TOMAS Borge died on the evening of
this past April 30. He was 82 years of age and was
the sole remaining survivor among the founders of
the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN).
sad news was communicated by Rosario Murillo,
coordinator of the Consejo de Comunicación
Ciudadanía (Citizens’ Communication Council), who
stated, "Tomás has concluded his revolutionary life
in the service of the people, surrounded by family
members at the moment of departing for immortality…
At this time it is painful to paraphrase the words,
but Tomás is among the dead who never die."
At an early age, Borge joined the
struggle for Nicaragua’s independence and freedom,
as opposed to it being governed for the benefit of
and in the service of imperial interests, as were
almost all the countries in the region at that time.
Together with Carlos Fonseca Amador he founded the
FSLN, an organization based on the ideas of the
movement led by the Nicaraguan leader Augusto César
His unyielding position resulted in
his imprisonment in harsh conditions by the Somoza
regime in 1975 and he was held in harsh conditions,
in spite of demands for his liberation from
different social sectors, particularly students. "If
Tomás dies"… was the slogan written on the walls of
León and other Nicaraguan cities from 1977-8 and
faded versions can still be seen today. When the
revolutionary forces took the National Congress on
August 22, 1978 by, he regained his freedom and
continued the struggle.
When the FSLN defeated the Somoza
regime on July 19, 1979, Tomás became part of the
new government and promoted important social changes
in the country as a Comandante. During this stage he
was minister of the Interior. But, as a man of great
sensibility, in addition to the many tasks he
undertook, he also wrote prose and poetry.
Some of his works achieved
international recognition, including La paciente
impaciente (Casa de las Américas Prize, 1989),
La ceremonia esperada (Spain, 1990), and
Un grano de maíz, born of his talks with the
leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro,
published in a number of countries.
Eleven years later, in the second
Daniel Ortega mandate and through 2006, Borge was
vice coordinator of the FSLN Executive Commission
and occupied a seat in the Nicaraguan Parliament.
"What has he left us?" one of his
compatriots asked and, among many other things,
noted, "His perseverance in the struggle for a
better and just society. An unwavering conviction in
fighting against social injustice… his ideological
firmness, because he never renounced Marxism as the
philosophy for interpreting current society. His
absolute confidence in human beings’ ability to
transform the current world… His constant practice
of solidarity…" And he recalls, "If Tomás dies… we
can say that he is among the dead who never die,"
the legendary phrase of Colonel Nicolás Valle
Salinas, spoken in prison in 1976 when he was shown
the Novedades newspaper photo of the corpse
of Carlos Fonseca Amador; a phrase taken up by
Carlos Mejía Godoy in the anthem dedicated to the
founder of the Sandinista National Liberation Front."
In Cuba his death has been felt as
the loss of a compañero, a friend, as
reflected in President Raúl Castro’s message.