name of your grandfather here, but I do not see it. I wish I could be of more help.

As I understand it, his name could be:

STEVEN LYNN or WYNN or something like it
STEVEN GREENICH or something like it

The best I can do is to say I will watch for this name and let you know if I find anything that is close.

Thank you again for your kind words on the website, contributions such as yours help to make it even better. With your permission I am publishing our exchange of messages on the website, maybe someone else will recognize the name of your father's father.

Buena suerte con lo que buscan,

Michael

 

 

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 Krista Gustafson, 23 August 2010  

 

 

Monday, August 23, 2010

I have been doing some research on my great grandfather, Domingo Castillo, born in Managua ca 1894. My grandmother spent some time with him in Bluefields (She says he kidnapped her . . . it is a crazy story) where he was supposedly a judge and a friend of the president. My grandmother says that the president of Nicaragua was her godfather at the time. I don’t know which one. The only date I have is the date Carmen’s mother returned her to the states Sept 1923. My grandmother would later say that Domingo either died of malaria or was killed in revolution. I don’t think she ever really knew.

So . . .there was a reference to an interview with a Domingo Castillo back in the 80s and I was just wondering if maybe this could be the same one, and whether or not the interview was transcribed. It was referenced in Gould’s To Lead as Equals .. so I sent him a note and he responded that I might want to check with you.

If you know where I should start, I'd appreciate direction. Spanish okay.

Krista

 


 

Monday, August 23, 2010

 

Dear Krista,

Thanks for your message inquiring about your great-grandfather Domingo Castillo. Where in Gould's book is the Castillo interview referenced? Truth is I've never heard of him but maybe I can help track down the source -- I have Gould's book in front of me but there are tons of endnotes and nothing is jumping off the page ... I'll be happy to help to the extent I can, but as I say I've never heard the name before now, so maybe we can start with the reference in Gould's book.

Thanks,

Mike Schroeder

 


 

Monday, August 23, 2010

 

Thank you. The references to the interview are on pages 337-340 and 344, 345, 355. It is probably a wild goose chase, but I'd appreciate it any thoughts you might have. I discovered your website today. Amazing! What an incredible amount of work. Thanks again, Krista

 



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dear Krista,

I see the reference in Gould, which is doubtless his own interview with Domingo Castillo -- and knowing how Jeff Gould works, it's very likely that the interview was never fully transcribed and that he simply used the relevant information from the interview for his book. It's also likely that all that remains of the interview are a few desultory notes that Jeff took while doing his fieldwork in Chinandega a quarter century ago ... and whatever happened to those notes, who knows? He probably pitched them. So the best I can tell you at this point is that I will keep my eyes peeled for the name and let you know if anything pops up in the documentary record. Wish I could be more helpful but in the end you're probably right, it likely is a wild goose chase ... but who knows? Stranger things have happened.

Best of luck in your search and please let me know if I can be of any help contextualizing this stuff (e.g. the president of Nicaragua in 1894 was José Santos Zelaya, but you probably already know that ... )

Good luck & please be in touch if you have any other questions,

Mike

 

 

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 Annette D. Amerman, Quantico, VA  

 

 

August 11, 2010

 

Professor Schroeder:

I am a historian with the Marine Corps History Division.

We have a transcribed version of the document you have on your website from Sandino (attached) and we don't have a date on it; we wonder, how did you locate the date or was it on the copy you obtained?

Many thanks for your assistance!

Sincerely,


Annette Amerman

Historian
Historical Reference Branch
Marine Corps History Division
3078 Upshur Ave
Quantico, VA 22134
PH 703.432.4876
Fax  703.432.4892

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR WEBSITE? www.history.usmc.mil

 


 

 

August 11, 2010

 

Dear Annette,

Thanks for your inquiry, the document in question is undated and I've slotted it as close to where I think it goes as I'm able ... it could well have been from late 1927, I don't know and it's especially hard to tell because this series between Sandino & Echevarria are all transcribed English-only versions in the National Archives. The document was seized by Capt. Maurice Holmes in April 1928 ... in fact as I look more closely at it, it might well refer to one of the early battles after Ocotal in the summer of 1927 such as San Fernando ... maybe when Major Floyd took San Fernando in July 1927? (see PC-Docs 27.08.12, Field Message No. 4: http://www.sandinorebellion.com/PCDocs/1927/PC270812-Floyd.html#FieldMsgNo4 - ) Plus the tone of Sandino toward Echevarria suggests that the latter just joined his forces, since Sandino's justifying himself in telling the truth, their later letters were more informal ...

What do you think? I'm inclined to re-date it to around late July 1927 ...

Thanks for your interest, it's nice to know somebody's paying attention!

Peace,

Mike

 


 

 

August 11, 2010

 

Mike:

We found the attached document along with the transcribed copies in our files. We believe it is quite possibly an original. We have prepared it for retirement to the National Archives with a host of other materials we have on the Marines in Nicaragua, Haiti and Santo Domingo (Banana Wars). Do you have a good translation of it? We do not have a Spanish speaker here that can translate it well enough for us. Since we're just processing and reorganizing our collection, I haven't really delved into the exact details, much to my dismay.

We are paying attention; great site by the way!!

Annette

 



August 11, 2010

 

Dear Annette,

Thanks very much for that! It is definitely an original, Sandino's handwriting & signature are very distinctive. Here is my rough translation:

"General Montoya, Galeano and Maradiaga
Santa Rosa

Esteemed Companions, I hope that when this reaches your hands all is well.
I send you these things that I have made with respect our current situation and this afternoon I await all the columns and if Colindres isn't there, send him an order that he stays in San Pedro awaiting orders from this headquarters. There is no news. They arrive after 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
Homeland & Liberty,
A. C. Sandino"

I've translated "echulos" as "things" because it's an idiomatic term & I don't know exactly what it means. I will inquire with some Nicaraguan friends.

Thanks for the good words on my website! Are you at the Gray Research Center & these items you're inventorying from the Personal Papers - Sandino box? And you're sending them over to the National Archives? I wonder when they'll be available there? (Sometimes it can take years for the understaffed & overworked Archives to make things publicly available.) I wonder if you could give me a rough idea of the stuff you're working with?

Thanks again, that one is definitely a keeper,

Best,

Mike

 


 

August 12, 2010

 

Mike:

Thank you for the translation! I really appreciate it. We were 99% sure the document was original but you've confirmed it for us.

We are the Historical Reference Branch of the Marine Corps History Division. We're not at the GRC but right next door. We used to be in DC with the Historical Center but the entire operation (writers, etc) was moved to Quantico in 2005. We have a rather small collection on Nicaragua (about 2 lineal feet) and are in the process of reorganizing the whole thing and digitizing portions of it. While most of our collections are duplicates, some of the earlier materials (such as the Banana Wars material) is more original--it's due to the fact that several of our first historians (Marines at the time) were involved in the operations and collected materials on their own and had them when the Division was created in 1919 (or acquired them after) (Major Edwin McClellan for one).

I'd be happy to send you a CD with the materials that we've digitized. As I stated, it may be duplicative but one can never tell. We will retire the materials that are deemed original, but those will be scanned first as we are well aware of the difficulty of getting access to materials retired to NARA. I'm attaching the folder list we have for our Nicaragua files. It's not detailed, but it gives you an idea of what we have here. Of course, we won't be able to retire the materials quickly so if you were so inclined to visit us, you'd be most welcome to review the entire collection personally.

Thanks again for your help!

Annette

 



August 12, 2010

 

Annette,

Thanks very much for that -- it's good to know that all your "banana wars" materials are in good hands (ironic name, "banana wars," since there were very few bananas in the region of Las Segovias in northern Nicaragua where the war was fought, and huge banana plantations on the East Coast of Nicaragua where the war was NOT fought ... ).

I would be thrilled if you were to send me a CD with the digitized original materials ... the document you sent me yesterday, for instance -- I have a Spanish-language transcript from the Guardia Nacional but didn't know the original still existed. I'd also love to make a trip down to Quantico sometime this fall to see these materials myself, maybe with a student or two as part of the Pleet Initiative on student-faculty collaboration (mentioned on the homepage of my website). Any idea what your timeline is for retiring these materials to the National Archives?

I checked out your website and it's very well done, reader-friendly and easy to navigate.

Please let me know if I can be of any further help and thanks very much again for your kind offer & words.

Best,

Mike

 


 

August 12, 2010

 

Mike:

The CD is in the mail. Hopefully it won't take forever to get to you.

You are MOST welcome to come and bring a student; we love seeing students interested in history. Just read about the Pleet Initiative; wish I had something like that when I was an undergrad. VERY COOL.

I'll let our webmaster know about your comments on our website. We've been working hard to make it more friendly and yet informative.

I appreciate your very kind professional courtesy--wish all academics were as helpful and generous with their time!

Annette

 


 

August 12, 200

 

Dear Annette,

That is wonderful, thank you so much. Yes, academics can be a rather stiff-collared bunch, anyway I am very glad to help and please be in touch if you have any more specific questions about documents, etc. Your inquiry about the undated Echevarria document prompted me to re-date it to July 1927 ... (they have to go SOMEWHERE and as I'm sure you well know ... without dates we historians are completely at sea!)

I very much look forward to receiving the CD and to visiting sometime in the fall. I'll give you a head's up before coming.

Thanks again & best of luck,

Mike

 

[The CD contained a boatload of documents, many of which are still awaiting publication on this website; correspondence ongoing ...]

 

 

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 Donald Manson, U.K.  

 

June 22, 2010
Subject: Nicaraguan Telegraph document

Dear Professor Schroeder,

Can you shed any light on this document enclosed, that I have had in my possession for some time, I'm a stamp collector and this was found in a mixed box of items. I believe it may refer to the time and area your web site concerns.

Donald Manson

 

 


June 22, 2010
Re: Nicaraguan Telegraph document

Dear Mr. Manson,

Thank you for your message. It appears that the document in question is a transcription of a telegram from Lt Gray to Lt Claude, US Marine Corps, instructing the latter (in Boaco, Nicaragua) to turn in the "pistol cane" seized from one Nicolas Acosta of Jinotega. I would guess the date around 1928, during the US occupation. I would guess that Lt Claude confiscated the pistol and Nicolas Acosta, who was probably a member of the Jinotega elite, complained to the Marines and demanded that his pistol be returned. Evidently Acosta had enough political capital to compel the Marines to pay attention. The larger theme involved here is what Max Weber and others have called the "upward displacement of violence-making," as the Marines sought to disarm the Nicaraguan populace and make the Guardia Nacional the only legitimate violence-making organization in the country. (The Marines were continually seizing arms from the populace; after 1927 Nicaraguans had to apply for permits to own firearms). How odd that this document ended up in a mixed box of items and in your hands! In any case, you are correct about the time & place; I recognize the Marine names (Gray & Claude) and the places (Boaco, Jinotega), and the name Nicolas Acosta rings a bell ...

I hope that helps; thanks again for your message and good luck with your stamp collecting pursuits,

Michael Schroeder

 

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 Scott Brennan, Bogotá, Colombia & New York, NY  

 

Saturday, April 3, 2010
Subject: 1931 SANDINO DOCUMENT

Dear Michael Schroeder,

My name is Scott Brennan. I´m a photojournalist, done lots of work in Nicaragua and I´m fascinated with Sandino. Anyhow, I¨m presently in Bogota and just ran into a 1931 publication ¨"Estampa" out of Madrid. Its long out of publication but the cover story is a "A day in the camp of the General: the man the yanquis hate." Its got some photos of early sandinista congregations in both Leon and Matagalpa, a letter signed "patrio o muerte" and some photos of Sandino I´ve never seen before (although they look suspiciously like illustrations though they do have photo credits). I ran a google search and just found your site (must be new huh?). Have you ever heard of this publication? This issue? could it be something thats been lost to history? Desafortudatamente your bib and lit page is yet to be up. The woman at the store is asking $50 US but I could get it much cheaper I´m sure. Can you shed any light on this? If you get this please respond ASAP as I´m leaving the country for NY tonight (where I live), store closes at 5. Hope to hear from you soon.

Scott

 


 

Saturday, April 3, 2010
Subject: Re: 1931 SANDINO DOCUMENT

Dear Scott,

Thanks very much for your message, and Yes I'd be very interested in seeing that too -- I'm not familiar with a Spanish pub named "Estampa," nor with an article or photos as you describe. It isn't by a journalist named Saenz or something similar, is it? I remember some Marine reports where they raise a red flag because of a Spanish journalist named Saenz trying to get an interview with Sandino. In any case I'd love to see it, though $50 seems like a lot. I'd chip in for half if I can get a full digital image of the thing, don't worry I'm good for it. So to answer your question, No I can't really shed much light on it, other than to say that there may well be interviews with Sandino & his men published in obscure European or Latin American publications and thence lost to history, in fact I'd be surprised if there weren't. Do you have the full citation data?

Sorry I can't be more helpful, look forward to hearing back,

saludos y buena suerte,

Mike

Michael Schroeder
www.SandinoRebellion.com

 


 

Saturday, April 3, 2010
Subject: Re: 1931 SANDINO DOCUMENT

ok, ill go buy it now and get you the full citation info by tomorrow evening when back in ny

 


 

Sunday, April 4, 2010
Subject: Re: 1931 SANDINO DOCUMENT

Yes, I got it. Its "Estampa Revista Grafica" year 4 num.6 March 7, 1931. The article is named "Un dia en el campamento del General Sandino...El que a los yanquis odiaba...

Ill get back to you with high res copies at some point (not today got lots of sleep, lesson planning and Easter celebrating to do) There is a great picture of some of Sandino's army. Def never saw them before. Photo credits are to "Vidal."

Scott



 

Note:  The March 7, 1931 article titled "Un Día en el Campamento del General Sandino" from the Madrid revista "Estampa" featuring the reputed peregrinations of a young Peruvian named Augusto Flores, and his reported visit to a Sandinista camp and interview with Sandino, can be accessed by clicking on the image to the right (pdf file, 3 pgs., 16 MB):

 

Copious thanks to Scott Brennan for sharing this exceedingly rare and to my knowlege hitherto unknown publication! 

 

 

 

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 Phillip Garrott, Greenville, S.C.  

 

 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

 

Dr. Schroeder,

My name is Phillip Garrott, and I am a senior history major at Furman University, studying under Dr. Erik Ching. I'm writing my senior paper on the Sandino, the Sandinistas, how the latter used Sandino to their advantage, identifying the differences in ideals, motivations, and challenges between the two. In other words, the use of the historical memory of Sandino as a way to further the Sandinista cause.

I came upon your website, and it has been very helpful to give me primary documents from Sandino himself. If you could, would you be able to suggest any additional resources, both primary and secondary, that might help me in my research? I would be very grateful.

Many thanks,
Phillip

 


 

March 17, 2010

 

Dear Phillip,

 

Thank you for your message, and please know that any student of Prof Ching's is a student of mine.  [Unfortunately I deleted my response to Philip to save space on my LVC account, so I don't know exactly how I responded, but I do know that I sent a slew of suggestions, warned against a teleological reading of Nicaraguan history that interpreted the FSLN's struggle as growing organically out of Sandino's; suggested he read Stephen Palmer's piece on the Construction of Sandininismo; and offered to send him digital copies of select IES testimonies for his senior thesis project.]

 



March 18,2010

 

Dr. Schroeder,

I'm immensely grateful for the time and effort you have already put into helping me work with this topic through your quick and detailed response. I shall certainly be considering many of the questions that you have posed, and the Palmer piece looks fascinating. Thank you!

If you do have time, those JPEG images of the testimonies would be the perfect primary source. That is exactly the type of thing that I have been looking for. If they are large, it would be better to send them to my gmail account, which has unlimited space. That address is xxx@gmail.com.

Many thanks for everything! I will most definitely keep you informed on how the research is going, and shall certainly pass along your regards to Dr. Ching!

- Phillip

 


 

March 20, 2010

 

[I responded with JPEG images of seven IES testimonies, about 50 pages in all, along with further questions, suggestions & counsel ... actual response unfortunately deleted.  Philip ended up writing a terrific senior thesis before graduating and going on to teach English in China.]

 

 

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 Gary Lee, Montgomery, Alabama  

 

February 3, 2010
Research direction/website help

Dr. Schreoder:


Excellent website! The primary sources are amazing!

As an introduction, I'm Gary Lee, a USAF flyer and student of history (my Senior thesis was on Chavez's rise to power, I lived in Venezuela for two years 93-95 and have an affinity for Latin American Studies). As a part of my Air Command and Staff College master's thesis, I am exploring Latin American counterinsurgencies to find lessons learned that compare to counterinsurgency best practices and worst practices to prove to folks the better way of handling Afghanistan (You can't imagine how frustrating it has been for me over the years as a low ranking person to have anyone listen. It looks like Gen McChrystal is saying the right things, but what is needed, and I know this firsthand, is to educate the "tactical" level officers and non-commissioned officers on how to do this job) is based in History, and Latin America can provide these lessons. Hopefully I can open eyes to what has been done (both bad examples and the good) to help get this thing to a conclusion that benefits all involved. I'm comparing the folly that was the Punitive Expedition to Afghanistan (both as to what failed in the past from 2001 to the present) as a waring about what NOT to do if tempted to do something similar in Pakistan.


Could you direct me towards the right areas in your website that could help me in my quest? I unfortunately am on a very truncated timetable ... and need all the direction I can get. Representative examples of how the Marines were effective and practices that were ineffective in the overall campaign would be great.


If you know of any other places I can go for other insurgencies, that would be excellent. I am limited on library access (I'm doing this remotely from home, all blackboard online) so reputable/scholarly online accessible (like your website) will be key. I'll be heading toward the Joint Special Operations University soon to start looking there (I've found some great background articles in some of their journals), but again, access is limited.

Thank you for your help.- Gary Lee

 


 

February 3, 2010
Re: Research direction/website help

Dear Gary,

Thanks very much for your message & kind words about the website. It sounds like you're doing some very interesting & important work. As for where to direct you on the website, a couple things come to mind: first, I did a grant-funded study for the DoD on "Intelligence Successes and Failures" in the Sandino rebellion -- you can find it from the Homepage > MJS > Grant-Funded Report (or click here: http://www.sandinorebellion.com/mjs/mjs-intel.htm). Another thing that comes to mind is my air war article and the associated documents: the air war piece is here: http://www.sandinorebellion.com/mjs/MJS-AirWarInNicaragua-IHR-Sept07.pdf and the documents are under the "AIR-docs" link. The only other thing that might be useful to you (given that the website's still a work in progress and tons of things aren't there) are the Patrol & Combat reports (PC-Docs). Going through these puppies with a fine-tooth comb might yield some useful insights -- there are some pretty egregious examples, for instance, of Marine patrols violating campesinos' cultural norms & values about gender & sexuality, the inviolability of peoples' homes, etc.

I hope this helps, and let me know if I can be of any further assistance -- best of luck to you,

Mike

Michael J. Schroeder
Assistant Professor of History
Lebanon Valley College

 


 

February 3, 2010
Re: Research direction/website help

Dr Schroeder: Excellent! Thank you for the direction and the quick response. The insights from the PC-Docs are going to be juicy, the exact same stuff we see across cultures now still apply. Getting it out to the tactical level grunts will be the hard part; trying to convince someone two years removed from High School to be nice in a village when someone else could wind up shooting at them is going to be hard, especially when they don't respect their culture or the culture gets in the way of their humanity.

Gary


 

February 4, 2010
Re: Research direction/website help

Dr. Schroeder:
Off the top of your head, are there examples I can watch out for of what the Marines and the Government did right in the conflict? Not just on the tactical level (winning battles "contacts" etc.) but strategically/policy level? In my opinion, they obviously suppressed it and were able to kill Sandino, but they certainly didn't win in the long run, with the rise of the Sandinista government (call it what they will, communist labeled with populist base, truly Sandino or label of opportunity, etc.). Did the Nicaraguan Govt. fail to win the long-term, strategic battle? I think they failed. They failed to address the fundamental grievances inherent to the conflict and integrate the rebel/counter govt. "force" back into larger society. What did they and the Marines earlier do right? I hope you don't mind me asking these questions. I couldn't get any sleep last night out of excitement for the possibilities, planning and research. Would you mind if I call these correspondences an "interview," subject matter expert that you are, and include it in my paper? Thank you- Gary

 



February 4, 2010
Re: Research direction/website help

Gary,

First, sure you can call these exchanges an interview, why not? .... I guess the only thing I'd ask is that you run the final copy past me first to see if I want to make any minor revisions -- this is all mostly off the top of my head and I'd hate to be quoted on something that I could tweak & feel better about -- deal?

As for what the Marines did right ... well, they did effectively Nicaraguanize the conflict in relatively short order -- a lot less time than it's taking in Iraq for instance -- though it was also probably inevitable that the "non-partisan constabulary" that they envisioned at first never actually existed. The Guardia was always a highly partisan force, and when Somoza took power in 1936 it effectively became his private army, characterized by a lot of the same personalism and caudillismo that had long characterized Nicaraguan militaries, but now wrapped in a modern bureaucracy with clear chains of command, titles, etc. So that's one thing -- the effective Nicaraguanization of the war so US troops could leave behind a stable client state. From an imperialist's perspective, that was a real success.

Another thing (following Weber's notion about modern states monopolizing all substantial means of organized violence-making) -- another thing the intervention did "right" (judging it by its own criteria for success) is to disarm the populace and effect a kind of upward displacement of violence-making capacities to the level of the national state. Before 1927 the means of organized violence-making were very decentralized, with private caudillo patron-client based armies / gangs all over the place. By 1933 that wasn't true anymore -- there was only the Guardia and Sandino -- everybody else had been effectively disarmed and shorn of their capacity to commit substantial violence. So that's another thing. That was a huge change -- for the long sweep of Nicaraguan history, violence-making capacities had been highly decentralized & personalized. Now, in six short years, they were highly centralized AND personalized under Somoza -- a kind of hybrid of pre-modern and modern militaries in that sense.

They also totally obliterated the rebellion in all but people's memories. This is one of the most striking things about the way this rebellion ended -- after Sandino's assassination the GN basically went on a killing rampage and totally annihilated all remnants of Sandino's EDSN (except for Pedron's band, which endured off in the hills till 1937 I think it was). As I argue in the "Sandino Rebellion Revisited" piece (which I'd recommend you read -- it's on the website), after 1934 ex-rebels either fled, hid, changed their names, went into exile, or were killed. So I guess if your goal is to totally eradicate the movement, they pretty much succeeded -- except, as I say, in people's memories and in any surviving texts.

I would take issue with your contention that the Nicaraguan gov't "failed to address the fundamental grievances inherent to the conflict and integrate the rebel/counter govt. "force" back into larger society." I don't think that's wrong, exactly, but I do think it's largely beside the point. The main grievance from beginning to end was the Yanqui invasion & occupation and the violence that came from it. Issues of poverty and gross inequality in wealth & power fed into campesinos' grievances against the invasion & occupation, but the core issue of Marine violence disappeared when the Marines withdrew. There's also a sense in your message that the later incarnation of the Sandinistas in the 1960s and 70s was a direct outgrowth of the earlier struggle. I don't think that's a very helpful way to look at it. My own view is that the two struggles were completely separate and disconnected in time & space, and that Fonseca's appropriating the name "Sandinista" was more for cultural reasons -- "marketing" if you will -- than because of any kind of organic connection between the two movements. They were separated by more than a generation, only two or three individuals who had fought with Sandino continued with the FSLN (Santos Lopez, Ramon Raudales, and one other person I think ... Juan G. Colindres?) -- and the whole "continuity of struggle" thesis propounded by Carlos Fonseca & the FSLN was built on a whole lot of ideological labor but not much by way of real, organic connections.

In fact I saw much the same thing when I was back in Nicaragua this past summer -- the FSLN gov't under Ortega is expending a whole lot of ideological energy to paint itself as the direct outgrowth of the Revolution that seized power in 1979 -- but it really isn't, in my view -- and the 16 years between FSLN regimes (1990-2006) gets elided & effaced & telescoped. There's a much longer story here, of course, but I would really caution against a kind of "teleological" perspective on the two Sandinista movements -- because as I see it there was actually very little connecting the two movements except the name that Fonseca gave it in 1961 and the narrative that the FSLN invented that posited a direct connection between the two. The world-historical context was different (post-Cuban Revolution, Cold War, etc etc), the struggle was mainly anti-dicatatorship, not anti-Yankee, it was mainly urban, not rural, and so on.

Okay back to work, let me know if this is at all helpful and I'll think more on your question of what the Marines did "right" --

Glad the website is helping you out, in fact I meet this afternoon with a Web dev't guy in Harrisburg who's going to help me redesign & upgrade the software on the site - so stay tuned!

Peace,

Mike

 


 

February 4, 2010
Re: Research direction/website help

Thank you very much. This sort of information/background/context/perspective I would not be able to get anywhere else really. Expect the paper (barring any stupidity with an upcoming exercise/deployment) to be due around the end of April.- Gary

 



[NOTE:  Numerous other exchanges on various points not included here ...]



June 2, 2010
Good news regarding my paper- Many thanks

Dr. Schroeder: Good news on my thesis, I received the “Strategy and Warfare Studies Research” award, one of 8 awards given out of 410+ papers from the past year. No small part of the paper’s success came from your sight and your help.

 

Gary




June 3, 2010
Re: Good news regarding my paper- Many thanks

Dear Gary,

Congratulations on your award! And thanks for letting me know -- that is really great, and fitting testament to all your hard work and good ideas. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the revamped website, when you get a chance. Congratulations again,

Mike

 

 

 

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