<< Previous Next >>

4 decades later

4 decades later
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4488 W: 17 N: 10620] (43342)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2018-04-09
Categories: Daily Life
Exposure: f/0.1, 30 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2018-06-25 9:59
Viewed: 691
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Isla Ometepe - Altagracia - 4 decades later

The very first country that I visited in the new world was Mexico, geographically belonging to the continent of North America.
Later I visited some countries in South America: Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia.
Then I thought it was time to take a look in the narrow strip that separates south from north.
Other travelers advised me to go to Nicaragua..

I liked the idea: a visit of the country that was every day in the news when I was a lot younger, a country where people tried to break free from exploitation and claimed their rights. Like many at the time, I had a lot of sympathy for the Sandinistas.
I was very curious how the country looks like almost 40 years after the fall of the dictatorship.
In early spring of this year I went to Nicaragua for a 19-day journey. I had a great time in that beautiful country with its beautiful people.
But two days after my return everything got a sudden turn.

On April 18th, there was an unseen wave of protest in the country.
Protest against the big saving measures in the social security that were implemented by president Daniel Ortega. These protests were bloodily beaten with many dead and wounded.
During my trip I could feel that many Nicaraguans did not have a high opinion of their government and their president who appointed his wife as vice president. What an inbreed.
Yet I had never considered the possibility of protests of this scale and even much less the bloody reaction to it. A practice that only fits brutal dictatorships.
Meanwhile, the protest continues and weekly people are murdered only because they want to demonstrate peacefully.
The demonstrators are mostly young people, students without weapons.
It is unbelievable that the man behind the slaughter is the same man who in the70-s had sworn to free his people.
In 1979 Daniel Ortega overthrew the dictatorship of Somoza. 40 years later he seems to have become a power-hungry dictator himself.
The Nicaraguan people have now turned against him en masse.
There’s little left of the revolutionary values that Ortega held high on the list.

As a young man he was fascinated by Augusto César Sandino, the legendary revolutionary who liberated Nicaragua from the Americans in the 1930s.
But Sandino was murdered by troops from Anastacio Somoza, who installed a bloody dictatorship in Nicaragua.
For more than four decades, the Somoza dynasty led a reign of terror in Nicaragua.

As a follower of Sandino and inspired by the Cuban revolution, Daniel Ortega became one of the most violent opponents of the Somoza dictatorship.
That resistance led in 1979 to the Sandinista revolution: the struggle against the oppression of the population by Somoza and against the intervention of the USA.
I remember that in Belgium the issue really lived in the 70s and 80s. I guess everywhere in Europe.

The Sandinista revolution brought spring in Nicaragua. The Sandinistas provided literacy campaigns, education and free health care.
Daniel Ortega became president between 1985 and 1990.
But the resistance of the Nicaraguan elite to the socialist policy of the Sandinistas was huge and for the USA it was unacceptable to tolerate after Cuba another Marxist-inspired revolution in their backyard. The US started with an economic boycott and a contra-revolution that ended in a brutal civil war between the Sandinistas and the contras (supported by the US).
Internationally there was great indignation about the economic embargo and the dirty war of the contras.

Due to the economic crisis, the terror of the contras and the propaganda financed by the US, the Sandinistas suffered a defeat in the elections of 1990.
But in 2006 Ortega was again elected and is president until today.

But he’s no longer the revolutionary he was.
In order to remain in power, he’s prepared to do everything. Ortega embraces neoliberalism, goes very far in granting concessions to international companies.
Under his policy, rules on elections are adjusted, public funds are abused, the constitution is easily violated. After 11 years of corruption and human rights violations, the Nicaraguans are fed up with it.
Despite the repression, the cry for change sounds louder than ever.
The crazy thing is that history repeats itself in Nicaragua.
Since April 18th many manifestations have ended in a bloodbath and disappearances of the demonstrators. Recovered bodies show traces of torture.
Being young and standing up for your rights is considered a crime for Daniel Ortega.

Deadly violence from in the 80-s is now back in Nicaragua. Many elderly people see that the history repeats itself and that the man behind the slaughter is the same man who had sworn to free his people decades ago. In Nicaragua a president clings to power without any regrets.

To clarify: Most Nicaraguans stand behind the Sandinista revolution but protest against the former revolutionary who became dictator himself.
During my trip I had dreamed to present you many beautiful pictures of Nicaragua.
But how to show them knowing that young people who demonstrate are still tackled so hard (they’re murdered or disappear …) ?

The facts mentioned aren’t a personal consideration but came on the VRT news channel.

jhm, holmertz, worldcitizen, Fis2, ikeharel, jimmyjimmy, COSTANTINO, pajaran, danos, macjake, PiotrF, papagolf21, Cricri, Royaldevon, adramad, Hansaphotos has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekEarth members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekEarth members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 24831 W: 520 N: 41813] (179334)
  • [2018-06-25 10:05]

Dag Paul,

Ik vermoed dat uw tekst nog moet komen.
Maar inderdaad 40 jaar later maar die landen blijven steeds voor beroering zorgen.
Maar uw foto is perfect gemaakt, vrouw buiten en de man naar binnen.
Vroeger zou men gezegd hebben, het gaat goed weer worden, want het vrouwtje komt buiten, grapje van het oude beeldje in vele huizen.
Mooi foto werk mijn vriend. Bedankt.

Groeten uit Oost Vlaanderen,

Hello Paul,
Someone had told me you had been recently to Nicaragua, so I was expecting this kind of photo. It's a very good photo of the bright wall, the two large portraits and the woman stepping outside, into the sun. It probably reflects the opinion still found among the majority of the population, but sadly the political reality is going in a different way. You say the note is based on VRT, but I can't help feeling that it is still quite personal. Ortega now ranks among the most reactionary leaders of Latin America. What a very sad and absurd fact. I admit that 15 years ago I - and a lot of Turks - had great hopes for Erdogan, but look what's happened to him. How power corrupts and twists people's minds. A colleague of mine who was sent to Hungary around 1990 returned with great enthusiasm for the brilliant young reform politician Orbán. Now he's the bad guy of EU politics. And what about Saint Aung San Suu Kyi?
But this is a very good photo in spite of everything, so I am looking forward to what will follow. I like the WS photos too. Political slogans and posters make eye-catching pictures.
Best wishes,

Hello Paul,
Your note is very detailed and informative, and your photo is colorful and well-composed. I like the two ordinary Nicaraguan citizens, surrounded by two historical figures. The WS photos are also very nice. Honestly, I haven't heard much about the protests in Nicaragua; all the constant, bizarre news here at home is drowning out other worldwide issues. I always check BBC news, too, but I don't think I saw it there either.

  • Great 
  • Tue Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9495 W: 57 N: 16157] (59790)
  • [2018-06-25 11:19]

Hallo Paul,
Een heel mooie foto van deze twee geschilderde portretten van deze Midden-Amerikaanse revolutionairen. De blauwe achtergrond van hun beider hoofden zorgt ook voor een mooi contrast met de rode tinten van de muren. De twee mensen zijn ook een mooie toevoeging.

Hello Paul,
Nice capture but more than this quite interesting TE entry enriched with many interesting notes.
Yes, times are changing.
Many interesting and usefull notes.
TFS and best regards

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12115 W: 126 N: 21903] (111779)
  • [2018-06-25 11:47]

Hi Paul,perfect timing to show something from Nicaragua,i seen on TV the bad moment of this country with a lot of men killed during the protests against the governement. So your pic showing something of the last elections in the WS is very useful,very nice too the main pic with the comparision of 2 heroes of the past. Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • Fis2 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10097 W: 161 N: 16634] (128553)
  • [2018-06-25 12:30]

Witaj Paul!
Interesting view, the paintings on the wall are impressive.
Nice scene from dailly life.
Good frame, colors and light.
Well done.
Good evening annd nice new week.

Ciao Paul
ricordo bene quel periodo, si parlava del Nicaragua in tutta Europa, un mio amico parti da casa sua per andare ad aiutare i rivoluzionari e molti altri come lui, conservo ancora una sua cartolina.
Le tue belle foto sono macchiate dalla tua nota, è difficile essere coerenti sapendo quello che sta succedendo.

Besides the vividly painted portraits of famous men, Paul, the one lady walking out and the other man hasitating wether to enter - this made the beauty of such a photo.
Daily life combined with art scene.
Have a nice new day,

  • Great 
  • Nicou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 14282 W: 0 N: 16269] (173748)
  • [2018-06-25 21:51]


entre ces deux portrait quelle image et cue deux portrait et deux personnage qui entrent et sortent ce tapis jaune au sol quelle vue et compo quelle image fantastique captage.
Bravo et amitié

Hello dear friend and have a nice time
and a happy new day
its a very good photo of the bright wall
with messages from the past
your notes are really useful

Salut paul,
Bien cadré avec effet de symétrie, deux silhouettes et deux célèbres portraits, c'est coloré et bien rendu, c'est pris au bon moment.

  • Great 
  • emka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10542 W: 146 N: 26505] (127445)
  • [2018-06-25 23:41]

hello Paul, I liked your Indian series but I couldn't wait for Nicaragua pictures. Unlike many people here, I am impatient and I want to show some latest pictures.
I am happy that you are back safe. I have read on the Internet on many pages that it is not safe to go to Nicaragua. So you were maybe at the last moment there before the unrest.
Very long but interesting note about the last history of Nicaragua. it seems to me that the same story repeats again and again. The revolution leaders, who swear to free poor people, quite soon become the oppressors and dictators. There are so many examples, like here Che, Fidel or Chavez. And they ruin their countries for years.
Excellent composition.
I like Latin America very much. I have been to quite many countries, but I would like to visit more. You recommended Colombia, my son liked Panama and Costa Rica.

Kind regards Malgo

Dobar dan.
Lep pogled i trenutak, interesantan i dobar tekst ...
Dobar rad sa lepim fotografijama u radionici, lepo pokazano, dobra perspektiva i kontrast, lepe boje,lepo uhvacen trenutak.
Lepe fotografije i secanja, istorija se nastavlja.
Zelim vam lep i uspesan dan, sve najbolje.

Good day.
A nice view and a moment, interesting and good text ...
Good work with nice photos in the workshop, beautifully shown, good perspective and contrast, nice colors, nice caught moment.
Beautiful photos and memories, history continues.
I wish you a beautiful and successful day, all the best.

  • Great 
  • danos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13701 W: 295 N: 27478] (110395)
  • [2018-06-26 0:30]

Hello Paul,
nice the scene with the faces in the portraits to have a distance of four decades.The entering of the two people in the open gate contrast perfect with them.


  • Great 
  • ChrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 14674 W: 1049 N: 29925] (140689)
  • [2018-06-26 2:07]

Hello Paul,

An interesting read and I had to look up Sandino who was a local lad. Guevara on the other hand was Argentine & helped overthrow the US backed Batista regime in Cuba, only to be murdered in Bolivia by CIA backed Bolivian troops. A real shame about Ortega. It appears he was just an opportunist. Tfs!

Ciao Paul, lovely composition with passing couple and portrait of heroes, excellent clarity, fine details and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • rychem Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3533 W: 0 N: 8238] (58553)
  • [2018-06-26 8:47]

A very nice photo, very well caught scene with two people in the door and two portraits, both men belong to the history of South America, but I think the life must go on. We all have dreams and we also have the reality (unfortunately)
regards Ryszard

Hi Paul
so now we move onto Nicaragua!
I'll look forward to seeing these.

wow, thats a great note, a long read but worth while in the end. Learn alot, makes us think and be appreciative of what we have in Canada and Belgium right?

Personally, I would be very hesitant to travel to this country right now, not bc its SOOOOOOO dangerous, but it does carry question marks - so why not visit a different country instead and check back on Nicaragua some other time.

as for the photo, its great. great to have the man in yellow just standing there as if he's posing for you but he's not. and the two posters are wonderful, for photos that is. whats next?

  • Great 
  • PiotrF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 4259 W: 2 N: 7334] (35722)
  • [2018-06-26 13:45]

Hello Paul,
Interesting first photos from Nicaragua. I'm waiting for more.
Informative note, fine presentation

Bonjour, cher Paul,
C'est toujours un plaisir de regarder vos albums, l'on apprend toujours quelque chose.
Une invitation au voyage sous un autre angle (bien agréable).
Merci pour ce partage.

  • Great 
  • Cricri Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 15955 W: 159 N: 27825] (146202)
  • [2018-06-27 10:11]

Bonjour Paul
Deux célèbres portraits qui ont fait histoire, plus entendu pour moi est Che Guevara, j'aime les couleurs de la présentation, la présence de homme de dos et la dame de face, grande note d'accompagnement , deux intéressant WS aussi
Bonne soirée

Hello Paul,

I read your notes with interest and felt that I was learning something new, of which I should already be aware! The world is such a big place, with so many conflicts, sometimes some problems get lost. In the U.K. the issues, apart from Turkey, seem to be the refugees from Africa!

This note seems impassioned, I don't think you can visit somewhere without being affected by the plight of the ordinary people. History does repeat itself! But, here, as in many cases it is the corruption by power and money that is at the heart of the problem.
Anyway, you have shown us some fine photographs, linking the common people with many political portraits. I cannot imagine them actually stopping and looking at the portraits but they are constant, in the environment.

Thank you fro this.
I always enjoy reading your notes, a bit like an international newspaper!
Bev :-)

Hi Paul,
wow what an incredible lesson of history with a personal touch!
Another spectacular trip! Again to Americas.
Yes I remember Nicaragua being popular in the news...
You are really quite adventurous. This seems like a fresh trip.
Great reportage and I am looking forward to see more!

Hello Paul.
An original image very different from the previous, striking facade, with the portrait of these two characters, so rooted in some areas of Latin America, the two people at the door put a good vital touch.
Magnificent color, which gives great strength to the image.
Well done. I like it.
You have a good day.
Very best regards.

Hello Paul,

Its an excellent composition from many aspects, but its symmetry, partially broken by the yellow tiles, is really amazing.

Best Wishes,

Hello Paul

It is sad to read about the development in Nicaragua, but it is an excellent photo! The paintings on the wall is very well captured and the inclusion of the people adds life to the scene. Very good timing to get the people lined up right at the entrance of the building. Splendid colours too. Excellent work:) Thanks.

Greetings, Erling

  • Great 
  • jmdias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10304 W: 174 N: 18380] (81895)
  • [2018-08-15 10:28]


nice framing here using well the shapes of the portraits and the man and woman in different position in the door. very special compo. I don't want to talk about this guys... a pity this country didn't take the same way of costa rica where I presume such portraits aren't usual.

take care


Dag Paul,
Je uitgebreide, uitstekende verslag over de jongste geschiedenis van dit midden Amerikaanse land bracht weer heel wat herinneringen bij mij. Ik kan me de hoop nog herinneren voor betere tijden, maar nu blijkt dat de boeken van Gabriel García Márquez nog steeds actueel zijn. Helaas.
Groet Rob

Calibration Check