Sandino's Daughters, Margaret Randall (Vancouver: New Star Books, 1981)
Dora Maria Tellez (a commander during the occupation of the National Palace in August 1978):
(talking about division into tendencies in the FSLN, which then reunited in 1977, pp. 53-54)
We were talking about the division--it was a period in which we broke with much of our dogmatism and rigidy. For example, we broke with many ideas and practices that tended to alienate women from the Organization. While this process was very positive and healthy for the Organization as a whole, it's also important to understand how and why that kind of rigidity develops.
Sometimes revolutionary organization--in order to grow--must step beyond the immediate reality and believe in something greater. There are often bloows so heavy that you have no choice to continue believing inw aht youa re fighting for and with even more confiction. And you can believe with such a firmness that you become rigid and unbending. Then perhaps at another moment, wheny ou have time to really analyze the situation, you can say, no, we don't have to believe that.
All the militants trained during that period are the same--forged in the struggle, with a tremendous commitment to the Organization and to the Nicaraguan people. That fith in the people, no one really knows where it comes from. I don't think revolutions are made by totally ordinary people. We revolutionaries are visionaries to a certain extent. That analysis may not be very formal, nor very political, but it's true.
What makes a man believe in his own potential as a man? What makes a woman believe that she is capable of anything? No one taught us. that is one of the great mysteries about the Revoltuion. They don't teach it to you at school. You don't learn to believe in humanity on the streets.
It becomes an obsessions--the people must rise up, they must. It begins with a vision, an imaginary idea. And holding onto that vision requires a constant process of nourishment. At first the Organization had very little capacity to analyze our people's experience. We had to understand that people are historically capable of maing revolutions, that they must and will make them--that's a historical law. But I never understood it as a historical law. I think many people didn't.